Preparing to Achieve Your Goal
When it comes to achieving a goal whether it’s personal, professional or sporting what you do to prepare yourself can make all the difference to your success.
And whilst developing good strategies and working through these consistently will help achieve your goal, it’s also important to ensure that you’re properly prepared in other areas. Here are some areas to consider:
Remove the distractions
Most of us don’t have the luxury of being able to lock ourselves away from the world and focus purely on achieving our goals but there are some things you can still do to prevent becoming distracted. For example, I know that I’m easily distracted by information, especially when I can see the benefit in learning more about a particular topic. As a result I’m signed up to multiple email lists, I research constantly online about anything and everything and I can lose hours doing it. However, when I have a goal to achieve I unsubscribe from all information based mailing lists, I avoid scrolling through social media and I stay away from the internet (and bookshops) as much as possible, so that I can avoid the temptation.
What distracts each of us can be different. Maybe you’re part of a business or social group that you need to take time out from, maybe you need to find a place to work with less distractions, maybe you have a hobby or sport that’s all consuming or do you simply need to switch off your phone for a short period every day? Make a note of every little thing not related to your goal that consumes your time. Whilst there are certain things we must do every day there are also things that we can place on hold for a little while (even though we enjoy them). Just remember it’s only temporary and focus on how satisfied you’ll feel when you’ve achieved your goal as a result of committing your full attention to it.
Share your plans
If others around you are unaware that you’re busy working towards a goal then they may invite you to events that you could feel awkward saying no to or unknowingly interrupt you at critical times. In the same way that you need to avoid some distractions for a period of time you may also need time out from certain social and family activities. Even if you don’t feel comfortable sharing your goal, you can still let the people in your life know that you’re currently working on a new project and need time to find out if you can make it work. This will help them understand why you can’t spend much time with them at the moment and also reassure them that it’s not because you don’t want to spend time with them. Let them know how long it’s likely to take so they can plan around it and inform you of any important events during that time which you will still need to fit into your schedule (ie: special birthdays and events, etc.). Family and friends who support you will understand and you can support them too when it’s time for them to achieve something.
Set aside time
Even with the greatest plan in the world if time isn’t allocated in your diary to work on it you may struggle to get there. By removing some of the distractions you should already have freed up some time to work on your goal but to really make this happen it still needs to be booked in as non negotiable time. When and what time/s you choose will depend upon existing work and family commitments as well as when you feel most focused. It may be one block of time or it could be minutes here and there as you can fit it in. However, regardless of when you choose to do it book it in now so that you can start making progress.
Don’t look too far ahead
One of the ways you can sabotage yourself is by looking too far ahead and becoming overwhelmed by everything you need to do to get to your goal. When you’re thinking too far ahead you can also miss seeing what you need to be doing right now. If this happens just pull yourself back from the future and focus on the next step. Think of it this way. If you were travelling somewhere by car you’d choose where you were going and how you were going to get there and then you’d simply focus on the road in front of you. Do the same with your goal. Once you’ve chosen the right strategies to follow just follow them and they will lead you in the right direction.
Working towards a goal is much more than choosing a goal, planning the strategies and working towards it. It’s also about ensuring that you have everything in place to succeed. Make sure before you start that you take the time to remove or minimise any barriers like the above examples that may get in your way.
Photo credit: iStock.com/Bychykhin_Olexandr