How many of us set goals and then never actually reach them? Too many. According to the University of Hertfordshire, 50% of people make meaningful New Year’s resolutions but a whopping 78% of them never actually reach that goal.
There are many reasons why people fail to stay focused and accomplish their goals. It could simply be a lack of motivation. The goal just doesn’t seem that important, especially when compared to everything else. Sometimes, life simply gets in the way. There could be an endless barrage of emergencies, family functions, work, technology, or any other number of things that could prevent you from focusing on your goals.
Everyone has good intentions to accomplish their goals in the beginning. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be setting them. However, to actually reach your goals, you have to stay focused when everything else starts coming at you. Doing so can be tricky. Luckily, there are plenty of tips and techniques you can utilize to make it easier for you to stay focused on your goals and actually reach them.
Write Down Your Goals
You have probably heard this advice a lot but that’s because it works. Writing down your goals will have a more lasting effect on you and help you stay focused. There’s something about physically writing something down that makes it seem more real and more important.
In addition, when writing out your goals, you have to be specific enough to put them on paper. It won’t be “I think I want to do something kind of like this” as it would be if you merely kept it in your head. Rather, it would be more like “My first goal is to accomplish X by this date” etc. Being specific really helps you focus on what you actually want and helps you actually accomplish your goals.
After you’ve written down your goals, you want to keep them handy. Hang them up or place them on your desk, but make sure they are in a place where you will see them everyday. Even though you have written them down, if you aren’t constantly reminded to focus on your goals, then you will probably forget about them.
Narrow Your List
It’s great and absolutely essential to success to have goals, but how many do you have? It is entirely possible to have too many goals at one time. When you have too many goals and dreams you want to reach, it’s easy to lose focus and feel overwhelmed. When that happens, you won’t actually reach any of them.
How do you fix this? The answer is simple. You narrow your list. While it can be hard to prioritize which goals are the most important, it’s something you have to do if you want to accomplish any of your goals, at all.
Start by picking a maximum of three goals to work on at a time. If you need less, then pick less but any more might end up killing your motivation. Once you’ve chosen the most important ones, focus on them but don’t throw away the others. Put them on a “someday” list. That will give you more motivation to focus on your current goals and accomplish them so you can eventually move on to the others.
Do you ever feel like your goals are too big and there’s no way to reach them? Many people do and that can make a hard task even harder. Now, I’m not saying you should make your goals smaller because you shouldn’t. Instead, you need to create mini-goals to reach your ultimate goal.
Some people will call this breaking down your goals or creating milestones for your goals. Whatever you call it, the concept is the same. In order to accomplish your goals and stay focused, you need to have a plan for how you will do so. If your goal is to learn how to play the piano, then set up the necessary steps. For example, Step 1: learn the names of the notes, Step 2: learn the types of notes, Step 3: practice scales, and so on.
When you have a series of mini-goals to focus on, you’ll feel less overwhelmed. It’s easier to focus in on one small thing at a time, rather than trying to reach the big picture immediately. By completing small steps at a time, you will stay motivated and maintain your enthusiasm for your ultimate goal.
If you want to be successful, then you have to stay focused and accomplish your goals. While it may seem difficult initially, you can reach them by writing your goals down, narrowing your list, and creating mini-goals. Following these techniques, you will stay motivated and enthusiastic about reaching your goals and won’t be one of the 78% that never get past the planning stage.
Don’t wait for the perfect moment, decide what your goals are today and begin working towards them. The sooner you do, then the sooner you will actually accomplish them.
What other tips do you have to stay focused and accomplish your goals?