Have you been going through life aimlessly, believing that good things will naturally come your way? It doesn’t always work out, does it?
Or, do you set loose goals for yourself while not taking active steps to achieve them? Not a surefire way to get what you want either, right?
So what does work? Setting specific goals and then taking positive, sustained action towards achieving them. Even better, setting ONE goal at a time and committing 100 percent to achieving that one goal.
You may think that’s easier said than done, but I have four really great reasons why I’m 100% right about this and why pursuing one super-specific goal at a time sets you up for success.
The Right Way to Set Specific Goals to Get What You Want
Anyone can set goals, but sadly we often don’t achieve the giant goals we set for ourselves. Why? Because they’re too big for us to wrap our heads around and we get discouraged long before we ever reach the finish line. Hey, if that sounds like you, take heart; it happens to most of us.
The first step to getting what you want is establishing specific goals to help you attain it. You can’t just set any goals; your goals need to be super-specific and large enough to push you, but not so large that you’re overwhelmed. Making your goals measurable, relevant, attainable, and time-bound is critical in order to see positive outcomes. This approach to goal-setting is widely known as setting “SMART” goals:
You may have dozens of goals in mind, so what should you do? My advice: Pick one and keep your focus on it until you succeed, then take on the next goal. Be crystal clear on what you want to achieve. Remember, specificity is your friend; vagueness will lead to confusion, overwhelm, and more often than not, failure.
Are You Ready for the Magic Part?
Here are the four magical conditions that show up when you create a specific goal for yourself and commit to it …
1. You become more motivated.
A specific goal allows you to have a reason for taking action. For example, before you might have gone to work for a basic paycheck, now you work longer hours short-term as a way to advance your career long-term. You see the value in making sacrifices now so that you can create a better future for yourself later. You also view purpose in the actions you take because you understand the bigger picture.
Committing to a specific goal enables you to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You already know what the payoff will be after all of your hard work, which makes you all the more motivated to move in that direction. If this specific goal’s result delivers an extreme level of joy, you are even more likely to be motivated to complete it.
2. Your focus improves.
Think about all the tasks you do during your day. More often than not, a majority of your responsibilities happen to be mundane: Make your bed in the morning. Eat breakfast. Go to work. Cook dinner. Clean the house. Even if you set casual goals for yourself, you are likely to push important duties to the back burner because you do not see how they immediately contribute to your life.
This is especially true if you do not set a time limit for a significant task that needs to be done, yet you expect to do it anyway. If other more pressing tasks come up during the day, will you ever accomplish that “flexible” task which is critical to do? Probably not. Other timely responsibilities will take precedence, even if they are not as significant.
On the other hand, specific goals help you pay attention, prioritize, and stay the course. Instead of becoming distracted by other people or more enjoyable (and passive) activities, you continue to take action in a way that will directly lead to achieving your goal. Since you are then able to prioritize this goal which has both a high importance and time-sensitive requirement, you can focus on it singlehandedly, rather than trying to juggle multiple actions at once.
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3. Your self-confidence grows.
The more that you continually work — little by little — to achieve a goal, the easier it is to look back and see your personal growth after attaining each small victory achieved in pursuit of that goal. You see the strength you have developed. You are able to view your past challenges and realize that you can conquer anything.
This can happen at any point along your journey of completing a specific goal. From the very beginning, you might not be as confident, but the more actions you carry out to reach your goal, the more progress you can see. As you see the progress you are capable of making, you will feel better about yourself overall. If nothing else, the growth you see in your self-confidence is a rewarding enough reason to set a specific goal for yourself.
4. You see your results sooner rather than later.
While a goal you half-heartedly commit to doesn’t enforce any expectations, having a specific goal that you are fully committed to stirs something deep within you.
You will naturally become motivated to take action. Your actions will turn out to be more focused. You will see results sooner because the entire process of completing a specific goal is established with concrete steps to take from the very beginning.
Once you’re in this positive cycle of accomplishment, specific goals will be easier to set and accomplish, and hence, you’ll achieve more than you ever thought possible.
Applying This to Your Own Life
Ultimately, committing to a specific goal creates a process that allows you to receive positivity and success in your life. You no longer have to accept going through each day with little to no results. By formulating a specific goal for yourself — be it in your relationships, in your career, or in your home life — and recognizing the positive cycle that comes out of it, you will surely see the magic in committing to it.
Are you ready to be more motivated and more focused? Do you want to grow your self-confidence (in a rewarding way)? Would you like to see faster results when it comes to goal attainment?
Notice the momentum you create when you commit to taking action toward your specific goal. You can apply this momentum to any area of your life in order to be successful.
That is how you achieve the life you want.
That, my friends, is magical.
About the guest blogger: Amelia White
Amelia White is a content marketing expert with more than 5 years of experience writing for a variety of clients. She loves writing about productivity and motivation. Amelia writes for NSW Writers.