5 Steps To Reaching Your Goals

It’s been two months since my last article.  Not because I lack interest in writing or because I ran out of ideas, but because I have not had much free time.  That is my excuse anyway.  The reality of my recent hiatus is mostly the side-effect of laziness.  I have been working a lot and I have a family to spend time with, but I still had times where I chose to do non-productive tasks to keep my mind in hibernation.  So now I’m back and I thought a topic of goals would be fitting to jump-start my return to the keyboard.

Overview of the 5 steps to reaching your goals

  1. Make a plan and be realistic
  2. Keep your goals separated
  3. Make a list and add deadlines (if possible)
  4. Be persistent
  5. Reward success
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Step 1: Make a plan and be realistic

You will never see the path ahead if you are always looking backwards.

When I first started this blog, I had a plan.  I wanted to write at least 3 to 4 articles every week.  I think that is a realistic goal.  I even wrote down around 30 article ideas, just so I had something to trigger my mind and help me keep writer’s block at bay.  In two months however, I have written ZERO articles, so I can get myself back on track?  Do I try to write 24 to 32 articles today to get myself “caught up”?  I think that would be nearly impossible (at least if I want to write anything of real quality).  I think my best action plan is to continue with my goal and forget about the weeks I have not met my requirements.

Step 2: Keep your goals separated

Small and simple goals will give a better sense of success.

Keeping goals separated is important.  When thinking of a goal, you should only think of the tasks required to get there.  If a goal needs other goals to be completed before the main goal is completed, it is probably too complicated, unrealistic or simply so large it will take a long time to reach.  Let’s look at an example.

Goals inside of goals

Goals inside of goals will feel like you have a list of a million things to complete before you reach your main objective:

  • Goal: Reach one-million blog viewers
    • Goal: Make 3 to 4 articles a week
      • Task: Have 4 to 5 main subjects
      • Task: Use main subjects to create variety each week
    • Goal: Gain 10,000 viewers from Facebook sharing
      • Task: Find a target audience
      • Task: Add more friends on Facebook
      • Goal: Reach 5,000 followers on Facebook
        • Task: Engage with Facebook users
        • Task: Create contests to gain attention
    • Goal: Get 10,000 views on a single article
      • Task: Promote article on social media
      • Task: Submit article to local news agencies
      • Task: Use advertising

Now I have goals inside of goals and a bunch of tasks to complete.  I even have a goal of reaching 5,000 Facebook followers, nested inside the goal of gaining 10,000 Facebook shares.  That has very little to do with the goal of reaching one-million blog viewers (since I can probably gain viewers without Facebook).  Using this method, the list and sub-lists could end up going on forever and in the end, my best chance at reaching a million viewers may be purely based on luck and timing and nothing at all with the list of goals I initial had.

Small and simple goals

Small and simple goals may not seem like much.  They may be easy and less rewarding, but put them all together and you end up in a better place to reach larger (separated) goals.  Here is the same goal list as above, now simplified and more realistic:

  • Goal: Reach one-million blog viewers
  • Goal: Make 3 to 4 articles a week
    • Task: Have 4 to 5 main subjects
    • Task: Use main subjects to create variety each week
  • Goal: Gain 10,000 viewers from Facebook sharing
    • Task: Find a target audience
    • Task: Add more friends on Facebook
  • Goal: Reach 5,000 followers on Facebook
    • Task: Engage with Facebook followers
    • Task: Create contests to gain attention
  • Goal: Get 10,000 views on a single article
    • Task: Promote article on social media
    • Task: Submit article to local news agencies
    • Task: Use advertising

See how easy that was?  All I did was eliminate the nesting, so that I have no dependency on reaching one goal before I can reach another.  Now I can reach a million viewers by any means possible.  I no longer need to focus on and reach several other goals first.  This may not be the best example since, as I said, I could reach a million viewers by pure luck and nothing else, but I hope you get my point.

Step 3: Make a list and set deadlines (if possible)

A time frame could be the difference between one week and one year.

A list will help you lay things out in a visual way.  If all your goals are kept in your head, they will eventually be altered or removed all together, to fit into whatever your mind wants you to feel as time goes on.  With a written list, you are reminded of what your original focus was and it will keep you from being side tracked.  A list may not be very useful if there is no time frame attached.  If I do not use deadlines in the list above, how likely is it that I will reach one-million viewers any time soon?  Reach one-million viewers (January 1st, 2018) instantly tells me “hey, You have 3 months, get your ass moving”.  😒

Step 4: Be persistent

Persistence is the key to turning a dream into reality.

Some goals may be hard to reach and may even pass their deadlines.  That’s OKAY!  Set new goals or change your deadlines, but the most important thing is to never give up.  No matter what get’s in the way, always find time for the goals you set out to achieve and never let excuses tear down the progress you have made towards your goals.

Step 5: Reward success

You have been working hard and deserve to treat yourself.

When you set a lot of small goals, you will reach them more frequently.  So while you work towards larger goals, you should give yourself a pat on the back, tell yourself “great job” and best of all, give yourself a treat!  I did say not to group goals and not to depend on completing many goals to reach a goal, but I will contradict that with one exception.  Rewards!  I think making a list of rewards-as-goals will help you feel more satisfied with your efforts. Here’s an example:

Reward Goals

  • Reward: Reach 1 goal – Go to Starbucks
  • Reward: Reach 5 goals – Rent a movie
  • Reward: Reach 10 goals – Take a day off of work

This list could have a flaw.  If you go to Starbucks daily, rent movies nightly or frequently skip out on work, these will not feel very rewarding.  There are two solutions:

  1. Stop doing those things and only have them when you reach a milestone or;
  2. Pick rewards that you like but do not have or do very often

Hopefully I can follow my own advice and stick to writing articles more frequently.  Since this took me about two hours to write, I think I may want to slim down the length of my articles or learn how to type faster. 🤷

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