Setting goals becomes a habit that can really get you going.
But what are the habits that will help you complete those goals?
Every motivational speaker and leadership development expert will encourage you to set goals.
These are critical to your overall growth.
Goals help us achieve:
- greater direction in life
- better focus and increased productivity
- higher levels of motivation
These habits will help you reach your goals.
Habit #1: Have a dream
It all starts with a detailed vision of what you want to accomplish with your life.
Add color and dimension to your dream.
What could your life really look like?
Make sure that you include the whole picture of what you are doing, where you are living, what your lifestyle is like, and who you are with.
Imagine it with all the force you can muster in your imagination.
Habit #2: Set many micro goals
Dreams are often so big that they seem way too big and the magnitude can overwhelm you.
(If your dream does not overwhelm you, you are not dreaming big enough.)
But don’t be overwhelmed day to day.
Move the piano an inch at a time and create the journey to the dream day by day.
What do you need to do today to make your dream come true in the long run?
Take time to really think about it before you go to bed or when you first get up.
What are the one or two things that I must do today if I hope to ultimately succeed in my dreams?
Then go do that one thing.
Habit #3: Create a purpose for each goal
Goals by themselves are awesome, but if they lack context in the big picture, then you may come up with an excuse to swear it off.
Fitness is easy to illustrate.
Give your goals purpose.
I exercise and eat right because I want to be healthy at 100 and able to be active in my old age.
That is the purpose of a daily workout and run.
Now I may also have more short-term goals, break a world record, complete a marathon, etc, and those are also a goal with purpose.
I don’t want to get a “did not finish” result that will be published in the paper.
I don’t want to look silly.
For most of us, that is purpose enough.
A negative purpose can also work.
I don’t want to end up in a nursing home someday.
From time to time, I visit loved ones in the nursing home, and that always motivates me to get out and move.
You establish a habit of filling your goals with unbelievable purpose.
Habit #4: Understand the consequences and rewards for each goal
One of the strongest motivators I have found is understanding fully the consequences of my choices.
This applies to my goals.
Consequences of not giving my wife the attention that she wants: our marriage won’t be able to handle the difficult times that always come up.
Rewards of giving my wife the attention she wants: well, I think you know.
Every goal has a consequence or reward that we need to be aware of if we don’t want to fall short.
If I eat lots of pie and don’t exercise, I am more likely to get obese and have other health concerns.
Considering the consequences and rewards strengthens my goals.
Habit #5: Wake up early
Obviously, if everyone did this, it would not be as effective.
But I get at least a two-hour head start on most of the people I work with.
What that head start gets me are peace and relaxation.
While they are stressing about how they will get a project done, I have already crossed the finish line and am heading home to spend time with my family.
Note: Getting up early is not always easy.
You will hate life for the first five minutes.
But that feeling passes quickly enough, and you can get started with your daily preparation.
For me, this starts with a cup of coffee, thinking/meditation/prayer time, reading, and exercise.
After a good workout, I eat breakfast and then prepare for work.
When I arrive at the office, I am off running, and no one can catch me.
On those days I have slept in, I don’t get going at full speed until almost 11:00 a.m. and am already behind the power curve.
Habit #6: Make sure you have balanced goals
Most of you reading this blog are complete and total people.
Some of you read like crazy but never exercise.
Some of you exercise but never read.
You are living lopsided and are not fully developed.
Live deliberately and work to have goals that impact your social networks, including family, work associates, and friends.
Have goals that develop your fitness endurance, strength, and flexibility.
Exercise your brain, read, attend classes, listen to podcasts, and do puzzles.
Develop your spirit through whatever practice that your faith encourages.
Meditate on inspirational videos and quotes if you are without faith or a faith group.
Habit #7: Evaluate how you are doing
How did you do today?
You feel successful but were you really just busy?
How effective are your goals?
Evaluate how your interactions with others went and how your personal training is going.
Did I do what I set out to do this week?
Did I aim too low, or am I aiming just right for my goals?
If you fell short, then ask yourself why.
Is that a legit reason?
Growing up, I was a hardcore Boy Scout so I will routinely evaluate my character against the scout laws.
Reminding myself of those standards seems to keep me more on track toward being the man I want to be.
Habit #8: Find partners
Getting others to share your life with is a strong habit to get into.
Tell others your goals and what you want to accomplish.
Ask for their help if possible.
These partners will offer you insight, support, and help you stay committed.
Parties are more fun with people you already know, and success is more fun when shared with others.
Habit #9: Share your goals publically
In this age of social media, we can raise the bar easily and tell the world what we aim for.
Routinely come back to it and be honest.
What a great motivator!
I will need to come back and tell folks I failed.
So, I better not fail.
Have your friends, family, and others ask about your goals and how you are doing.
I hate to admit failure, and if I tell people my goals, I will have to accomplish them or have the pain of making that confession.
Habit #10: Write them down
The goal is not real until you take the time to write it down.
Until that time, it is wishful thinking or simply a dream.
Writing it down makes it real and clarifies what you want to accomplish.
Check out this article for more reasons to write your goals out!
What will you do today?
Pick one habit off this list and start doing it today.
Then, keep doing it for 21 days.
Pay attention to the differences it made in your life.
Then, come back to this list and implement one or two more!
In the comment section below, let us know which habit you are most excited about.
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