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Accomplishing Your Goals

Are there things about your life you’d like to change? Do you have big goals that you aren’t sure how to achieve? Have you tried to make changes in the past but given up before you achieved what you wanted? Are you afraid of making an effort towards accomplishing your goals?

Yes? Do you know what that means? You’re human. But, it doesn’t mean you should let those things keep you from pursuing your goals And, don’t wait until New Year’s to start! Start now—use these 5 keys for accomplish your goals and you can still look back on this year as the year you made real progress towards changing your life.

Best Strategies For Accomplishing Your Goals

Best Tips for Accomplishing Your Goals

1. Get Really Clear About What You Want

First, make sure your goals are something YOU really want. It’s not uncommon for people to pursue a goal that other people have encouraged. I often speak to people who are unhappy in their careers and find that they got into their profession because it was something their parents wanted them to do—not because it was something they were passionate about.

It’s also not uncommon for people to strive to accomplish things just because it seems that’s what’s expected of them, or it’s what everyone else is doing. Social media has created peer pressure that isn’t only felt by teenagers!

Spend some time thinking about what you really want. Is it really your dream to have a family, big house, expensive things, high-powered career? Or, do you think you would you be happy single, with a studio apartment, few possessions, working as a writer, with the flexibility to travel? It’s your life. You need to live it. Make sure you are making choices that will create a life you (not other people) are excited about.

Next, get really specific about what you want. Simply saying you want to be successful / happy / fit isn’t specific enough. Ask yourself, “What will I need to accomplish in order to consider myself successful / happy / fit?” Is it making a certain amount of money over the next year? Losing 20 pounds in 4 months? Running a 10K in under 50 minutes?

You need some way to determine your results, see that you’re making progress, and know when you have hit your goal. Create goals with measurable results. Write them down. 

Envision yourself in the future, having achieved your goal. Picture yourself with the money in the bank / 20 pounds lighter / with a race medal around your neck. Imagine how proud and happy you will be. Make a promise to yourself that you will do whatever it takes to make it happen.

Related: Write Down Your Goals

2. Be Different To Get Different Results

What you’ve been doing up to this point got you here. You want to be somewhere else.  You need to change yourself to change your life.  Ask yourself, “Who is the person I need to be to achieve my goals?” Describe that person in detail. (You might look to a role model for inspiration with this.)

In order to become that person:

·     What do you need to be thinking?

·     What do you need to stop thinking?

·     What do you need to be feeling?

·     What do you need to be doing?

·     What do you need to stop doing?

·     What strengths / skills do you need to develop?

·     What strengths / skills do you already have?

Ask yourself, “What would the future me, who has already achieved what I want, advise the present me?”

3. Set Small Goals & Achieve Them

When we want to make big changes, we are often enthusiastic and motivated at the beginning of the process, but then… time goes by and we realize that change is hard. And, big changes don’t happen as quickly as we’d like.

We become frustrated and impatient, which results in our enthusiasm and motivation wearing thin, which then leads us to abandon our goal all together. Sound familiar?

We want to feel good about what we’re doing. We want to see results. Quickly!

Of course, to do that, you’ll have to break down what you want to do into small goals—things that you are confident you can do. These goals should be things that, on a scale of 1-10 for how confident are you that you can achieve them, with 10 being “Definitely. I got this!”, you rate 9 or 10. If you would say lower than a 9, make the goal smaller / less ambitious until it’s something you rate a 9.

Don’t let your ego push you to set small goals that you don’t feel really confident about achieving. Don’t worry if the small goals seem too easy—that’s how we want them! The small goals are the pathway to the big goal. So, check your ego for now and start small. It can come back out when it’s time to be proud of accomplishing your goals…especially “the big goal”.

For example, if your goal is to be someone who works out for an hour 5x/week, but have never kept to an exercise program before: set a goal of working out for 20 minutes 3x/week to start.

Once you have done that for 2-3 weeks, you’ll feel good about having stuck to your plan, you will have started to develop the habit you want, and you will be on your way to becoming the person you want to be.

With that feeling of confidence, you can increase your goal. Maybe you plan on longer workouts 3x/week, or 20 minute workouts 5x/week—whatever works for you and you feel confident you can do.

Related: How to Set Goals

4. Plan For And Deal With Challenges

Remember that it will not be an easy, smooth road to achieving your goals. This is life. You already know it takes effort to accomplish great things.    

Think about challenges that are likely to come up. Then, come up with ways to keep moving forward in spite of whatever could threaten to derail you. Thinking about this in advance gives you the advantage of having a clear and calm state of mind, as opposed to thinking about it at the time you face the challenge and are stressed and upset. It also allows you to quickly pivot to your alternate plan rather than losing what could be precious time during your process if you don’t have a Plan B.

You can also prepare for challenges by asking yourself, “Why is this important to me?” and “Why is it worth it to face the fear / be uncomfortable?” Make sure your answer is compelling! Having a meaningful “Why” will help keep you going when the going gets tough.

As challenges come up tell yourself, “This is part of the process. I knew I would face challenges. This is NOT a reason to stop moving forward.” Acknowledge setbacks. Learn from them. Course-correct. Keep going!

Remember the promise you made to yourself to do whatever it takes to reach your goals? Keep that promise! Most often, we consider ourselves reliable people. If we tell a friend that we will do something, we keep our word. We might even rearrange our schedule or priorities to keep our promise to someone else. But, when it comes to keeping our promise to ourselves, we are FAR less reliable. Be as reliable to yourself as you are to others.

5. Reframe Your Past

Are you letting past “failures” keep you from moving forward? Your past is over. It only exists now in your thoughts. And, you are in charge of your thoughts. You get to choose what things in your past mean to you. What are you making your past mean? Are you making your past be helpful or harmful to you now?

You can choose to think that you made bad decisions, failed, wasted time… Or, you could choose to think that you made the best decision with the information you had. You could choose to think that you learned important lessons about what works and what doesn’t. You could choose to think that things are working out for the best.

Your past got you here but doesn’t determine your future. Just because you did/didn’t do something in the past, doesn’t mean you’re destined to repeat it. If we could only do what we’ve already done, we’d all still be crawling and babbling like babies!

Related: Destroy Self-Doubt

Final Thoughts on Accomplishing Your Goals

Every day, all day, you get to make choices how to think and act—regardless of what you’ve thought and done in the past. Pay attention to your thoughts and make sure you’re choosing thoughts that serve you well—doing this alone will change your life.

Now, it’s time to take action. Don’t wait any longer to make progress on accomplishing your goals. You’ve got the keys…now go unlock your limitless potential!


PS – Accomplishing your goals is not impossible, especially for those who use this powerful goal-setting tool.

Claire Cleary is a Life Coach, Personal Trainer, and owner of Claire Cleary Coaching. She works with clients in person and online to help them feel their best mentally and physically. She lives in Shrewsbury, N.J. with her husband and two dogs.