Whether your goals are for business or personal gain, you need to support yourself throughout the process. Without understanding how to achieve, you won’t reach your goals. Being able to support yourself while chasing your goals start with understanding the best way to reach them. These five ways of working toward your goals will help you reach success.
1. Visualize Your Goals
Supporting yourself begins when you first envision your goals. A daydream is not a goal. Pictures and written ideas help you form your goals. According to Forbes business magazine, visualizing your goals is the first step in achieving them.
Writing down your goals makes them more real. It gives you a guide to use when creating your plan. Surrounding yourself with pictures or representations of your goals helps focus your attention on what you want and limits distractions along the way. You need to support yourself with tangible reminders of what you seek.
Imagine your goal is to take a vacation in the tropics. If all you see when you look out your window is rain or snow, it’s hard to imagine yourself being on that vacation. The dreariness of your surroundings doesn’t create a picture of the sun and sand. If your calendar contains winter clothes shopping and your to-do list is full of shoveling, getting a new umbrella, or putting up the storm windows, you don’ have a clear picture front of you.
If you want to take that vacation, hang a postcard of your tropical destination on your mirror. Every time you look at yourself in the mirror, see yourself on the beach. Make a to-do list to prepare for vacation, including the extra hours you may need to work to afford it or the arrangements you will need to make for your pets or children. To chase your target, you need to be able to visualize it.
2. Create an Action Plan
Goals without plans are only dreams. Once you know what you want, create a plan to achieve it. Your plan needs to have the following:
• Each part should be broken up into steps
• Each step must be reachable
• Each step should build toward your goal
Entrepreneur magazine suggests that making an action plan is a crucial way to achieve your goals. “I will go on vacation” is not an action plan. An action plan needs parts and steps, like “I will work every other Saturday to earn vacation money” or “I will bring my lunch to work to save for a vacation.” Each step must be realistic enough to be reachable. I step that suggests you will skip dinner for a month to save money for vacation isn’t only unreasonable; it’s unhealthy. You would probably spend more on doctor’s bills when you get sick than what you would save by not eating dinner. Each step should also build toward your goals. Deciding to use part of your savings for an unneeded, fancy new coat doesn’t’ help you reach your goals.
3. Get Help When You Need It
Supporting yourself while you chase your targets includes finding others to help you. The Harvard Business Review says that getting help when you need it is necessary to achieve your goals. You may need a mentor, help through taking a class or seminar, or even the help of people around you to organize your goal. You won’t be taking a vacation if you’re saving money, but your partner is spending everything you save.
4. Be Accountable
Once you have an action plan, hold yourself accountable for reaching your goals. Telling other people what your goals are and how you plan to get there makes you accountable to someone other than yourself. The people you tell can encourage and support you in your efforts.
Keeping a journal and setting dates also help you stay accountable. Most people work best when they have a deadline. You may plan to take a vacation someday, but that’s not a practical goal. Planning to save a certain amount of money a month or work extra hours every week keeps you on track to reach your goals.
5. Reset Your Goals When Needed
Murphy’s Law says that what can go wrong will go wrong. While you are busy saving and working extra hard toward your vacation, your car may break, you may need to replace an appliance or the furnace in your home, or your child may need braces. Don’t let these setbacks stop you from reaching your goal. Instead, revise your goal and set a new timetable. If you don’t keep trying, you will never get to take your tropical vacation. Waiting a few months is better than not reaching your goal at all.
Supporting yourself while you chase your goals starts with knowing what you want and then having a clear, measurable plan for achieving it. Hold yourself accountable and get help when you need it. If you don’t reach your goal on the first try, keep at it until you achieve success.
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