The Role of Planning in Achieving Your Goals

In the planning process there are two basic steps you have to undertake to ensure success in achieving your goals:

  1. Planning your tasks.
  2. Visualizing yourself completing the tasks.

Planning

It is essential that you daily plan what you are going to do, prioritising your tasks unless you do this you will end up doing whatever takes your fancy and you will never complete what is important in accomplishing your goals.

Create a daily task list

Set aside time each day for this – I usually do this in the evening but it is up to you when you do it. The main thing is just do it! You will find that you use your time more effectively – remember to control the time available to you not let time control you

Visualizing

There are two important benefits in utilising visualisation – a very powerful technique:

  1. It is the most effective way to break a goal down into tasks. Visualizing yourself doing the task will make it easier to break a goal down into its component tasks, unless you do this it is likely that you will miss some important sub-tasks.

It is important once you have broken the task into its component tasks that you assign a deadline for each stage, working back from the completion date you have assigned to the goal.This creates structure for completing your goal and ensures you start and complete each task early enough.

Visualising yourself doing the task will assist you identifying additional resources you may need e.g. additional training, additional assistance

  1. Visualising the tasks in your mind prepares you for action. Athletes make heavy use of visualization before competitions. For example, a runner will imagine herself running the race – see the track, see each curve. There are many studies that show visualization improves performance. For procrastinators, it’s a powerful way to get yourself going.

Action points;

Plan your work
Work your plan

How to Achieve Your Goals Even if You Think You are a Born Loser?

Some individuals believe that they are born losers but it is just a state of mind,

“no-one is born to lose”

if you believe you are going to lose then you are less likely to succeed in accomplishing your business and personal goals.

There are a number of tried and tested strategies that you can undertake to overcome this state of mind.

  1. Self Evaluation

Self evaluation is the first step in trying to identify your strength and weaknesses no different to abusiness evaluating its strengths and weaknesses.

Write down the factors that you believe are your strengths and weaknesses, it would also be helpful to talk to friends and family about this, as sometimes you cant see the “wood for the trees”. It is very likely, if you think you are a “born loser”, that you will have more items in your weakness list compared to the ones in your strengths list.

Once you have identified your strengths and weaknesses, the next stage is to understand why you have that weakness – common weaknesses are procrastination and lack of focus – check out my article on procrastination for the various reasons for procrastinating.

Once you understand your weaknesses it is possible to gradually overcome them. Overcoming your weaknesses cannot be done overnight, tackle one to three weaknesses at a time.

  1. Overcoming Your Weaknesses

Overcoming and changing your weaknesses is no different to achieving your goals, you need an action plan which is specific, with a timescale.

Tackle the easiest ones to tackle first and this way you will be motivated to tackle the more difficult ones.

  1. Learning from Winners

Have you ever noticed that individuals associate with like minded individuals?

  • Positive thinkers will associate with other positive thinkers
  • Students of similar attitudes associate with each other
  • Businessmen/women belong to small business clubs
  • Depending on your situation associate with like-minded people e.g. if you think that you will always be fat join a group such as Weight Watchers.

Associating with successful individuals/groups will assist you in identifying and adopting their habits, such as perseverance, critical thinking, stability under pressure, competence and the aspiration to never give up

  1. Success Breeds Success

Start achieving your goals and you will find that your attitudes will change
giving you the motivation to tackle larger weaknesses. Review your previous accomplishments and successesl.

Occasionally you will experience failure, but it should be a learning experience. Failure should always be an opportunity for you to do better the next time.

How Do I Stick To My Goal?

It’s easy to get tripped when we’re trying to develop a new habit, even if it’s a habit we need for only a short-term goal. This is because it often takes thinking ahead and creating a clear plan in order to stay on track, but most people don’t do that. If you’re lacking a solid plan—one that works closely with your present lifestyle—then the simplest thing can send you off course. That’s why it’s so difficult for people to maintain the motivation to lose weight and exercise or to quit smoking.

The reason you’re having trouble with follow-through in achieving your goals may come down to one or more of these:

Goal not meaningful – You may have set this goal out of obligation to someone else or some other purpose that isn’t necessarily important to you on a personal level. You may have set the goal because you wanted to achieve it at the time, but now you really don’t care. Whatever the reason, the goal may not be important or meaningful enough to make you feel enthusiastic about achieving it.

Confusion – You may not have a clear plan, or understand how to take the next step. It doesn’t matter how small the very next step is, if you don’t know what it is or exactly how to take it, you’ll procrastinate and often you won’t even know why you’re putting it off.

Fear/Uncertainty – Sometimes achieving a goal can lead to unplanned consequences, some preferred, some not. You may be afraid of those consequences or afraid of what may come next, which may be an unknown factor to you.

It’s Not Because You’re Lazy -Sometimes it’s easy to explain away our own unenthusiastic behavior by saying that we’re lazy. But what appears as you just being lazy is still goal-oriented behavior. But what’s the function of your behavior? Even though you may be thinking, “I should stop watching videos of kittens playing the piano and practice the first lesson in my Klingon language book,” exactly how you’re going to practice may still be fuzzy in your mind.

Maybe you were planning to do some research on the best ways to learn a new language before you begin studying but you aren’t looking forward to doing that research. ? Is there a practice format to follow? There could be many variables that you haven’t sorted out yet. So you’re facing two choices:

Keep doing what you’re doing. (It’s familiar and you already know what to do.)

When you have several choices, you’re more likely to follow the one that’s clearest, easiest, and most familiar. When you only have two choices and both of them are equally clear but one is easier, that’s the one you’ll choose most often, unless someone holds a water pistol to your head and forces you to choose the other one.

Tips for Designing Your Study Strategy

Make it a Routine: One of the best ways to develop a dependable groove for your behavior is to make it into a routine. For example, if you get home from work every day at 5 PM, grab a snack and practice for 20 or 30 minutes right away. If you know that you’re going to practice right when you get home, you’re more likely to follow through.

Follow the Planner: If your book or course has a pre-designed strategy for learning Klingon, try following it. Start with the easiest plan first, which would be the one that came with your materials since it’s already sorted out and ready for you.

Start Low and Slow: Don’t plan practicing sessions that will completely disrupt your normal routine. Start practicing just a few minutes per day. That way, you can easily fit it in and it’s harder to come up with a reasonable excuse for not practicing. Each week (or whatever time frame will work for you), add a few more minutes to your daily practicing sessions. Work yourself up to a block of time that feels productive while not making your life wonky.

For the first three weeks, you want it to be super easy to get yourself to practice. That’s because it’s more important to build your routine and make it a habit, first, then you can work in longer practice sessions.

Set a Timer: Don’t rely on a clock to know when you’re finished with your session. A clock can be a distraction if you’re looking at it every couple of minutes to see if your time is up. Get a timer, set it, and forget it. You know that it will ring when your time is up so you won’t have to watch the clock.

Wear a Blindfold: Okay, not literally, but if you have anything near you that could distract you, like a computer, TV, smartphone, or disco ball, you’re going to want to put them in the next room with your piano-playing kittens…speaking of which, you may want to tell the kittens and anyone else around, that you don’t want to be disturbed for the next # minutes. Basically, you need to become blind to distractions.

All or Something: Keep in mind why you set your goal of learning a new language in the first place. It’s not an all-or-nothing goal. If you practice three days in a row, then miss a day, everything you learned doesn’t mysteriously disappear from your memory. So missing a day doesn’t ruin anything. Big deal, you missed a day. Just keep going. Don’t give in to all-or-nothing thinking. At the end of the week, wouldn’t you rather say that you practiced six days out of seven rather than two days out of seven? Seems like an easy choice, if you ask me. So stop letting one missed day ruin all of your successful days. After all, you’re not going to see a baby fall on its softly-padded behind and say, “Well, that didn’t work. I guess I have to start learning how to walk all over again next week.”

Stay motivated by planning ahead, and by taking small and frequent steps that will move you forward. Don’t let the structure of a calendar dictate your actions. Let each day be its own victory. Accumulate successful days by the majority and don’t let a slip-up deter you from your goal. Motivation is directly tied to how we feel about our goals. When a goal is meaningful, seems achievable, and you know how to take the next step, you’ll find that your motivation will be pumped up and you’ll make a lot of progress.

How to Set Goals to Achieve Better Results, Faster?

“The minute you get away from fundamentals, whether it’s proper technique, work ethic, or mental preparation, the bottom can fall out of your game, your school work, your job, whatever you’re doing.” – Michael Jordan

The greatest professional athletes in history focused on the fundamentals of their sport to achieve at the highest level. That includes the likes of Michael Jordan in basketball or Tom Brady in football.

The same can be said for achieving business success. If you’re ready to break through to your next level of success in your business this year, you have to get laser-focused on what may seem elementary but is essential.

And one of the most fundamental exercises any financial advisor can leverage is goal-setting. It’s simple, yet powerful. Goal-setting can empower you and help spark your energy and passion.

In this article, you’ll learn a proven process for setting goals that inspire you to take action and achieve greater results faster. But more than that, you’ll learn how to set goals for the right reasons. Goals are more than just something to reach for — they help you grow your business to where you want to take it in the future.

Why Should You Set Goals?

Sometimes, busy financial advisors will say, “I’d love to set some goals, but I just don’t have time.” I challenge this way of thinking with a quote from the great college basketball coach John Wooden: “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”

Now is your time!

Another benefit to setting goals is that you’ll see more opportunities more often that can lead to achieving the outcomes you most desire.

You have millions of different bits of information coming at you constantly in every moment of your life. But most of this information is only picked up by your subconscious and not fully lifted to your conscious awareness.

Let your brain know what’s important and what isn’t. As soon as you consciously make yourself aware of the goals you want to achieve, your brain will allow information related to those goals to pass through to your conscious awareness.

Where Do I Start?

When you’re setting goals, follow the direction of Stephen R. Covey from his best-selling book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” In it, he says, “Start with the end in mind.”

Why is this important? It’s easier to put markers along a path if you know the destination.

If you start your goal-setting today by writing out a 20-year vision, does that mean you’re committed to it for the next 20 years? Absolutely not. Things will change, and so will your plan. But you’ll find that starting with the vision will make the process of goal-setting easier.

Let’s look at it another way. When you’re trying to put together a complex puzzle with hundreds of pieces, is it easier to guess what the puzzle should look like as you piece it together or to look at the picture on the box as a model and begin putting pieces in place based on that picture?

Envisioning Your Goal

If you need help creating your vision for the future, consider your answers to some of these questions:

  • What does your team look like? How many team members?
  • What are your total assets under management?
  • How many clients do you have?
  • How often do you meet with your clients?
  • How are you growing your business?
  • Where and how are you spending your time?
  • Are you working on the business or in the business?
  • How many weeks of vacation will you have?
  • How much time will you spend with your family?
  • What experiences will you create for yourself, your family, your team and your clients?
  • What will your health and physical fitness be like?
  • What will your personal and professional relationships be like?
  • Will you be volunteering with an organization?
  • What other causes will you support in your free time?
  • There’s no right answer to these questions — this is your vision. Be creative and think big. Human potential is virtually limitless; set your goals from this state of mind.

The Goal State of Mind

Set your goals in a high-energy, passionate state of being. Don’t set goals if you’re tired, upset or disappointed.

If you’re not in the right state of mind, take steps to get there. Get active. Lift weights or go for a jog. Even running for five minutes will get your blood flowing and increase your energy levels. Watch a motivational clip on YouTube or listen to a song that always fires you up. Do what you need to do to get yourself excited for the future.

Once you’re in this high-energy state and you’ve painted a clear picture of your vision for the future, it’s time to write out your goals.

Setting Your Goals

Now that you understand the importance of having goals and how to think toward the future, you’re ready to set goals.

I recommend organizing your goals into one-, three-, five-, and 10-year goals. Start with the longer-term goals and work backward.

Don’t worry about how you will achieve the long-term goals yet. But as you think about your one-year goals, begin choosing the specific action steps that will help you reach them.

You can have goals in multiple areas of your life. Consider also setting them in the areas like your health, relationships, spirituality and personal economic success.

What to Keep in Mind

As you set your goals, why not go big? Even if you don’t know what’s possible or realistic, don’t play it safe when it comes to your future.

Goals are important because they give you direction and something to work toward. The power of having goals is not in achieving them but in who you become in the process of working toward them.

This is one of the reasons I don’t believe in setting realistic or safe goals. By setting higher goals, you’re setting higher standards for yourself. You’ll be forced to become the kind of person who can achieve those bigger and better goals. And, as you become that greater version of yourself, you’ll be able to serve more value to more people.

I believe that the people who set the biggest, seemingly far-fetched goals in life are the ones who positively serve the greatest value to the greatest number of