Achieving Your Goals: Advice From an Expert
I wouldn’t say there’s any big secrets when it comes to making goals or keeping resolutions.
There’s no real secret formula. However, research can help identify some common practices that can help you become more successful in achieving your goals.
So let’s see what the evidence says about those who fail from those who successfully attain their goals.
Psychologist and researcher Richard Wiseman is one such gentlemen that has studied at goal success.
Richard has also written several successful books. In his book 59 Seconds: Change Your Life in Under a Minute, he explains that the self-help industry is full of advice that is counter productive to what research has found on reaching your goals.
He scoured the research literature to find what really works for people. He found that people who did these 5 things were about 20% more successful in achieving their goals.
- They broke their goal down into a series of smaller steps.
- Told their friends and family what they were trying to achieve.
- Regularly reminded themselves about the benefits of obtaining their goals.
- Gave themselves a small reward each time they obtained one of their small goals.
- They mapped out their progress on spreadsheet, journal, etc.
Advice on Resolutions
Richard also has his own website. He gives another 10 pieces of advice when it comes to resolutions.
While he speaks specifically to resolutions, a lot of it is solid advice for goal attainment in general. So here’s some other things he wants people to keep in mind to help the cross the finish line.
- Make only one resolution, your chances of success are greater when you channel energy into changing just one aspect of your behavior.
- Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to think about your resolution and instead take some time out a few days before and reflect upon what you really want to achieve.
- Avoid previous resolutions; deciding to re-visit a past resolution sets you up for frustration and disappointment.
- Don’t run with the crowd and go with the usual resolutions. Instead think about what you really want out of life.
- Break your goal into a series of steps, focusing on creating sub-goals that are concrete, measurable, and time-based.
- Tell your friends and family about your goals, thus increasing the fear of failure and eliciting support.
- Regularly remind yourself of the benefits associated with achieving your goals by creating a checklist of how life would be better once you obtain your aim.
- Give yourself a small reward whenever you achieve a sub-goal, thus maintaining motivation and a sense of progress.
- Make your plans and progress concrete by keeping a handwritten journal, completing a computer spreadsheet or covering a notice board with graphs or pictures.
- Expect to revert to your old habits from time to time. Treat any failure as a temporary set-back rather than a reason to give up altogether.
Keep This in Mind
In business, and in life, it’s good to be aware of and implement best practices. There’s something else I’d like you to keep in mind, though.
Everyone is different. We all come from different backgrounds and experiences. And we’re all not starting from the same place.
When bloggers like myself talk about the the best ways to make and achieve goals, we rarely mention the fact not everything may work.
Some things might work for you. Other things might not. It’s because we’re all wired differently. Remember, also, that just because something doesn’t work for you, doesn’t mean you should immediately give up.
Instead, take a look at what happened with an analytical mind. Find out what didn’t work and why, and adjust your method accordingly.
You only stop improving when you stop trying.