By Dr. Thomas Aldridge
This is a follow-up to my previous articles on “Setting Goals.” Now we will explore how you can achieve the goals you have set to make them work in your favor. It is important to recognize that it is easier to attain your goals if you focus on them one at a time. So start easy by picking a goal that fits into your routine or daily schedule, so it can become a habit, which often times builds character.
Any meaningful goal you set will require some kind of character development. It is therefore important to note that sometimes it may be necessary to change your character to get it more aligned with your goals, which will facilitate the transition you are trying to make in your life. You have to also ask yourself if you have what it takes to accomplish the task at hand, then try to identify the missing character qualities and consciously try to develop them. Tell yourself that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to; then approach your goal with a sense of purpose – the kind of purpose that will increase your self-esteem, build your courage, enhance your self-discipline, boost your confidence, and draw on your resourcefulness.
Some people tend to focus on the results rather than the goal, while others might choose to attempt very challenging goals that are difficult to attain. My advice to you is to take baby-steps, and remember that “by the inch you can clinch it.” Your stepping-stones or daily goals should eventually bring you closer to your target. However, do not forget to implement due dates for each step, and remember to regularly evaluate your progress.
You may encounter many roadblocks or distractions on the road to achieving your goals. For example, you may lack the necessary resources such as finances, motivation or physical support; natural causes such as ill health or disasters may develop and derail your timeline and outcome; conflicting schedules with work, home or school, may increase your stress level and make you feel like giving up. But remember, it is always too early to quit.
However, goal achievement requires commitment; the kind that will keep you going even when the progress seems slower than you envisioned, and the target seems to be always out of reach. You also need to be passionate about your goals, yet flexible enough to make the needed adjustments when warranted. Challenge yourself, as this often acts as a source of motivation on your road to success.
Because goal attainment is a learning process, you will probably have to pattern the behaviors of someone who has been successful in the area of your goal. So interact with others who have successfully traveled the road you are on, and do not hesitate to ask for advice or help that will assist in reaching your goal. Also, do not be afraid to take chances. Risks and chances are often opportunities in disguise.
As you review your goals at regular intervals, make sure that you visualize the completed goal, see the target, taste the victory, and try to replace any self-doubt or negative attitude with positive self assurance. Have conversations with yourself about the direction in which you are heading, and how you feel about the progress you have made.
Congratulate yourself on your achievements. Whether big or small, the completion of a goal represents a step towards success. Reward yourself for your hard work with treats you deem appropriate and meaningful, and never forget to be grateful to those who helped along the way.
Goal achievement can be hard work, but I know from experience that it is worth the effort. Remember, it is all about you, and ultimately entirely up to you to pull it off. Remember also, “If your mind can conceive it, your hands can achieve it.”
For comments or feedback, please contact me at: ThomasAldridge@yahoo.com.