Goal setting has been around for ages and has been regarded by many success coaches, gurus, sports stars and legendary athletes and business tycoons as a critical or even pivotal skill for success. We echo everything that you can ever read about why it is important, but you are not reading this article for us to tell you what everyone is saying about setting goals —you want to know how to achieve them consistently! As such, let’s dive right into the 6-Step Goals Achievement Plan (6SGAP).

Let’s start with some context about why 6SGAP works. First, it does not involve a regimental set of activities that requires you to change your lifestyle, in fact you may already be doing these in an unconscious way–after all, you have experienced success in the past! Second, as you gear through the steps, it might dawn on you that they feel familiar…which is a good sign. That’s because what we are offering is not novel, but a simple, streamlined restructuring of the natural process you typically follow–but now you’re able to apply it to any goal you set–yes, any goal! So whether you want to save more, take a dream vacation, lose/gain weight, complete that Master’s degree, change diet, start a new relationship, buy a house or save for retirement–applying 6SGAP can make all the difference!

One final point before we get into the juicy stuff–let’s dispel a popular myth about goal setting and its achievement: We tend to achieve anything we pour our hearts and soul into, because our passion will drive us in getting to the finish line. How many times have you felt passionately about a goal to see it gradually fades or Peters out to nothing? Further, you’re not always going to be passionate about your goals: setting a retirement goal hardly conjures up the same level of excitement as setting up a goal for your Vegas trip or second honeymoon! But there are going to be goals you need to set and you will need to accomplish them, regardless of whether the passion is there or not. It is natural for us to become less enthused in a goal the more long-term it becomes, which is why 6SGAP includes actions to get you back on track when motivation wanes or you stop believing or worst, stop recognizing the benefits.

6-Step Goals Achievement PlanExplained

Like us, we know you get excited by the pursuit of a goal, because we’re all motivated by the anticipation of a reward or benefit, even more so than on its attainment, which can massively outweigh the effort we put in. Even if that’s not the case, the accomplishment of a goal is nonetheless euphoric. It’s therefore important that we push through and stay the course to the end. In doing so, our focus may firmly be on the prize, which allows us to tolerate the burn. This is something that happens in all areas of our lives: relationships, careers, adventures and even family-related decisions and sacrifices. But this approach is not ideal and after a while, we become hesitant to setting goals, because the pain overwhelms the gain!

Every now and again, we will need to draw on associations or even mantras to keep us going through the lows, which fuel our desire to reach higher, especially when we are near the top and within touching distance of our goal. There’s a story about a gold-miner who spent years searching for the elusive fortune deposited below the ground and after 5 years of digging and finding nothing, he gives up and sells the mine for one-third of what he paid to acquire it and goes home to his family, dejected and broke. The prospector he sold the mine to picked up from where the original gold-miner stopped and after only a week’s effort of mining comes across what was later to be regarded as one of the largest gold deposits in the country. The prospector could not believe his luck, but instantly recognizes the effort invested by the original gold-miner, with whom he shared the wealth.

man digging on grass field
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The moral of the above story is that we must find ways to keep “digging” towards our dreams even when the going gets tough. Also, while you may be focused on achieving personal success, it might worth your while to allow others to share in that dream or for you to partner with someone who can help you realize it–you don’t have to do it alone, because it’s your dream.

But it is not sustainable to constantly operate at this elevated level–there are many books and blogs to consult about burnouts. So what we need in our goal setting are moments when we inject a bit of “razzle dazzle” into our routine to break the monotony or to give us a new impetus to stay the course. This is vitally important as some goals can be accomplished over days, while others extend over years or decades–the strategy is the same and you’ll see why.

It is not a matter of what the passion is, there’s always something driving us on to succeed. The converse is also true. People who wander aimlessly through their days are missing that impetus drive or fuel to keep them reaching for something—doesn’t matter what. If you cannot identify a goal and then find the inspiration to push yourself to its attainment, you will be simply just getting to the end of the day and wonder what happened. For a lot of people that is fine—and I have been there myself—but if that’s not where you desire to be, then you need to change it—but how?

Step 1 – Set your goal(s)

There are many books and programs saying that you need to start by writing down your goals—and I don’t disbelieve them—but it’s not necessary. What they mean is that you need to know what your goals are so that you can internalize and be clear about them and writing them down is one way.

Use the S.M.A.R.T technique for goal setting as in the video above:

  • S – specific
  • M – measurable
  • A – attainable
  • R – relevant
  • T – time-based

Now if that was all it takes, we would all be living our dreams! So we need to do more.

Step 2 – Establish your purpose (what’s your why?)

Let’s think about what accomplishing each goal would mean for you, your loved ones or your rivals (yes, this also works to motivate you). Now write down or internalize the feeling—are you already getting that impetus to make it a reality? Go ahead, read the other steps later.

Step 3 – Develop your action plan

Now, identify some things, big or small, that you will do consistently to get you there. Not to overuse this example, but if your goal is to lose a few extra pounds, a small routine might be to do a little extra walking around the house or better yet, around the block if you haven’t been doing so already. If you have started, plan to increase the frequency slightly.

So how are you doing so far? These are the steps you’ve covered:

  • the goal—what is it that I want to accomplish
  • the purpose or why – what would it mean if I accomplish this goal and how will it feel
  • the action plan – what big or small activities can I start doing now to get me on track with this goal

If these were the only three steps needed to successfully accomplish our goals, we would all be living our best lives—but we aren’t—unless you are the exception. while these first three Steps are fundamental, they are not able to guarantee our stickability and commitment to the goal, because life appears to throw us many obstacles when it seems we have a good thing going—surely you can relate to that! So we need three more Steps to keep us on track.

top view photo of rusty steel stairs
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Step 4 – Monitor and track your progress

Now start measuring and tracking–taking stock of your results/progress quantitatively. For instance, if your goal is to run a 10k next year and you are training using the first three Steps, start recording your progress: Monday, I ran 2k in 20 minutes versus last Sunday, when I ran 2k in 40 minutes—a bit of self-disclosure here, but I’m definitely getting better.

This is the type of positive feedback, which reinforces to yourself that your action plan is working, so motivation is high for me to continue. But if the results aren’t great (yes, it happens), step back and revisit Step 3 (the action plan) and make the necessary tweaks. In fact, Steps 3 and 4 are cyclical – do not proceed to Step 5 until you have made enough tweaks to get a positive feedback. This is the most crucial aspect of the process—do not bypass this step or limit your time commitment to it.

Step 5 – Share your progress and achievements

Now that you’re making progress, share it with someone or the world, but since it is still in progress, do it in a moderate way and let them know it is a work in progress.

By sharing it this way, you are publicizing your commitment and bring people on board to support you as the challenges surmount—yes, those haven’t disappeared because you are making progress, in fact, they get harder as you progress.

The initial leaps made at the start of an action plan, will diminish exponentially as you move a long. That means after a week you will see dramatic changes, but after a month those changes won’t quadruple because you’ve been at it for four times longer. Also, some benefits will exponentially increase, and though you see only a small change initially, as continue to put int the effort, you will start realizing the incredible results. A friend described learning to swimming using a proper breathing technique that was a struggle at the beginning, but now allows him to swim almost indefinitely, while his previous technique limited him to swim a pool’s length before being out of breath.

It is important to realize that you don’t need to have cheerleaders to motivate, just the simple act of disclosure creates that sense of motivation to keep you going, especially so that you can tell them next time how fantastic it is coming along.

Step 6 – Reward yourself on reaching specific milestones

Last but certainly not least: Give yourself timely rewards for your success. This can come in many forms, such as treating yourself to a nice meal, taking a day off from the routine to relax and reflect on what you have accomplished so far or simply rest!

This is absolutely important. We can have our heads down working at our goals and don’t take the time to appreciate how far we have come and remind ourselves why we are doing it. If we don’t take the time to do this, we will struggle to keep our momentum going, since we forget suff—yes, we are human! Having this time to reflect and relax to look at what’s working (and what’s not) will give us a big boost to keep going and stick to our goals.

Put these breaks deliberately in your calendar or tie them to specific achievements or micro goals—when I can run this lap in 10 mins, I will take a break to reflect or hang out with my best bud.

If you have done this right, there will no less enthusiasm to restart as was there when you first embarked on the goal. There’s power in taking timely breaks as is the strategy taken by most sports teams. It is not about constantly pounding out the effort to achieve your goals, taking breaks and giving your body time to reset is very important—and it is the same in the pursuit of goals.

We are not setting goals to become burned out or to degrade other aspects of our lives—what’s the sense of that? As such, we need to keep it balanced and in synch with everything around us. So use the break to also evaluate your other priorities—how are they keeping up with the success you’re realizing in your current goal. Make the adjustments needed so that you don’t achieve a goal at the expense of a greater or happier and more fulfilling life.

So here are the previous three steps for quick reference:

  • monitor and track – measure your progress quantitatively to see how you’re doing–go back to Step 3 as needed.
  • share your achievement – tell others about what you accomplished
  • reward yourself – give your self a small pat on the back for getting to this stage, but don’t get complacent! Reserve the big celebration for the end.

Tell us how these 6 Steps worked for you. Now let’s get started–ready, set, 6SGAP!

man wearing white sweater and black shorts about to run
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Categories : Categories : Visioning

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