Until I found these tips, I was struggling with my goals. No matter how hard I tried, I wasn’t making significant progress. Hopefully you will find some of these tips valuable and get some hints on how to achieve your goals.
Everyone wants to fulfill their dreams and goal setting looks like a pretty intuitive thing.
But there are two main things going on:
First, it’s a game of psychology. You just need to know how your brain plays tricks on you.
Second, there are strategy and techniques that will help you.
Most people abandon their goals because they mess up the psychology and they don’t know the effective strategies and techniques.
So, achieving a goal becomes hard.
And what do we do will stuff that’s hard? We abandon it…
Actually, I like to say that:
Achieving a goal is simple, but it’s not easy.
But you can make it easy if you have the right mindset and a good set of effective techniques.
Let me share some of the most powerful stuff I have discovered so far…
1. Be grateful for your progress so far
Few people know that this is the keystone habit for achieving goals.
This is simple but crucial and that’s why it’s my number one.
This may seem familiar to you…
I would set a goal and plan some action. Then I would not do the action for some reason.
Then I felt guilty because I didn’t do what I wanted to do.
This causes negative emotions.
Subconsciously and even on conscious level, I would lose confidence that I can achieve the goals I set (no matter what the goals is).
This is the basis for procrastination and lack of progress. We just don’t have the confidence that we can make it.
Who want’s to feel bad all the time?
Nobody. That’s why we just throw out the list with goals. It may lead you to negative emotions.
Gratitude fixes all this.
Just take it easy on yourself.
If you create a daily habit just for a few minutes to express gratitude for the progress you achieved so far, you will gain huge confidence.
The trick is powerful because you can’t be grateful and feel negative emotions at the same time.
After you do this, you will see two things will happen:
1. You will start to see progress with your goals;
2. You will want to set and achieve more goals because it feels great and you start building more confidence.
This leads to the next tip:
2. If you set fewer goals, you will achieve more in the long term
This is another mistake that may stop you.
If you focus on fewer goals, you will achieve much more.
How does this work?
If you have like 20 goals, you will dilute your energy between all goals and achieve none of them.
Ideally, you will have a maximum of 3 goals per quarter.
Less is more
Theoretically one is best, but in practice you often will have to wait for something to happen. And if you have no next actions for a specific goal, you can choose an action for another goal.
I have had 5 goals, 7 goals, 10 goals, 12 goals, but for me a maximum of 7 works. If I have more of them, it doesn’t work.
I tend to be an overachiever and having only 3 goals is very hard for me, although I know it works better. So I often break my own rule and have 5 to 7 goals.
But if you go with more than 7, it’s clear path to failure.
Set less goals and you will achieve more.
Do you stand to gain more clarity on how to achieve your goals? There is much more…
3. You don’t need a detailed plan, you only need to know the next actionable step
I’ve done this mistake for too long now…
But finally I got it.
I used to even create huge Gantt charts in Microsoft Project to plan my projects…
It would look like a mess with hundreds of lines on a chart.
That was a total failure!
I listed every step, every task that I have to do to achieve the goal.
It was exhausting and cost me so much energy that I abandoned my goal at the planning stage.
Things are much simpler now.
I don’t need to know the whole picture, the whole plan.
I just need to know the next actionable step.
The next action is so simple and so powerful. I first learned about it from David Alen, author of the book “Getting things done“, which I highly recommend.
This is a key technique if you want to learn how to achieve your goals.
I had the pleasure of meeting David at a seminar.
I ask myself: “what is the next action that I can perform to advance this goal?”
I may come up with 2-3 steps, but I need only one.
I write it down.
I do this for each goal. At the end, I will have one actionable step for each goal.
Planning the whole goal takes 2 to 3 hours!
Figuring the next action takes about 5 minutes. 10 minutes if you are stuck.
4. If you find a goal buddy, you will increase your success by 10x and learn how to achieve your goals
This is so powerful.
If you have an accountability partner, which we call “a goal buddy”, your progress will skyrocket.
This is how we started with Nikolay.
This is why this whole website exists. We found this out (and other valuable techniques) and wanted to share them with the world.
Your partner will hold you accountable for your progress.
No more procrastination in front of the TV when you stated that you will go three times per week to the gym.
Would you like to break your agreement and look like a person who cannot be counted on in front of somebody whose opinion matters to you?
Of course not…
When things get tough, when the daily madness starts to take over, when an event happens and you just stop progress with your goals.
Then your goal buddy comes and saves the day.
But even with a goal buddy, you …
5. You absolutely need to review your goals once per week
Let’s combine two powerful concepts with a third one.
You have the goal buddy and you want to have one actionable task each week.
So, why not do a weekly review call with your buddy?
You call your buddy (works best if you have set time each week). Our call is Sunday 5 p.m.
During the call you take turns and everybody tells the other one what was completed during the current week and what the next actions for the next week are.
Your goal buddy will always ask you questions that provoke a lot of insights on how to achieve your goals.
Most of the time your buddy won’t advise you, he will just ask a question and you will come up with the answers.
It’s that simple … and it’s super effective.
If you don’t have a goal buddy yet, you would still want to do the weekly review! It’s just as valuable, just a little bit harder.
We are planning to create a free app which will be a digital “goal buddy”. It will take some time, but it will be a super useful app 🙂
6. Revise, delete or change every quarter
In 3 months time, you will know more about your goals than you do right now.
And when you have more experience and information, you might want to change things around.
That’s why it’s useful to sit down each quarter, take some time (like 2-3 hours) and think deeply about the goals and answer questions like
Why is this goal important for me?
You even have the freedom to delete all your goals and start from scratch.
After this quarterly review, you would like to have full clarity why you
You don’t need to know how you are going to achieve the whole goal, but you absolutely need to know why it is important to you.
7. Start with your goals now
I hope that I helped you to learn a bit more about how to achieve your goals.
No matter how much you read about goal setting and how wonderfully useful it is, your goals won’t happen by themselves.
Just start… start now.
Take a sheet of paper and create a list of small tasks that you will complete this week.
If you have no list with goals, create one now. It may not be perfect, but it’s your first draft.
When you start to take actions, you will find out that maybe some goals were not for you, update them.
Don’t worry about making it all perfect.
All it matters is to start now.
So, do yourself a favor…. start now.
And, one more thing …
Just before you start. If you like this article, share it with your friends 🙂