In this post I intend to give you my best strategy to really achieve your goals. With this strategy you’ll reach your goals and do it more quickly than you thought was possible. This strategy is simple, easy to remember, and costs nothing.
There are a couple of great books on the subject, and I’ll link to them at the bottom of this article. The concept is NOT new. It’s been around a long time, and thousands of people have been successful by following this principle, yet it’s so often overlooked I just HAD to write about it. Here are the 4 Simple Steps to REALLY accomplishing your goals:
- Identify your roles in life
- Start with the end
- Back up into the present
Identify Your Roles In Life
The first step to take is to identify what roles you play, or at least which ones you haven’t yet taken to 100% success. It’s probably pretty easy to come up with about 5-8 really important areas of the life you want to live. You don’t have to be there yet – that’s what goals are for. To do the things you’re meant to do, but haven’t done yet. Some examples might be:
- Board Member
- Community Leader
- Faithful giver
- Loyal friend
I found 6. Your mileage may vary, but spending some time honestly working out what you think you were put on this earth to do is most important to your success in reaching your goals. If you don’t have a true purpose, you’ll never have the motivation to do it well.
Start With The End
What is it that you want to accomplish? Picture yourself doing it, being great at it, and enjoying the satisfaction of success in that area. You’re going to repeat this for each area you mentioned in the first step.
After writing it down on paper, I found a good way to help me with this was to use a mindmapping program on a computer and connect it to my daily task list. But that’s just for me. I use computers every day so that was the right fit for me. Maybe you use your phone every day, maybe computers aren’t your thing, and a drawing on a piece of paper sitting on the back of your front door is right tool for you. Whatever it is, do it. It’s important. You must see your goals every day right in front of your face so you can’t forget.
Back Up To The Present
Starting from the end you just envisioned, and repeating for each role you live (or want to live), back up one step to what you need to do in the next 5 years in order to accomplish that goal. If you’re saving to buy a house with cash, maybe 5 years isn’t long enough. Start 10 years out, whatever works for you, make the goal realistic and specific, and start from there.
Once you’ve figured out what you need to do in 5 years’ time in order to reach your goal for this area of your life, write it down, and step back to the 3 year mark. What do you need to do in 3 years’ time in order to be ready to start on the things you need to do in 5 years to reach your goal. Write it down.
Keep stepping backward until you’ve written down key milestones for each area of your life, all the way from the goal itself to what you need to do right now – today.
Whatever that thing is for each area, do it. Today. Right now. Don’t delay, don’t hesitate. Do it. Now. For real. What are you waiting for? You just sat down and planned out your next 5 years. You know pretty much everything you need to do in order to reach your goals. Not only that, you pretty much know that if you don’t do those things, you won’t reach your goals. So get started, get your list done today, and repeat tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.
Look at your list every day, make sure at a minimum that you do what’s on your list, without making any excuses, without accepting no for an answer… and your goals are as good as done.
The One Thing, by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey
Mastering The Rockefeller Habits, by Verne Harnish
XMind Free Mind Mapping Tool for Mac, PC and Linux
XMindLook for connecting XMind to Outlook
XMindSync for Online Todo managers