5 Simple Steps to Achieve Your Goals by Year’s End

Remember all those New Years Resolutions you decided to make on January 1, 2009?  All those things that you hoped would be different this year? Or those goals you had hoped to achieve?

How’s it going so far?  It might seem hard to believe, but we’re already into September!  If you’ve achieved or are making steady progress toward the goals you set in January, congratulations!

If you’re not achieving the success you had hoped to achieve by this time of the year, I have good news for you.  There’s still time!

Here are 5 Simple Steps You Can Take TODAY to Finish the Year Strong…

1.  Pick the top 3 or 4 things you just HAVE to be, do, have by the end of the year.

2.  Make a simple plan to achieve them.  Just think it through, step by step.  What needs to happen first?  Then what’s next?  And what’s next after that?

3.  Decide how much time and money you’ll need to dedicate for these goals. You might also have to think of some trade-offs, or things that you’ll need to stop doing, or change how you do, if you’re going to be able to get done these 3 or 4 top goals.  For example, you might need to cut back in some areas in order to focus on these goals.

4.  Identify people or resources that can help. Who are the people who can help you achieve these goals?  Ask them for help, or to hold you accountable.  What tools or resources do you need in order to achieve these goals?  Get them and get going.

Remember, late November and the entire month of December are busier times of the year for many.  If that describes you, then make a plan to get these top 3 or 4 things done by the end of November.

5.  Virtualize Your Success. Your mind is a powerful ally in achieving success.  But it is also your worst enemy.  To successfully achieve these goals, you must virtualize your success.

First, Imagine how great you’ll feel at year’s end, knowing that you’ve accomplished your goals.  Second, use the power of your mind to envision how your life is different once these goals have been achieved.  Third, see yourself, in your mind’s eye, taking each step that is needed in order to achieve your goals. Fourth, envision the goal being completed.

Engage in this virtualization process every day.  It’ll help you stay motivated and will retrain your subconscious for success, propelling you toward the successful achievement of your goals by year’s end.

Pillar #10 – Review and Track Your Progress

Welcome back to Life Compass, where I’m sharing my Ten Pillars of Lifestyle Design.  Congratulations on making it to the end!  Here’s what we’ve covered so far in the first nine Pillars:

In this post, we’ll cover the final Pillar, Pillar #10 – Review and Track Your Progress.

A wise person once said, “What is expected must be inspected.”  The point here is that we need to set aside a regular time to inspect or check the progress of our targets or goals.

This is another area where many people fall short in achieving success.  They set out with the best of intentions when they make their goal, but if they don’t visualize their success on a regular basis (Pillar #9) and set aside a time to review and track their progress, they lose sight of the goal and it gets forgotten.

I recommend you set aside at least an hour every week to review and track your progress.  Maybe you choose a time at the beginning of the week or maybe toward the end.

Go over your Master Dream List and add any new ones that come to mind.  Then review your life purpose, values, and Plan of Action.  Are you on track with the goals and deadlines you set?  Have you set aside enough time in your week to accomplish the goals that have the highest priority?  Do you need to adjust your deadlines, or set aside extra time in order to complete them?  Have you achieved any goals that you can celebrate this week?

If you stick with it, the weekly review will become one of your best allies in achieving your dream life, because you’ll have a set time to review your progress, make adjustments, and celebrate successes!

That’s Pillar #10 – Review and Track Your Progress.  I hope these 10 Pillars of Lifestyle Design have been a help to you in designing the life of your dreams.  Now the achievement of those dreams is up to you!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me!

Pillar #9 – Visualize Your Success

Welcome back to Life Compass, where I’m sharing my Ten Pillars of Lifestyle Design.  Congratulations on making it this far!  Here’s what we’ve covered in the first eight Pillars:

In this post, we’ll cover Pillar #9 – Visualize Your Success.

You already possess one of the most powerful tools that will help you succeed in achieving your dreams and goals.  Master it, and nothing will stand in your way.  Ignore its power, or use it wrongly as many people do, and it will surely keep you from achieving success.  What am I talking about?  Your mind!

One of the biggest reasons people achieve success is that they regularly visualize their success.  In other words, they make time every day to create a picture, or a movie, in their mind’s eye of the things they want to bring into reality – whatever it is they want to do, have, or achieve.

Professional athletes and highly successful people use this technique regularly.  One of the most famous examples is Jim Thorpe, known as one of the greatest athletes of all time.  He was a Native American, All-American, Olympic champion, star NFL running back and Major League Baseball player.

On his way to the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Thorpe and his fellow Olympians sailed aboard the ocean liner Finland. As others trained on a cork track laid on a deck, Thorpe sat nearby in silence. A sportswriter named Francis Albertani asked him, “What are you doing, Jim? Thinking of your Uncle Sitting Bull?”  “No,” Thorpe said, “I’m practicing the broad jump. I’ve just jumped 23 feet eight inches. I think that can win it.”

Thorpe, who preferred visualization to actual workouts, did in fact win the broad jump event in the Olympic decathlon!  He also won three more of the 10 decathlon events en route to the gold medal. He also won four of five pentathlon events to earn a second gold.

How does visualization work?  When you visualize an outcome you want over and over again, you build “cells of recognition” in your memory bank.  This helps you become consciously and acutely aware of everything that can help you achieve the visualized outcome that you desire.

When you continuously focus on an idea or image in your mind, you program every cell in your body and mind to work toward achieving that idea or image.  Once you impress it into the subconscious part of you, it eventually becomes ‘fixed’ and you automatically attract and move towards that which you desire.

The reason athletes do this is because they want to condition their mind in such a way that the body automatically behaves the way they want it to without effort.  They become “unconsciously competent”.

The same is true for you!  If you visualize the success you want over and over again, your body will eventually automatically do whatever it must to make the image a physical reality.

Take the time to review the Goals you’ve set in your Plan of Action.  Write out a vivid, detailed description, or draw a picture, for each one.  Then review that description or picture in your mind at least three times a day.  I’d suggest morning, noon, and bedtime.

For example, if one of your Goals is to have a better relationship with your spouse and children at home, visualize yourself coming home at the end of the work day, and greeting each member of your family with love.  Visualize sitting around the dinner table having a great conversation about each person’s day.  Whatever it is that you want to see happen, see it happen first in your mind.  Make a picture, or movie, in your mind’s eye and review it over and over.  Eventually, it’ll become a reality.

That’s it for Pillar #9 – Visualize Your Success.  Next time we’ll cover Pillar #10 – Review and Track your Progress.

Pillar # 7 – Create Your Plan of Action

Welcome back to Life Compass, where I’m sharing my Ten Pillars of Lifestyle Design.  Congratulations on making it this far!  You’ve invested a lot of time and energy in following the first six Pillars:

That work is about to culminate as I share Pillar #7 – Create Your Plan of Action.  In this step, you’ll synthesize the work you’ve done so far into an action plan that will propel you to achieve your targets (goals).

  1. Refine and rewrite your Life Purpose onto one sheet of paper titled “Life Purpose”.
  2. Review your list of Personal Values and make a master list of your most important values.  Title this page “Master List of Personal Values”.
  3. Review your list of Goals for each life area and make a master list of your most important targets to work on for the next season of life (I suggest three months).  Prioritize them by order of importance and indicate which Life Area they’re from.  I suggest you work on at least one target in each life area per season, but I recognize that some will require more time and energy than others.  Next, set a due date for when the target should be attained or completed.
  4. Make a separate “Goal Planning Worksheet” for each one of your seasonal targets.  At the top of each sheet, write today’s date, the Life Area that this target corresponds with, and the due date. Leave space at the top for a completion date, which you’ll fill-in when the target is completed.  Next, write out the target using the SMART format (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Tangible).  Then list the benefits you’ll receive by achieving this Target.  Feel free to write a few sentences – these will help motivate you to achieve the target.  *HINT* Make sure you ask yourself “Why?” several times until you get to the answer that will really motivate you!  Next, list the obstacles that could keep you from successfully attaining the target.  Next, list some ways you can avoid or overcome the obstacles.  Lastly, identify the specific action steps that are necessary for you to achieve this target.  You might list them in order and put a target date next to each one…or you might create a mindmap or use some other kind of chart or timeline.

That’s Pillar #7 – Create Your Plan of Action.  We have a little more work to do on your Target Planning Worksheets.  But we’ll save it for Pillar #8 – Identify People or Tools that Can Help.

Pillar #6 – Set Well-Defined Goals

Welcome back to Life Compass, where I’m sharing my Ten Pillars of Lifestyle Design. So far, we’ve covered:

Now I’ll share Pillar #6 – Set Well-Defined Goals. In this step, you will set targets, or goals, for each Life Area.

First, look back over your Master Dream List, and all the other worksheets you’ve done so far, and write down any targets or goals that come to your mind re: each life area.  What are the things you’d like to do, change, or see happen?  What are the things you’ve always said you should do but haven’t done?  Write it all down- get it on paper and off your mind.

You obviously, won’t have the time, energy or resources to tackle everything on your lists all at once.  So, in this next step, refine your list by picking the top three or four targets/goals for each Life Area.

There are two ways to approach this step.  You could choose to pick the targets that will help propel you the farthest, fastest in achieving the change you want to see in that Life Area.  Or, you could pick targets that are the “lowest hanging fruit”, that is, the ones that are the easiest to achieve and cost the least in terms of time, energy and resources.

You might even choose a combination:  pick one or two that will propel you farther, and one or two that will give you some quick “wins”.  There’s no right or wrong here, just make a conscious choice of which tactic is right for you.

That’s Lifestyle Design Pillar #6 – Set Well-Defined Goals.  Next time we’ll cover Pillar #7 – Create Your Plan of Action.