1. Write Down All of Your Goals
One of the best ways to make sure you accomplish all of your goals is to commit them to paper as specifically as possible. Writing down goals is a way to transform them from abstract thoughts to concrete goals. For example, many people have a goal of losing weight. Some people simply say, “My goal is to lose a few pounds” and nothing further is done. Instead, write down the goal and a specific date by which to accomplish it in a personal journal or on a piece of paper you can refer to often. For example, write “I will lose 15 pounds by June 3rd of this year.”
2. Create Intermediate Goals
If you are working on a large goal, look for ways to create intermediate goals for you to accomplish along the way. Intermediate goals allow you to experience success and track your accomplishments toward completing the final goal, which may take months or years to meet. For example, consider trying to lose 40 lbs. in one year. Create intermediate goals of losing 15 pounds during the first three months, 10 pounds during the next three months, 10 pounds at the end of the next three months and five pounds in the last three months.
3. Develop Action Plans to Accomplish Your Goals
Write down an action plan detailing the steps needed to accomplish intermediate and long-range goals. The action plan will help you make the small or large changes needed in your daily life to achieve your goals in your career, hobbies and relationships.
Continuing with the example of losing 40 pounds in a year, write the goal at the top of a page of paper, “Lose 15 pounds during the first three months.” Write down the individual steps needed to lose the weight. For example, you can eat 1,600 calories per day through fruits, vegetables and limited meat, drink at least 64 ounces of water and go on a continuous 30 minute walk every day. You can create a daily chart for these tasks, where you can mark the completion of each step.
Action plans for career goals may include details for furthering education, joining organizations, developing career-enhancing relationships, getting certifications and achieving higher positions. Action plans for improving a troubled relationship may detail learning from relationship improvement books, seeking counseling, planning times of uninterrupted communication, improving listening techniques and planning ways to show your appreciation of the other person.
4. Reward Yourself for Achieving Goals
Plan ways to reward yourself after achieving intermediate and final goals. Rewards give you something tangible to look forward to and motivate you to stay on task. Avoid rewards interfering with the goal or future goal, such as eating a large bowl of ice cream every night for a week after losing 15 pounds.
About this Author
James Kitchens has over 15 years of experience counseling individuals and families struggling with relationships, money management, personal well-being, career choice and other life issues through seminars and one-on-one consulting. In addition to his work as a freelance writer, Kitchens is an ordained minister and co-founder of Clear Vision Ministries.