Being ambitious is one of the key human traits that has helped us evolve into intelligent beings with ever-improving technology and sheer willpower. We thrive on ambitions and innovations. However, it’s one thing to have goals but it’s an entirely other beast to take action and bring your goals to fruition. It takes hard work, dedication, and an actual strategy. It can be daunting, so where do you start? Instead of simply writing down a list of goals, we want to help you create a comprehensive strategy from start to finish. Here’s our savvy girl’s guide to organizing, setting and achieving your goals today -and every day!
Step 1: The Foundation – A Solutions-Focused ‘Can-Do’ Attitude
Make no mistake about it, the foundation of success, happiness, and achieving goals is without a doubt a can-do attitude. The greatest catalyst to everything we do is mental strength and tenacity. We simply can not achieve anything without a solutions-focused attitude. You have to get your mind right, first and foremost. Start with our guide: Get Out of a Rut: Effective Ways to Kickstart Motivation Now
Step 2: Create a Goal Map
Organize Strengths and Weaknesses
In order to improve we have to recognize and utilize our strengths as well as recognize and improve our weaknesses. It’s important to identify both in order to create a map to success. You can sketch your Goal Map on a piece of paper or use Word or Google Drive. First, create a branch of your strengths and skills along with ways to use them to take immediate, effective action.
For example someone who is a great writer can use their skills to create a blog, make extra money copyrighting or doing freelance jobs on sites like Elance.com. Use this part of the chart to really brainstorm about how you can best utilize your existing skills.
Next, create a branch of your weaknesses along with solutions of how to improve. For example you may have a really hard time getting exercise due to your schedule or just lack of motivation. Instead of beating yourself up over it, brainstorm solutions. If you’re lacking motivation to exercise you may want to research more enjoyable, entertaining ways to stay active. Such as joining a local team sport or taking dance lessons. When it comes to weaknesses, you must always stay focused on solutions rather than problems. Don’t overwhelm yourself, improvement often comes in baby steps. We ALL have weaknesses -even the most successful people. Be kind to yourself!
After analyzing and thinking through your strengths and weaknesses, you’ll want to set goals. On your goal map, create a branch for your goals down the middle. They should be the visual focal point of your Goal Map. Think about both short and long term goals and create branches for each if you’d like.
Create Action Steps
Create a list of actions you need to take in order to reach your goals. These can be big steps or these can be small steps. Likely you will include a combination of stepping stones and big steps. Either way you’ll want to create a well-thought out list of ideas for taking action.
Setting concrete deadlines is essential to achieving goals. Without deadlines, procrastination can set in. Create deadlines for each action step to stay on track. If you miss a deadline, again, don’t be too hard on yourself. Reset the deadline and keep moving forward regardless.
Get moving TODAY! Not tomorrow, not next Monday, not “when you feel ready” -start right now! Even if it’s a small step, start immediately. I promise you will feel better once you get moving. Always remember: it’s not action that causes stress and lack of hope, it’s inaction! Inaction is the real culprit of being in a rut, depression, lack of confidence etc. Action is what brings you into the light and gives you confidence and further motivation to keep going. So start now! Get the ball rolling ASAP.
Write down what is working and what is not. It’s important to “change it up” if you’re not seeing results with your current plan of attack. Sometimes you have to reset and readjust. It’s part of the process! Success is an on-going journey. You will always be changing and adjusting. You will undoubtedly face adversity but it’s those who keep going in the face of a challenge who ultimately succeed.
The whole point of goal setting is to improve and enjoy some sort of reward, right? Don’t forget to reward yourself when you’ve met your deadlines. Remind yourself that you’re doing a great job. Whether it’s by taking time for yourself to go to the spa for the day or the guilty pleasure of a TV series marathon -don’t forget to have fun and enjoy life!
Achievement doesn’t happen over night and it’s always an on-going process. Even when you meet your initial goals, in order to maintain success, you have to continually evolve and set new goals. So if there’s one thing to always remember it’s to enjoy and be happy during the process regardless of the outcome! Because we will always be thriving toward something it’s important not to forget the overall concept -happiness exists here and now. Don’t put off “being happy” for some idea of what tomorrow will bring.
We hope you enjoyed our guide to setting and achieving goals! You can also download and print this guide and Goal Map here. Feel free to comment below.