The ability to achieve is within each of us. It is possible to achieve our goals just like Henry Ford, Leonardo da Vinci, Helen Keller, Amelia Earhart, and countless people you’ve never heard of.
Maybe you have goals of taking an exotic vacation, buy a new car or house. Saving for retirement, growing a business or starting a new career. You might want to gain weight, lose weight, run a marathon or just get in better shape. You might want to provide an incredible education for your children or develop more meaning relationships with friends and family members.
Whatever you want to achieve you are more than capable of doing it, or making it happen!
If you’re fed up with falling short of your heart’s desires or you want to improve your achievement skills then these habits will help you obtain the life you want and deserve. The driving force or purpose is to help you stay motivated, overcome challenges, break through barriers, and achieve a higher quality of life.
Here are 21 habits to achieve your goals:
1. Experience the power of written goals.
If you rubbed Aladdin’s Lamp what wish would you ask for? If you could have anything, be anything or do anything, what would it be? If you knew you could not fail what would you succeed at? If it’s not in writing it doesn’t exist! Less than five percent of the population set goals in writing. Written goals produce better results than if goals are vaguely floating through your mind. Written goals are powerful roadmaps that can more easily lead you to the destination of your choice. Define what you want, in writing, giving thought and attention to all aspects of life such as health, business, relationship and recreational. Review them often!
2. Learn to deal with criticism.
On your journey you’ll undoubtedly encounter all kinds of criticism. People may say or write things about you that are not very pleasant to hear. Like water off a duck’s back you’ll need to find ways to effectively cope with criticism. If not, you’ll drown in what people are thinking and saying. All accomplished people have had to endure criticism. If they’re able to move past the negativity, then so can you! You will have to give some effort to ignoring what people say. Think about it. Wilbur and Orville Wright decided to do what others thought impossible. Columbus was going to sail off the end of the earth. Flying in outer space used to be science-fiction. The world is full of people who discourage possibility thinking. When someone tells you that what you are doing is impossible or they criticize unfairly, use it to fuel your fire.
“Definiteness of purpose can, and should, so completely occupy the mind that one has no time or space in the mind for thoughts of failure.” -Napoleon Hill
3. Use dates and timelines for your goals and action steps.
While developing your list of goals make sure to attach timelines for their achievement. Transfer your goals into action steps that can be placed onto your daily task list based on priority. Small steps done over a period of time will lead to the achievement of huge goals. So, pick your dates and timelines to get goals and action items completed. Keep in mind that delays are not denials. It would be nice if all of our goals were completed on time. Many people give up when they are only steps away from their goal. We need to work vigilantly toward completions dates, but avoid wallowing in discouraging thoughts if the target date is not met. Evaluate your delay and then keep chipping away at the stone.
“Have faith in your dreams and someday. Your rainbow will come shining through. No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep believing. The dream that you wish will come true.” Cinderella
4. Place an empowering belief behind every goal.
If you have a goal to get fit, but you believe exercise takes time away from your family, what is the probability you will exercise? Little to none! If you believe exercise means more quality time with family, you’re more likely to exercise. When you believe something to be true, you literally behave in a manner consistent with that belief. In order for an Olympic athlete to win a Gold Medal she must first believe that she is going to win the Gold. The beauty is you can choose your beliefs! A great way to implement this habit is to make a list of beliefs that give your life meaning. You choose your beliefs. Brainstorm the types of beliefs successful people possess. Maybe they believe that they have the resources to succeed at any undertaking or they believe that anything is possible when you think and act smart. Choose the top three empowering beliefs and begin to adopt them as your own. You also have to eliminate disempowering beliefs. People who believe that they are terrible at remembering names are terrible at remembering names. It’s that simple. If you are not achieving what you want it is quite possible you are operating with disempowering beliefs. You must comb through your mind and eliminate any belief that is not consistent with what you want to accomplish.
“In the providence of the mind, what one believes to be true either is true or becomes true.” -John Lilly
5. Avoid in engage in self-punishment.
Constantly beating yourself up over mistakes and misfortunes will destroy you. Telling yourself that you are no good or that you are not worthy or that you are stupid will only reinforce that type of behavior. If you didn’t achieve a goal on time don’t crack yourself over the head. Make the proper adjustments and move on.
“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.”-Buddhist Proverb
6. Consistently ask for what you want.
The only way to get what you want out of life is by asking! This naturally begins at birth and follows us to the grave. As life progresses, it seems most people tend to decrease their initiative to ask for what they want. The result is getting less than what they want. If you have fallen out of the habit of asking, start slowly. Make simple requests to notice that you can and do get what you want, by asking. Is it going to work every time? Of course not, but will it dramatically increases your probability of getting what you want? Yes!
7. Elicit the help of others by showing your commitment.
Would you help someone if you thought that your time and energy would be wasted? If you want help from others, you must be prepared to show them, through action, that you are committed to doing whatever it takes to succeed. Multitudes of people will help you manifest your vision when they see you vigorously and persistently taking action. When you are valiantly committed to your purpose you will attract, like a powerful magnet, the people needed to make it a reality. Another great way to use this habit is to establish a relationship with a mentor or a coach. People who are successful generally want others to succeed as well. It’s extremely important to seek help from these people since we can learn from their experiences. You can accelerate your progress and avoid possible pitfalls to your eventual success. After you find a credible mentor, consult with your mentor on a regular basis. Make sure to report your activities and success to your mentor. Keep in mind that your mentor will continue to help you as long as you respect their time and knowledge, and you consistently progress in the achievement of your goals.
“Whatever you give your attention to, is the thing that governs your life.” -Emmet Fox
8. Post your goals where you can view them daily.
We get out of life what we most think about. That’s why it is crucial to post your goals where you can view them on a regular basis. It reminds you of what is really important to you in life. It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day distractions of life. One incredible way to focus your thought-power is to place your goals in your office on the wall, in your garage on large poster paper, or on 3×5 cards you can put in your car or in your calendar organizer, post them as your screen saver. Reminding yourself of what you want is one of the best ways to get what you want. Cut up magazine pictures to pin up, photos of family and friends, use both the written word and visual imagery to strengthen and focus the most important physical resource you have, your brain!
9. Write a list of reasons why you want to achieve your goals.
Understanding the benefits you will receive from attaining your goal helps motivate you toward its fulfillment. To create the ongoing motivation that’s needed to get you past the challenges you will face, you need to have strong reasons why you want to do what you want to do. The question is: What will you get once you have reached your goal. What types of new things will you be able to enjoy as a result of the work and effort you’ve put forth.
10. Realize that the word “No” leads to a big “Yes”.
Rejection sucks, but that’s no reason to give up. Rejection is part of life. It’s a good thing Edison didn’t give up when he was inventing. It’s been said that he tried 10,000 experiments before producing incandescent light. He then had to work hard to get the public to accept his invention. No matter where you are in life you have to learn to deal with rejection in a way that helps you take more action to get what you want.
“The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make a heaven of hell, and a hell of heaven.” -John Milton
11. Reward yourself upon the completion of a goal.
The most powerful reinforcement is self-reinforcement. Every time you do something that moves you in the direction you want to go, you have to reinforce that behavior. Give yourself a pat on the back or tell yourself what a great job you are doing. Big or small, whenever you do something right, praise yourself, reward yourself. Remember to reward your self in the moment as well as delayed re-enforcement. Images of enjoying a tropical vacation, getting a message, relaxing over a romantic dinner, or buying a new car, house or boat may come to your mind when thinking of how to reward yourself after the discipline and effort you’ve put for to achieve your goal. Make a list of things you can reward yourself with as a result of your dedication and determination. You deserve the best, so why not work diligently in order to enjoy the many benefits you’ve earned. You have dozens of successes throughout a given day, so remember to be good to yourself!
“The best part of the future is that it comes only one day at a time.” -Abraham Lincoln
12. Break goals into daily tasks.
The way to eat a dinosaur is one bite at time. The only way to climb a mountain is one step a time. A great question to ask is, “What can I achieve in five minutes that will help me achieve my goal. Search for small pockets of time you can use to accomplish your goals. Imagine what learning one new word each day would do to your vocabulary, or how making one extra phone call per day would increase your sales. Break it down to the point of ridiculous. This will help to get the ball rolling and give you the momentum to keeping going. Someday does not exist. Today is the only reality. Your life in five years from today will be nothing more than the accumulation of all those days. And how you spend each one affects all others. Focus on breaking your goals down into manageable daily tasks. Use a calendar organizer to track the progress of your planning, tasking and achieving. This habit helps you understand that those who take on too much accomplish little.
13. Define obstacles that keep you from your goals.
See obstacles and challenges as part of life and they will lose their power over you. Write out a list of obstacles that you might face when working on the completion of a goal. Next to the obstacle, write a few possible solutions to overcome it. Use these premeditated solutions when you come face-to-face with your dragon. In football your goal is to score a touch-down, your obstacle is the other team. Professional sports teams study video footage of their opposing team in order to gain insight on how to better overcome their obstacle. What potential challenges or obstacles stand between you and your intended goal, and what can you do to overcome them? Practice overcoming the obstacles in advance and them perform, like a sports team does, when the real game is on.
14. Dedicate one week to giving 100% in every area of your life.
Take a one-week calendar and schedule your fitness time, family time, work time, spiritual time, and leisure time. Strictly adhere to the allotted time schedules knowing you are giving attention to each area of life. Focus on giving all your attention and energy to each area during its scheduled time. In other words, don’t spend time thinking of work when you are in a family time appointment. This is easier said than done, but it is possible for you. This habit gives you the opportunity to truly experience the magnificence what each area of your life has to offer.
15. Emulate your three greatest role models.
From the cradle to the grave, we model the behavior of other people. We learn to smile, walk and talk by watching people. Most rock musicians became music lovers after seeing Elvis Presley or The Beatles. The key it to consciously choose people you would like to model. Write a list of people you admire or that you want to emulate. Choose the top three and begin to adopt the characteristics you appreciate.
16. Play the numbers game.
Sales are down when the sales department doesn’t talk to enough prospects. When sales are down by 50 percent it would be a good idea to prospect twice as many people. If your manuscript is being rejected then send it to another publisher until it is accepted. Whatever it is that you want to achieve, keep on prospecting, swinging, shooting, practicing and playing—and you’ll win.
17. Replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk.
Communication research demonstrates the average person communicates or carries on an internal dialogue at the rate of 500 to 600 words per minute. Some studies also indicate that 80 percent is negative or pessimistic in nature. We must learn to identify, challenge, remove and replace negative messages. A fantastic way to do this is to replace negative messages with positive ones. Write out a full page of affirmations for daily use. For example, when you hear yourself saying, “I’ll goof up this speech because I’m so nervous,” instead say, “I’ll be able to do this. I may be a little nervous but i’ll do just fine.” Never underestimate the power of positive thinking. Keep in mind to state your affirmative thoughts and words in present tense. Everyone remembers the Little Engine steaming its way to the top of the mountain Everyone remembers the Little Engine steaming its way to the top of the mountain. “I think I can…I think I can…I know I can…”. The story illustrates how affirming yourself in any given situation has a dramatic and powerful effect on what you can and can’t do. When using an affirmation, remember to phrase it “as if” it already exists. Say, “I earn $75,000 a year,” rather than, “I will earn $75,000 a year.” Stating affirmations in the present tense allows you to become that person today, not someday.
“All that is needed to make a happy life is within yourself, in your way of thinking.” -Marcus Aurelius
18. Visualize the achievement of your goals.
Every great achiever will testify that they saw their goal in their minds eye before accomplishing it. Program your brain with visual imagery. Create a picture in your mind of you achieving the goal. What does it look like? Who is there? What are you wearing? You can run your visual image before you retire at night or upon waking. The more you do it the higher the probability it will come true. You have to create you own mental movie. Become the director, the actor and the audience of your own movie. You can create a mental movie in which you see yourself eating less at meal times, see yourself taking smaller bites and chewing slowly, see yourself only eating wholesome foods. You can use a mental movie to create and reinforce any desired behavior. Play your movie over and over until your new behavior emerges.
“What gets measured gets managed.” -Peter Drucker
19. Use the power of measurement.
Be sure to measure and get specific about your goals. Don’t be general in your approach. In other words, avoid having a goal of losing weight. Instead have a goal of weighing a certain amount. Saving money is not measurable and specific enough either. Exactly how much money do you want to save. Measure your progress using timelines or pie charts or by whatever means necessary to you know where you are in the achievement of your goal. Avoid falling in the trap of writing down lukewarm or flimsy goals. Be specific and measure your success.
20. Use your body to control your frame of mind.
What does Tiger Woods do when he hits a great shot? He does the arm pump! Kinesthetic communication involves how movement and body position send messages to our brain. Our brain absorbs information via how we use our bodies—touching, games, group interaction, and body posture. When you want to feel confident, you need to stand up straight, throw your shoulders back, breathe deeply, and look slightly upward. The same is true if you want to be enthusiastic, simply adopt an excited and enthusiastic physiology. You can use your body to feel happy or sad, love or hate, energetic or lethargic. You have the power to feel any way you like simply by adopting the proper physiology. Come up with the body movement that supports the achievement of your goal. Some powerful body movements are: doing a victory dance, a high five, a hug, deep breathing, smiling, arm pump, firm hand shake, two arms in the air, hands clasped in prayer, clapping.
“When the occasion is piled high with difficulty, that’s when we must rise with the occasion.” -Abraham Lincoln
21. Step outside of your comfort zone.
We like to do the same things over and over because we can predict the outcome; we can remain comfortable. However, attaining any worthwhile goal requires expanding your current comfort zone. Make more sales calls in a single day than you’ve done previously, ask that person for a date, push yourself to exercise three-times-a-week, give a speech, attend a social engagement, introduce yourself to at least ten people at the next business mixer, whatever it is, step outside your box! Today, challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone.
Practice these habits to achieve your goals. Watch your life improve for the better.
Best of success to you!