Goals are a funny phenomenon.
I actually roll my eyes when I hear about someone talking about or giving advice about goals. Probably because I’ve read many books on the subject and know about all the ridiculous stuff that is out there. I’ve also been to too many annoying Rah,Rah! seminars where you’re supposed to get motivated, create “massive actions plans” and go out into the world with your hair on fire and achieve your goals.
The problem with those events is that once you leave, the motivation disappears quickly.
So, as annoyed I get about the subject, I also understand (and you need to as well) that goals are required if you intend on creating success. I’m not going to give you a happy, fluffy motivational talk here. Rather, you are going to get the down and dirty reality of what it takes to make your goals a reality. As Anthony Robbins says (the biggest Rah, Rah! guy I know), “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
One more thing before I get into the 5 steps. I often hear that accomplishing goals shouldn’t take all these steps, that lists like this complicate things and that its too much work. These are also the same people who don’t reach their goals. Or they goals they set are superficial and they don’t really care about them in the first place. Then it’s not really any skin off their back if they give up on it.
Here are 5 critical steps to achieving your goals:
1. Create the Goal
When you create you goal I recommend three things. First you must make sure that this goal matters to you. It must be something that you are fiercely committed to. Otherwise, why waste your time?
Second, you must write the goal as if it has already happened. For example if I want to make $25,000 next month I would write “I earned $25,000 in the month of June!”
This creates new brain patterns in your mind every time you read it this way and actually does impact your thoughts, feelings and actions.
Third, I recommend you use the “S.M.A.R.T.” system when creating goals. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Action Oriented, Realistic and Time Sensitive.
You want the goal to be specific so you know precisely what you want to accomplish. Measurable so you can keep score and always know where you stand along the path of achieving your goal. Action oriented so that you can clearly outline what actions need to be taken in order to achieve your goal. Realistic, because having some “pie in the sky” goal will do nothing more than frustrate and derail you from what you are committed to. Finally, it must be time sensitive. If there is no deadline for the actions you need to take or for when the goal is to be completed then why bother doing anything about it now. You’ve always got tomorrow, right?
2. Create the Actions Required to Achieve Your Goal
Now it’s time to deal with the reality of your goal. Here you have to confront all the actions it will take to achieve your goal and the time required to make it happen.
Begin by creating all the action steps you can think of that will bring you to the completion of your goal. This list may seem daunting at first, but after the next step that will disappear.
After you have completed that list, determine what actions you will complete and what actions you are going to delegate. Finally, assign dates to all the actions to define when those actions will be taken and completed. Remember, you are creating this so you can set it up to complete as fast or as slow as you want to go. FYI: Faster is better because you’ll start to gain momentum as you complete each step and being seeing your progress.
Now you’ve got a plan in place that you can go execute!
3. Take Action
Action is the most important, major, vital, critical, essential, significant, paramount, powerful, foremost, overriding key ingredient to achieving your goals.
Did I get my point across?
Nothing happens until you take action. You can think about it, dream about it, focus on it, meditate on it, chant it or vision board it. But until you get off your ass and take action toward achieving your goal, nothing will happen.
4. Stay in Action
This may sound a little silly after step 3. But this is where most goals disappear into the ether, never to be heard of again.
People stop taking action and, obviously, all progress stops. Then they say things like, “I’m not motivated anymore”, “I just need some inspiration” or “I don’t feel like it today”. When I hear this crap my blood boils.
Motivation and inspiration are feelings. Feelings are temporary and have absolutely nothing to do with you taking or not taking action. Have you ever gone to work unmotivated? Have you every gone to work uninspired? Have you every gone to work frustrated? Have you ever gone to work and been upset? Have you ever gone to work and been happy? Have you ever gone to work and been sad? Have you ever gone to work and been excited? Have you ever gone through any combination of these emotions at work?
The answer to all of these questions is yes. And you still went to work, you still took action. Your mood and how you feel is no excuse for not taking action. It may impact the actions you take, but you can still take action.
5. Review Your Actions and Renew Your Goals
Once a week, go back and review your actions. This is a great reality check. This will give you an opportunity to see what you have actually accomplished as opposed to what you think or feel like you accomplished.
Its also a time to celebrate the ground you’ve taken or even the completion of your goal!
Then you can start to explore “WHAT’S NEXT?”
About the Author:
Mr. Karstadt is the founder of 1 TKD Consulting and owns the longest running ITF Taekwon-Do school in Arizona, Karstadt Taekwon-Do in Phoenix, AZ with his father Master David Karstadt. He has been training since 1984, earned his Black Belt at the age of 8 and is currently an internationally renown intstructor teaching the culture, discipline, leadership and business skills of Taekwon-Do in classes and seminars to Instructors around the world. He has been a member of eight U.S. Taekwon-Do Teams and has traveled to 14 different countries competing in Taekwon-Do. He has won numerous medals at the World Championships and in international competition, most notably winning the 2004 World Championships in South Korea with two gold medals and the Men’s Team All Around Trophy. Mr. Karstadt currently resides in uptown Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and three children. Mr. Karstadt can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org