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How many times have you failed at trying to achieve your goals?
For me, the number of times I have failed is higher than I would like to admit!
But over the last few years, I took some time to figure out why I was failing so often and came up with a plan of attack.
Since I’ve created my plan of attack, I’ve become more successful at reaching my personal goals.
Do you struggle meeting your goals?
If you are like many others, the answer is probably yes.
Why do so many people have a hard time reaching the goals they set for themselves?
There are all sorts of studies out there trying to pinpoint why so many of us never reach our goals.
I have my own theory based on my experience and I present it below.
So keep reading so you can follow my plan of attack at reaching your goals and in the end, you will have more successes and experience more happiness in life.
How To Accomplish Goals In 2021 And Beyond
Why We Fail To Achieve Our Goals
I think there are 2 reasons why people quit so quickly when trying to reach their goals.
Reason #1. We live in an instant gratification society.
We want and need things now. Not tomorrow, not next week, now.
As a result, we don’t have the patience to see our goals through.
For example, if we want to build our savings, we quit 2 months in if we haven’t saved $100,000.
While we do see change and making progress, it isn’t good enough.
Reason #2. You only focus on the end result.
You could be in credit card debt and have a goal of becoming debt free.
If you only focus on having a zero balance, you are going to get frustrated and give up quickly when you see the small impact your monthly payment has on your overall debt.
Or you could be overweight and have a goal of six-pack abs. This too is a great goal.
But many people will only focus on the six-pack.
Every day they look in the mirror and don’t see results from the previous day’s cardio session.
They look the day after that, don’t see results and get depressed and quit.
In order to achieve your goals, you need to take a different approach and learn to not only be more patient, but also not focus solely on the end result.
In other words, enjoy the journey and you too will enjoy the accomplishments!
6 Tips To Achieve Your Goals
So how to you go about taking a different approach so you are more likely experience success?
Here are the 6 tricks I used when I started to succeed at reaching my goals.
I have found that using these tricks not only helps me to reach more of my goals, but as I do, I get motivated to set more goals to achieve.
This effect snowballs into massive amounts of success!
#1. Set Reminders
When it comes to achieving your goals, reminders are where it’s at.
How many times do you set a goal and 6 months later forget about it?
More often than not I would guess. It even happens to me at times.
I come up with a goal I want to reach and a few weeks or months down the line, it’s completely forgotten about.
And this isn’t limited to goals either.
How many times did you think of something you needed to do later that day and forgot about it?
Had you set a reminder, you would have remembered.
In order to keep up with our goals, we need reminders. Any sort of reminder will do.
Studies have shown that when you are reminded of your goal, you are more likely to succeed in reaching it.
So start setting reminders for the goals you want to reach.
Put them on your daily to do list. Add them into the reminders app on your phone. Make note of them in your work calendar.
The more places you enter your goals the more likely you will see them written there and be motivated to act.
But what is even more interesting is that when you tie an image to a goal, you are three times more likely to succeed than with just a regular reminder.
This is why you need to understand the importance of visualization.
#2. Use Visualization
Let’s talk about how to incorporate visualization into goal setting.
Let’s say your simple goal is to retire one day. Awesome, that is a great goal. But many people won’t succeed with it.
The reason is because it is too broad.
What exactly is retirement?
In order to succeed with this goal, you need to get more specific about it.
What does retirement mean to you? What do you want to do with your time in retirement?
For me, retirement looks like playing a lot of golf. This is much more specific.
My goal is to save for retirement so that I can play a ton of golf.
That is more specific, but many will still fall short of achieving this.
If I really want to increase my chances of success, I need to add a visual reminder.
This is easy to do.
I can cut out pictures of a golf course and put them in my office or on my mirror at home. I can put a ball marker in my wallet if I wanted to.
Anything that will remind me of my goal will work.
This is because when I see the reminder, my mind will instantly tie it to its meaning to me. In this case, retirement.
When I was in credit card debt years ago, I used a visual reminder to help me get out.
I took a picture of all of the stuff I bought with my credit card and kept that picture in my wallet.
Whenever I was tempted to buy something and pulled out my wallet, I saw that picture.
It would make me stop and question the purchase and most times, stop me from making the purchase altogether.
You will be much more excited and motivated to reach your goals when you begin to visualize.
- Read now: Click here to learn how to visualize
Let’s use another example, this time, weight loss.
You want to lose 30 pounds.
In this case, you can get a fitness magazine and take out pictures of people that have the body that you would like to achieve.
Then take those pictures and use them as visual reminders.
Make a ton of photocopies of your future body and take it with you when you go grocery shopping and out to eat.
This will help you pick healthy choices so that you can meet your goal.
Successful people keep a daily journal as it allows them to reflect on their day.
You can use journaling for goal achievement.
Write down all your hopes and fears, and what you desire out of life.
Then every day, write about your day and the steps you took toward reaching those goals.
This is a great way to track your progress over time.
It will also help you to increase your willpower too.
You can re-read your entries and learn how you overcame obstacles you encountered along the way.
You can also use a journal as an opportunity to learn about yourself and grow.
#4. Keep It Visible
As great as writing down your dreams is or as powerful as visualization is, you need to keep it out where you will see it all the time.
If you put the piece of paper the goal is written on into a drawer, you will forget about it and never follow through and achieve success.
To overcome this, you need to keep it visible.
Have the reminder on your computer monitor or in your car or on your bathroom mirror. Any place you will see it on a daily basis works.
This will avoid you forgetting about it, which is a big reason we miss out.
The key here is to place the reminder in areas where you will see them most often.
So take a few minutes to really think about where you spend the majority of your time and start to strategically place reminders in those areas.
#5. Set Up Intermediate Goals
As I mentioned earlier, one reason we fail to achieve our goals is because we expect too much, too soon.
Take the example of getting out of debt.
You make a plan to pay more than the minimum for a few months.
After a few months, you check out your balance thinking you are just about debt free but in reality you still have a long way to go.
You become disappointed at not seeing the result quick enough and give up.
To find success with getting out of debt, you need to break down the larger goal into smaller goals, which I call milestones.
If you have $50,000 in debt and your plan for the year is to pay it off completely, you will first need to assess whether this is realistic.
If you only make $25,000 a year and do not plan on getting an additional job, receiving a windfall of cash, or robbing a bank, you cannot reach this goal.
However, let’s say that it is realistic and that you can pay off $50,000 this year.
To arrive at a short term milestone, divide $50,000 by 12 to get $4,167.
That is the amount you need to pay each month for 12 months to pay off your debt.
So your short term milestone for January is to pay $4,167 of your debt.
Your mid term goal would be to halve the debt to $25,000.
- Read now: Click here to learn how tiny habits lead to success
- Read now: Learn how to always try your best in life
Without a short term milestone, you may have made that $4,000 payment but get frustrated because you don’t think you will ever be debt free.
But by having a short term goal, you build momentum by focusing on the smaller number.
This motivation fuels you to keep pushing ahead.
And, you can try to beat your short term goals.
Try to pay an extra $5 to beat that goal. It will motivate you more each month.
If you want to pay off your debt but can’t do so in one year, you can still take advantage of setting intermediate goals.
Again, assuming you have $50,000 worth of debt, focus on getting it down to $40,000.
When you do this, celebrate it as you have reached a goal. Sure it isn’t your ultimate goal, but it is one nonetheless.
Then set up another goal for $30,000 and another for $20,000.
If $10,000 increments are too much for you and you still lose focus, then set up your goals for $5,000 increments.
Do whatever amount is necessary for you to stay motivated to reach your ultimate goal.
#6. Ask Your Friends For Help
Although setting goals is often something very personal, asking your close friends to help you fulfill it makes things a lot easier.
Often, they won’t have to do anything other than give you advice, a nudge or remind you of your goal.
This is why most people that enlist the help of others are successful with reaching their goals.
For example, if you plan to quit smoking, then your friends can help you by not smoking in your presence or steering you away from places where people are smoking.
I find that this trick works wonders.
When I have used this trick, I have found that in moments when I was weak and wanted to give up, I would get a text or phone call out of the blue from a friend asking how things were going.
Many times, the call wasn’t even to check in on the progress of my goal but rather just to say hi.
But the fact that they were calling made me think about my goal and would relight the spark of wanting to achieve it.
Now, I get that some goals, like many financial goals, aren’t ones you really want to share with friends or even family.
But you should.
They won’t judge you (especially if they really are your friends) but rather they will want to help and support you in any way they can.
All you need to do is build up the courage to tell them about the goal.
Trust me when I tell you that it is worth it to tell them.
#7. Avoid Temptation
The final tip for how to reach your goals is about not giving in to temptations.
Temptations are major setbacks at why people fail to achieve their goals.
Because of this, you must actively make an effort to avoid temptations.
For example, if you have made plans to boost your savings, then you should avoid going to the mall to window shop when you are bored.
Take it from me. You will buy something even if you have no intention to do so.
If you want to achieve your goals you have to have to make some sacrifices.
If your goal is to get out of debt, you may need to say no to happy hour with your friends, or hold off on taking vacations until you are debt free.
It can definitely be difficult to say no, but think about all of the vacations and eating out you can do once you are debt free.
If your goal is to be debt free, making sacrifices won’t feel like sacrifices at all.
#8. Be Patient
I started out by telling you why so many people fail when goal setting.
We want too much, too quickly.
Make it a point to be patient.
Start out with your goals slowly.
For example, let’s say you want to lose weight.
You start to exercise and completely change your diet.
Everything is great for a couple weeks until everything blows up in your face.
You tried to do too much too quickly.
If you love to binge watch Netflix and eat greasy food, you can’t cancel Netflix and eat nothing but vegetables and think you won’t face any obstacles.
Your motivation will push you through the first few weeks, but after that the cravings will be too much.
Instead, you need to go slow.
Make it a habit to exercise for 30 minutes daily and make small changes to your diet.
Maybe skip snacking after dinner, or choose an apple instead of a bowl of ice cream.
After a few weeks, start to add in more changes to your diet.
By allowing your body to adjust and slowly weeding out bad habits, you will more likely see your goals through to the end.
Plus the healthy habits you create are more likely to stick around long term.
So there are your tricks for how to be successful with your goals.
Part of success is about setting relevant goals and changing up your outlook.
You aren’t going to get out of debt, save a million dollars or have six pack abs in one week’s time.
It’s just not possible.
The sooner you can realize this and learn that your goals will take time, the more happiness you will have and the greater the odds of achieving your goals.
From there you also have to learn to enjoy the journey.
Don’t be consumed with the end result of being debt free or having lost 50 pounds.
Get excited when you pay down $5,000 worth of debt or lose 10 pounds.
By making smaller, bite sized goals, you keep your motivation and determination high.
If you can do these two things by using the tricks I’ve outlined here, you will begin to achieve your goals at a higher rate.
The great thing about this is that the success will snowball upon itself, making you more excited to set new goals to achieve.
So take some time to begin using these tips and start reaching your goals.
Jon Dulin is the passionate leader of Unfinished Success, a personal development website that inspires people to take control of their own lives and reach their full potential. His commitment to helping others achieve greatness shines through in everything he does. He’s an unstoppable force with lots of wisdom, creativity, and enthusiasm – all focused on helping others build a better future. Jon enjoys writing articles about productivity, goal setting, self-development, and mindset. He also uses quotes and affirmations to help motivate and inspire himself. You can learn more about him on his About page.