Setting goals in our lives is just as important as eating and sleeping. Some goals are minor, others major. Only a select group of people succeed in actually realizing all those goals time and time again. What do highly successful people do if not the people who give up quickly? How can you become just as successful in realizing your goals as that select group?
With the steps below, you enable yourself to have the same knowledge that these successful people have. Some of them naturally have this knowledge. Others have learned these habits and skills. If they could, so can you!
Everything starts with an idea
Each goal is based on an idea. Whether this idea comes from nothing or is based on an amalgamation of various other ideas doesn’t matter. Every goal starts with an idea. How you can get started with this idea to make it a success, I will explain with the step-by-step plan below.
Step-by-step guide to setting goals
When your idea is born, you make it specific to give it hands and feet. Do not consider obstacles that you can or will encounter on the way to your goal.
During this step, you can dream. Dare to do that! Walt Disney did the exact same thing. He had three different physical workplaces in his home:
- The dreamer’s place
- The critic’s place
- The realist’s place
At the place of the dreamer, everything was possible. At the critic’s place, he commented on the ideas, and at the place of the realist, he merged the dreams and criticism into a realistic whole. That is where the characters for his cartoons were born.
By using three different workplaces, he was able to embody the three kinds of persons and did not confuse the critic and the dreamer.
When you are setting goals and your idea is born, you can visualize as much as you want. It is ingrained in human nature that we get images from an idea. By nature, humans are primarily visual.
When visualizing, you must visualize your goals in whatever form. You can use all your senses for this. What will it look like when you have achieved your goals? How does it feel? How does it smell and sound? Maybe it even has a taste?
The more intense you make this sensory perception, the more it will live for you and the greater the chance of success. So make sure you invest well in this step. A tool I use myself is Mind Movies, a digital visualization tool.
Formulate your objective
By putting your objective on paper and making it specific, you commit yourself. In other words, you make yourself more or less a promise. And some people claim they can play in their heads. How don’t you kid yourself because an unwritten word or promise can always be broken or modified, consciously or unconsciously?
When formulating your goals, write the goal in the center of your sheet of paper. Be specific here, so on this and that date, I want to have achieved that and that. On the left, you put the criteria of your goal (so for example, “I want to earn $4000 net per month.” Or “I want to make a big trip twice a year.”), On the right, you write down which feelings the realization of delivers your goals. So write things down like peace of mind, relaxation, enthusiasm, etc.
Determine your yields and benefits
Just like in your written agreement above, it is especially important to make specific what it will bring you when you have reached your goal. Don’t just write down the physical benefits, such as money, a nice car, and a holiday home, but also describe what it gives you in terms of feeling. Dare to set yourself some firm goals; choose something more than you think is realistic.
You can also make the emotional benefits specific. Does realizing your goals get you adrenaline? Or perhaps a nice, relaxed feeling that you no longer have to worry about income? Carefully formulate what it will bring you.
Identify obstacles and challenges
At this point with setting goals, you will take the critic’s seat because goal setting also means that you will sometimes have to overcome a hurdle along the way. To take the most direct route to their goal, successful people always map out any challenges in advance. They can look ahead, just as a truck driver needs to look ahead to safely drive his heavy combination.
Of course, you shouldn’t worry about what kind of problems you might encounter. Approach everything with a positive mindset. Problems do not exist, and if they do, they are challenges because they can all be solved.
Set-up an action plan
A goal without a plan is and remains a dream. People who chase their dreams without concrete plans are like drivers who go to a complete stranger to see if they can find their way. Perhaps they will achieve their goal, but then the detour would probably have been enormous.
Every successful person will set goals with a roadmap and an associated agenda. Of course, unforeseen circumstances may lead to deviations from the concrete plan, but guidance is always necessary.
Ensure you are clear and concrete in your action plan and take into account that you sometimes have to go the extra mile to achieve your interim goals.
Set up KPIs
You can schedule interim evaluations based on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). How far are you? How does the roadmap work? Are you on schedule?
On the basis of these criteria, you can adjust your roadmap in the meantime if necessary. The KPIs and roadmap are an essential part of your plan to set goals.
Writing down and saying affirmations is crucial for “building” beliefs. Beliefs can turn against you – so when you are convinced “I can’t do that” – but you can also make them work for you. You can train yourself in this.
Affirmations are an excellent way to build the neuronal network in your brain for success. By daily reciting affirmations in front of the mirror, such as “I am successful,” “I am rich and persistent,” you build in your brain the hardware of a rich, persistent and successful person.
While affirmations may seem spiritual to many people, nothing is more effective than impressing yourself with these empowering spells. Napoleon Hill referred to its success 90 years ago, so trust me, it works!
Put together a think tank
When setting goals, it is always important to have a sounding board, or think tank, just as you want to call it. With Walt Disney in mind, you can choose to “appoint” a realist and a critic, for example, to streamline your wild dreams. Or, if you are not a visionary and a bit more critical yourself, you can hire a creative dreamer and a realist.
When composing your sounding board group, always be very selective and don’t be too careful about “firing” people again. A person who dismisses all your ideas as “not feasible” and does not come up with a better alternative is not suitable as your sounding board. Just like you, the right people have the goal in mind and come up with solutions to realize that goal.
Take action and be persistent
No goal has ever been achieved without action. Hard work, blinkers, and perseverance are essential characteristics of any success story. Anyone who has seen the film The Founder knows that persistence and drive can create a multi billion-dollar empire.
If you haven’t seen this movie yet, I recommend watching this one. It’s a great motivation to see Ray Kroc, the founder of Mcdonald’s, apply successful people’s principles to build his empire. The master quote from this film: “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.”