How are your goals for this year coming along? Have you met a majority of them? My guess is no and here’s how I know this is the case.
According to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates — “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
Plus, very few people actually take practical and necessary steps to achieve their lofty goals.
Here are 10 simple steps I have personally found helpful to set big goals and take steps to implement them.
1. Dare to think big.
What is that big bold vision you have for your future? “Neuroscience in recent years has determined that our subconscious brain is actually responsible for making most of our decisions.” And our subconscious mind takes in our environment mostly through the visual sense (i.e., in pictures), so give it something to work towards! I’ve found that creative visualization techniques and meditation help me to think big.
2. Get really clear.
Get clear on your desires and make sure they really mean something to you. Clarity will really help if you are met with resistance or when it gets hard sometimes — because it will. “Focus instead on the goal of finding clarity. Confusion is solved by getting your priorities straight. Distraction is solved by getting better at focusing your attention. Disorganization is solved by throwing out non-essentials and tending to the important things first.”
3. Be specific.
Make sure your goals are specific. None of this vague stuff like, “I want to be a success in 2016!” What does success even mean?! The more specific the better. Think SMART goals (commonly defined as Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound).
4. Write every goal down.
According to NPR, “‘goal-setting theory’ holds that writing down concrete, specific goals and strategies can help people overcome obstacles and achieve.”
5. Divide big goals into small steps.
When you break up big goals into smaller steps it helps you avoid the dreaded overwhelm! This process also gives you a way to track and celebrate even the small wins! I like to focus on 3-month action plans at a time and then break those plans down into monthly and weekly goals. I also batch my work to allow for more focus on one type of activity at a time.
6. Take action daily.
Act on your goals every single day, even if it’s a baby step. Over time it all adds up! If you find it hard to take action each day, make an effort to return to the present moment. “Live as much as you can in the only moment that you ever really live in and control. This moment right now.” Just start!
7. Don’t get stuck on ‘how’.
Once you identify your big dream, don’t get caught up in the “how”. Instead, trust it’s going to happen. You don’t know who you’ll meet or what opportunities will come your way, just do your part and keep moving forward with those baby steps!
8. Make your goals public.
I make my goals public; there’s nothing like a bit of accountability! If you don’t want to go to the extent of posting your deepest desires on Facebook, share them with family and friends, or get an accountability buddy (or a coach)!
9. Protect your goals.
Make sure no one (and nothing) can negatively impact your goals. Also ensure that your goals protect what is most important to you. Ask yourself, “Will this goal result in any fall out that might cause me harm in the future?” If the answer is yes, then it could subconsciously sabotage your efforts!
10. Invest in yourself.
The last piece of the puzzle … I invested in myself (like, seriously invested). I decided to commit to myself and my business. I hired a coach and having that support and making success a non-negotiable was key in my business. I know I personally needed the accountability it provides. Do you?
This article has been edited and condensed.
is a leading Business & Success Coach
and mentor to smart women entrepreneurs, specializing in busting money and visibility blocks. She has coached many women all over the world to gain momentum in their business by helping them create a winning mindset, increase their income, gain confidence, have more fun and the freedom to travel. Her passion stems from not wanting to ever see another entrepreneur struggle needlessly and have to go back and get a J.O.B! She is also an Advanced EFT & Master NLP Practitioner, Certified Transformational Life Coach, motivational speaker, author (and former Chartered Accountant!). Originally from Scotland, Joanna is now a digital nomad.
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