We all want to be successful in our lives. We all want to have a decent education, a stable career, financial independence, and a life free of worries and hardships. This is the dream of any human living on this planet. But not all can reach their coveted goals. We all aspire to reach our goals yet we fail somewhere along the path. Why is that? Where do we falter? Why does success remain elusive to so many among us when it comes to achieving our self-defined goals? Here, we would like to answer these questions in the light of some research-based strategies that will help you reach your goals and realize your true potential.
But first, we should know why is it important to set goals? Can we be successful without goal-setting? The answer is, no. Goals help define your life. They give you a vision. A destination that you want to reach. Without goals, you are just like a flying paper rotating in circles or going from here to there. You do not want that for yourself so you must define the goals of your life. Be them short-term, mid-term, or long-term. There are no hard or fast rules that define the time-frame of these goals. You can set them according to your convenience but there must be some goals that you aim to achieve in your life.
Research-based strategies for achieving your goals.
Now that you know about the importance of goals, let us share with you some time-tested and research-based strategies for achieving those goals;
1- Set SMART(ER) goals:
SMART goals have become a thing of the past, now researchers have added new letters to this acronym. By SMARTER we mean goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic or relevant, time-bound, evaluated, and re-adjusted. These are easy to understand and simple concepts. We need not emphasize too much on them. Whenever you set goals for yourself, keep that in mind that your goals need to be SMARTER and then set to go about them. For more on goal-setting u can click here
2- Actionable plans:
After setting SMARTER goals, it is time you break them down into actionable plans. What are the actionable plans? These are small tasks that you must perform to reach that goal. For example, if your goal is to get a job in the next 45 days, the actionable plans will be to start looking for one. Advertise your CV on job hunting sites, look for job openings online or in the papers, ask your friends and acquaintances about jobs in their circles, look for jobs in other cities or possibly other countries, etc. You should prioritize your plans and start acting on them one after the other.
3- Write them down:
Once you have set SMARTER goals, and broken them down into actionable plans, you must write them down somewhere. It should be your writing desk, your screensaver, home screen, whatever place that you look at daily. Studies show, by constantly looking at your goals and getting them ingrained in your mind your brain starts working on achieving them. It will set the pattern of your life in such a way that you will start getting closer to your goals.
4- Share with your friend:
Professor Gail Matthews believes that sharing your goals with your close friend or family member will help you achieve them. He performed an experiment that concluded that your capability to achieve your goals increases by 33% if you share them with your friend. The idea is that you share your goals with your friend and then keep updating him or her about its progress. That keeps you on track in ultimately achieving them.
Another important strategy for reaching your goals is self-accountability. Psychologists believe that nobody knows a person better than he. At the end of the day, you are responsible for your good or bad deeds. So, it is about time you start to be accountable for your own goals as well. The mental satisfaction you will achieve when you realize that you are on course in achieving your goals is the ultimate reward you could ask for.
6-The 80/20 rule:
The 80/20 rule or the Pareto Principle states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the efforts. It is the fine art of identifying and differentiating between the vital few and the trivial many. Once you have done that, it will be easier for you to prioritize. You should focus on those efforts that are continuing to show you progress and good results and leave the rest.
7- Time management:
For achieving anything in life effective management of time is the key. You cannot hope to get any success if you keep wasting your precious time in pointless pursuits. You should know what are your distractions and how best you can avoid them. You will have to maintain a healthy amount of self-discipline in you. Nowadays, you can employ technology to aid you in time management. Some apps and programs can help you do that. The famous 4-quadrant time management system is also there. You divide your time into four quadrants which are
- Manage: The problems, etc.
- Focus: On your goals and plans.
- Avoid: Disturbances and distractions
- Limit: Time-wasting
At the end of the day, calculate how much time you are spending on each quadrant and improve upon yourself where correction is due. Here is the link to a course that will help you manage time.
These are some important strategies that we believe will help you move closer to your cherished goals and one day achieve them. These are concrete strategies that have been scientifically proven and backed by exhaustive research. There can be more strategies as well, you can invent one or two of your own; whatever rocks your boat. We hope you will achieve your goals and see all the success in the world that you so rightly deserve.