Susan Fee

Article Summary:

Setting goals is easy. Achieving them is something else.

Achieving Your Goals

Setting goals is easy. Achieving them is something else. There's a huge distinction between talking about what you want and taking action to make it happen. Here's how to create the momentum you need to realize your goals.

Get Specific
What is your goal exactly? Can you describe it clearly and concisely? Statements like "I want a new house" or "I want to lose weight" are too broad. You need details. What does the new house look like, inside and out? Where is it located? Who are your neighbors? The more clearly you describe your goal, the clearer your path to achieving it.

Make it Measurable
How will you know if you've reached your goal? What are the terms you've set? For instance, if you want to "be healthier", how will you measure that? Will your resting heart rate decrease? By what amount? Will you measure it by your cholesterol levels? If you desire to be "successful", how will measure it? The more specific you get, the easier it is to put your goal in terms of measurement.

Give it a Timeline
The difference between wishful thinking and goal achievement is a timeline. When exactly will achieve your goal? Break it down into small, manageable pieces with shorter deadlines. To achieve something in one month, what needs to happen by this week? Today?

Write it Down
Writing down your goal helps make it real. It gives it permanence and significance. Post it where you can see it every day.

Challenge Your Thinking
Most people talk about their goals as far off dreams of "someday, when I have everything else in place, Ill..." No! It starts today. Whatever it is you want, you must BE it today in your mind. Then start DOING what you would be doing as if you had reached your goal. Eventually you will HAVE it. For example, if your goal is to be financially secure, don't wait around for someday when you have the perfect job. Be financially fit today. Behave as a financially savvy person behaves. Immerse yourself in that world by reading financial books, making a budget, researching investments, and considering retirement accounts. Surround yourself with people who are financially smart! Ask questions, observe their behavior, and do the same thing. You will rise to the occasion. It doesn't matter that you might not have the money today. It takes BEING it, to DO it, to HAVE it.

Connect Emotionally
What's motivating your goal? How will it feel to achieve it? And if you don't? Attaching positive emotion to your goal is the force you will need to achieve it. Guilt is a pretty powerful emotion, and it may move you forward, but it doesn't have staying power. You must become deeply passionate about what you want to achieve. If you can't do that, question your true motivation. Are you doing it for yourself, or someone else?

Stop Trying
Achievers talk like achievers. If you want to reach your goal, speak with commitment. Are you going to "try" to lose weight? Or are you going to lose weight? Those who "try" are giving themselves an escape clause. Stop trying and do it.

Susan Fee is a licensed counselor, life coach, and corporate trainer. She is the author of two communication tips booklets that may be ordered through her Website, www.susanfee.com. She is also the author of the college survival book, "My Roommate is Driving Me Crazy! Solve Conflicts, Set Boundaries, and Survive the College Roommate from Hell"(Adams Media). Visit the website for free college survival tips. Susan also conducts one-on-one executive coaching in interpersonal and public speaking skills and teaches individuals how to identify and reach their personal goals. Past clients include Disney, Motorola, and United Airlines.

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