Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Flexing Your Success Muscle: 4 Keys To Achieving Your Goals
By Jeanette Henderson
Are you continually falling short or your goals? Do you wonder why other people seem to be more successful than you? Do you feel like success is such a struggle for you?
Everyone has grappled with failure from time to time. The diet you gave up on. The dream job, awarded to someone else. The relationship disappointments.
Whether your goals are little, like eating more vegetables, or BIG, like starting your own business so you can quit your day job, there are specific, proactive steps you can set in motion to experience more successes in your life.
The more you learn to “flex your success muscle,” the stronger it will become. Your successes will build upon one another, giving you even greater confidence to tackle the challenges in your life.
So, here are a few ideas to start you on the fast track to success:
1. Investigate, Decide, Take Action
Sometimes your first step toward setting a goal is to INVESTIGATE. Don’t overlook this step because this is where you research your options.
This is especially true if your goal is to overcome a problem. Let’s say you’re struggling to pay your bills each month and your finances are a mess. In this example, your first step would be to analyze the last six months and investigate exactly where you’ve spent your money, breaking the expenditures down into categories such as food, utilities, rent, etc.
Only then can you take the next step, which is to DECIDE how to change things.
Perhaps your analysis has revealed that you are spending way too much money eating out at restaurants. Then, you can decide to do some meal and grocery planning so you’ll be better prepared to cook at home. You may also decide on a budget for each category and commit to keeping track of your expenses for the next three months. Now you have a plan!
Your final step is to take ACTION. Follow through on your plan and things will begin to change for you. Action is what takes your goal from idea to reality … and THAT is how change happens! Break down your goals into simple step-by-step actions and then follow through.
2. Start Small
Many people feel unable to achieve their goals because in the past, they’ve set lofty, unrealistic goals that are so difficult to accomplish, they end up throwing in the towel … and feeling like a failure.
Sometimes it’s better to start with very tiny, achievable goals that you KNOW you can accomplish. So, for example, if your goal is to lose 30 pounds and get in great shape but in the past you’ve had a hard time getting to the gym, then try setting a very achievable goal of walking two times a week for the first several weeks. Then, as this becomes routine, you can add to your workout schedule.
Instead of going on a crash diet, adopt one or two healthy new habits each week, such as eliminating soda and sugar. As you experience these little successes, you can make your goals more challenging.
If you have a big goal, such as starting a business, try breaking this bigger goal down into smaller, more achievable chunks. Small successes will give you the confidence to tackle bigger goals. Success breeds success!
3. Make An Appointment With YOURSELF
Life is full of distractions. If you’re having trouble carving out time to work toward your goals, there are some creative things you can do to keep yourself on track.
One trick is to make an appointment … with YOU!
If you’re one of those people who thinks “well, I’ll just get to that when I can,” you’re setting yourself up for failure.
The key to success is to plan out your week, making your goals a PRIORITY! Then, create reminders for yourself through your phone, through Google Calendar or Outlook or whatever you use to keep track of your schedule.
Planning and scheduling are key … and it never hurts to receive a reminder to keep you on track!
4. Be Accountable To Someone Else
Things come up from time to time and that’s understandable. But, if you find you are using excuses to avoid the hard work that goes into achieving a goal, then you need to recognize this as an obstacle you are creating for yourself.
You may be deliberately finding reasons not to go to the gym or you may avoid writing that blog post for your business because … well, it’s tough work!
If you’re prone to excuses and procrastination, what you may need is an accountability partner. This person can be a coach, a trainer, a mentor, a colleague, or a friend who shares your goal.
Having an accountability partner can help you push past your resistance and can often be the difference between success and failure. People who are accountable to someone other than themselves often have a higher rate of success in achieving their goals.
Try using these tips in your personal life and in your business and watch your successes grow day by day. And, don’t forget to reach out for help when you are struggling. Remember, the only true way to fail is to give up BEFORE you are successful.
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