6 Powerful Tips to Accomplish Your Biggest Goals in 2019
By now you’ve probably heard plenty about the importance of setting goals. Goals keep you positively focused on moving forward instead of dwelling on the past. They help you break up your biggest dreams into manageable steps. They can also help boost your confidence, provide personal accountability, and lead to greater success and influence.
We’re already a week into the new year which also means most people will be giving up on their goals sometime in the next week. This isn’t a post about why you should set goals or even how to do it. I’m assuming by now, you already know to write down your goals on paper(typing them on a computer is good too, but your brain gives them a little extra boost when you physically write them out). Even though most people give up on their goals early on in the year, it’s never too late to set or re-set goals for the year.
If you’re like me, you’ve written out goals for a year and then stashed them away for the next twelve months. By the time you stumble on your list again, it’s December and you’ll probably only get to check a handful of goals off the list. Then bow your head in shame.
If you’re taking the time to write out your goals, achieving them is obviously pretty important to you. So let’s talk about how to accomplish your biggest goals of the year (in no particular order).
1. Brainstorm Twenty Actions
Hopefully you have some goals on your list that intimidate you. These are the ones that can change your entire life both for the benefits of the accomplishments and the character you develop while pursuing them. Quitting a dead-end job, doubling your income, paying off all of your debt, getting your book published, running for public office, traveling the world, and starting a new business are all good examples of life-changing goals that can seem overwhelming.
When you’re staring at your list of goals, pick out the one(or ones) that will have the most impact on your life. Now take a separate sheet of paper and write the important goal across the top. Then start to list out as many ideas as you can think of for how to achieve that goal and don’t stop until you have twenty ideas!
You’ll find that the first five or six ideas will come pretty easily, but coming up with another ten will be challenging and often, your best idea won’t come until you reach the twentieth idea. Once you have twenty ways to accomplish your goal, get to work on your best ideas.
2. Review Obsessively
People who are above average at reaching their goals are good at reviewing their goals several times throughout the year, but to knock a really big goal out of the park, you’ll need to get obsessive.
The best tool to keep yourself obsessed is a daily journal or planner. The key word being daily. You should read over your biggest goals every day! Big goals take relentless effort and if you’re hoping you’ll accomplish your goals by working on them when the mood strikes, expect to be disappointed.
To really crush a goal, start every day(even the weekends) by writing down your goal along with three specific things you can do that day to help you achieve it. Review your progress each day. If your goal is to lose weight this year, you’ll want to review your weight daily, but also review your daily actions. If you listed out three things to do that day to help you reach your goal, did you do them? If not, why? What will you do differently tomorrow to be succesful?
3. Take Charge of Your Habits
You don’t have as much will power as you think. The more decisions you make in a day, the more worn out your discipline muscle will get and your ability to make good decisions will go out the window. Habits are things we do without even really thinking about them.
Creating a good habit is easier said than done, but it’s the number one way to accomplish a big goal. The easiest way to create a new habit is to identify a current habit that may not align with your broader goals and replace it with a new one.
For example, pretend your goal is to write a book and say you spend thirty minutes browsing social media first thing in the morning. You’d probably agree that scrolling through Instagram isn’t going to help you accomplish your goal. Still, you can recognize that you’re committed to repeating this action consistently every day. It’s a habit.
Think about what triggers this habit. If the trigger is simply your alarm going off and you reaching for your phone, you can trick yourself into a new habit by grabbing your laptop when the alarm goes off instead. Firing up your computer will give you many of the same stimuli(glowing screen and hands-on interaction) as your phone so it will be an easy transition for you to make. The only difference is that you can spend thirty minutes writing your book on a laptop instead of scrolling social media on your phone.
Work on identifying your other daily habits and figure out which ones aren’t moving you towards your goals. Think about what triggers these habits and then introduce a new response to that trigger that’s more closely aligned to what you want to achieve.
4. Have a Plan
Your goals are going to take time, effort and also cooperation from friends and family. One thing every goal takes to accomplish is time. You need to decide when you’re going to work on your goal.
Some goals, like visiting an old friend, don’t take much time and all you’ll need to do is block off a day or two on your calendar. Other goals, like running a marathon, are going to take up tons of time to actually achieve. While running the marathon itself will only take a few hours, you’ll have to figure out when to schedule months of training runs(and recovery for that matter). Whatever your goals are, you’ll need a calendar to schedule when you’re going to work on them and take the time to understand what your days will need to look like to have success.
You’ll also probably need to discuss your goal plans with a spouse or other friends and family to make sure you’re all on the same page or let them know you might need their help. If you have kids and a family and hope to run a marathon, you’ll need to work with your spouse so you can figure out a schedule that works for everyone.
5. Set Goals With Synergy
If at least some of your goals work together, you’ll be able to achieve even more. I like to set a lot of different types of goals. A little over two years ago I set a goal to run a marathon and to write a book in one year. The goals were very different, but both required the same steady day-to-day commitment to achieve and this meant my goals were competing with each other. Ultimately, I had to give up on finishing my book that year even though writing the book would have had a much bigger impact on my life than running the marathon.
Since then, I’ve paid more attention to setting goals that work well together. For example, I might set a goal to increase my income by a certain amount for the year. I could could also set goals to take skill enhancing classes, read ten financial planning books, and put on an investment seminar. Each goal is an accomplishment on its own, but they also complement each other. When your goals have synergy, there’s less need to sacrifice one goal for another. Taking a class on public speaking would help me accomplish my goal of hosting an investment seminar and hosting the seminar would help me reach my income goals.
6. Share Your Goal
There’s only so much you can do to hold yourself personally accountable. Some goals are good to keep private, but most of the time, you need some outside motivation.
Sharing your goal with one or more people can help give you an extra push just when you need it. Getting that support from friends and family when you feel like giving in can make a huge difference. Depending on your personality, however, an even greater source of motivation can come from people who don’t think you have what it takes to accomplish your goal. Proving doubters wrong can really help you light a fire to get things done.
You don’t need to share with everyone of course, and sometimes it can be really exciting to blow people away with a huge accomplishment out of the blue.