WORK HARD - Achieving Your Goals and Setting Yourself Up For Success

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There is arguably no better satisfaction in life than achieving a goal.

The intricacies and determination necessary to follow a plan through and then witnessing the culmination to your own ends is dare I say arousing. Do you have what it takes to make your own success?

Selfishness, growing up we were told this was a bad word. In fact the definition is exactly the driving factor of capitalism and thus the majority of our civilization; “concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.” First, let’s be perfectly clear. Focus isn’t a zero sum game. The act of being focused is simply the pursuit of your own goals.

Now, regardless of what you desire, whether it be your dream job, a new position, or graduate school admission, the pursuit of that dream is front and center. I can guarantee the person who has the strongest interest in seeing you reach that goal is yourself.

The first place to start is defining the goal. For me this is a critical aspect because setting expectations to low doesn’t reward me with the same satisfaction an arduous goal provides. At the same time, an unrealistically strict goal fails because the objective is to complete the goal. A goal that is ultimately never completed is useless. After I define the goal, I write it down. And I write it down everywhere! I write it down in my planner. I write it on a stack of post-its then stick them on mirrors, throw them in draws. A constant reminder to keep me focused on the task at hand.

Set Goals

So what’s the difference between the person who reached their goal and the person who has not? Simply, the former has a plan.

For my latest goal I am focusing on accountability for success. For this particular goal there is a six week timeline. In the large scheme of things, six weeks is a very short time especially given the nature and purpose of goals. Ideally a goal should be something you strive for that will facilitate continued future success. Therefore, the next six weeks this goal and everything that it takes to complete it will be paramount to almost everything else in my life.

A fundamental question that needs to be asked throughout the pursuit of a goal is; what have you actually done to set yourself up for success? Accountability is critical. It’s great to define goals and even better to create a plan. Now its time to take action!

Personally, at the beginning of each week I think about a couple of things that I could do that will aid in my success. Then at the end of each week I grab one of my rigorously worn out yellow legal pads and take note of what I have actually done that week in furtherance of my goal. If at the end of a week I have nothing written down, I’ll be giving myself a swift kick in the butt.

The weekend is a great time to relax and reflect on life. Next Sunday instead of sleeping in, wake up an hour earlier, brew some coffee, turn on some tunes, and sit and contemplate your next goal. Think about something you’ve longed for and start formulating a plan on how you are going to reach that goal.

Here’s to your success!