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5 Essentials to Successful Goals

Last week you previewed your potential goals for this year by reflecting on the following:

What do I want?

Why do I want it?

Am I willing to work to achieve it?

Included in that blog posting was a Goal Development Inventory that had additional questions to help you answer those questions that included identifying our personal barriers, what was important in your life right now and what you had accomplished in the past.

To complete this segment on setting and completing goals, I have listed five important considerations that can help you succeed with your plans.

5 Important Essentials Needed to Make Goals Successful

1. Goals are easy to make – they are not easy to complete.

We have lofty ideals and aspirations that rarely include the reality of how we will complete them.

Review your “what I want” list and eliminate items that are “wishes” which you are unwilling to commit to action.

Add to this list some personal development goals, such as becoming kinder and more understanding, a willingness to listen instead of rushing to judgment or discovering something to be grateful for every day.

2. Pick one item you are serious about and willing to commit to making it happen.

Then pick a personal development goal. Personal development goals are ongoing and you work on them every day in some way.

As we improve our attitude and responses to those around us, it will have a positive impact on the success of all our other goals.

If your life is currently in chaos, with struggles in your marriage and family, any goals you make will be at risk for failure.

3. What has failed in the past and what has worked?

We learn from living. We have had successes and failures. To keep from repeating past mistakes we need to stop and evaluate those mistakes.

  • What did you learn – about yourself or others?
  • How can I keep from repeating them again?

Don’t rationalize why you didn’t follow through. We need to be completely honest with ourselves.  It is the only way we will make changes that become beneficial and long-lasting.

4. Check your confidence level.

Often goals remain incomplete because we lose confidence over time.

  • Do I need to adjust the time frame for completion?
  • Have I articulated what I want and why?

Confidence is gained as we continue to move forward one step at a time.

Obstacles are just that – obstacles that we can go around or remove. They remain stumbling blocks when we believe there is nothing we can do to overcome them.

Affirm your capabilities every day.

We are not perfect – we will make mistakes – we will fail. That is human. Be willing to assess and try again.

Write positive affirmations that you repeat every day until they become second nature in your thoughts that doubts and uncertainties can’t alter.

Put in place a mantra of “Yes I can,” or one that says, “I refuse to let failures define me.”

We can start again. Every stumble, every problem, every obstacle teaches us something even if that reminds us we are resilient and strong.

5. Habits.

One of the obstacles rarely addressed in goal setting is habits. We are creatures of habit. We do the things that are expedient, easy and give us some immediate, pleasurable reward that makes us feel good at the moment.

These habits rarely keep us healthy, happy or successful over time.

Recognize the habits that have kept you from accomplishing goals in the past. Face your excuses and denials. Be honest with yourself.

Habits cannot just be changed or stopped – they need to be replaced. Give yourself time and grace to master that replacement.

Mark on a calendar every time you were successful.

Monitor your self talk. Replace belittling thoughts with affirmations. Remind yourself, “I can do this.

Replace the words should and must with “I want or choose to do this.

Work on one habit at a time so you won’t get stressed, lose motivation and quit.

Next step

When you have completed your goal statement and plans of action, post it somewhere where you can view it every day as a reminder that you were serious about achieving it.

If you would like a goal statement template that takes you through the important steps in goal setting, send me a quick e-mail and I will forward it to you.

Marlene Anderson

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