Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

As we enter the New Year, goal planning via New Year’s Resolutions becomes a priority for a lot of people.

However, as many of us would be aware, there’s a big difference between goal setting and goal achieving.

There are too many people with unfulfilled dreams and goals, so the intention of this post is to give you four simple, easy to remember steps to assist you in achieving your goals.

Here are the four R’s of goal achievement:

Record your goals.  Writing your goals down makes you much more likely to achieve them.  Whether you use a pen and paper, a spreadsheet or an iPhone app isn’t really important.  What is important is that you take the time to get your ideas out of your head and into reality. 

Revisit your goals.  Whilst writing your goals down is important, there’s little point in doing so and then never reading them again.  I’ve returned from a lot of seminars and workshops with a great list of goals that I never see again and soon forget.  There are a couple of ways in which you can do this:

  • Brian Tracy proposes writing your top 5 goals down on a daily basis in an exercise book.  The act of interacting with your goals so regularly sets your mind on track to find ways to get things done that will get you closer to completing your aim. 
  • Some people find great success with the use of sticky notes or small cards with their goals written on them.  They are then placed in strategic places so that you can see them regularly.  Your fridge door, computer monitor, bathroom mirror or even the visor of your car can be great places to put them.  I’ve also heard of people using their computer screen savers to keep their goals in front of them.

Reveal your goals to others.  Recording your goals and revisiting them regularly is helpful, but your intentions become much more tangible when you make yourself accountable to someone else.  If I have an aim to become a better husband, I can write this down and look at this aim often, but I will be much more likely to achieve this goal if I was to reveal it to my wife. 

The church that I work for is made up of hundreds of Life Groups where people have the opportunity to regularly discuss life and faith with peers, creating opportunities for accountability and celebrating successes together.  These sorts of groups can certainly assist in goal achievement as we include others on our journey instead of trying to live in isolation.

It could be your spouse, boss, mentor, pastor, life coach, parent or someone else you trust, but involving others in your aims makes it much more likely that you will take meaningful action.

Respond appropriately to set-backs.  I can pretty much guarantee that at some stage next year there will be obstacles to overcome.  It may be a job you didn’t land, a bad habit that you went back to or something else that didn’t go right.

The challenge is to respond to these challenges with optimism, persisting in the face of obstacles and finding a way to stay on track.  Successful people aren’t individuals without problems, they are people who find a way to achieve their goals despite the problems that present themselves.

Too many people give up when things go wrong, going back to old habits, resorting to negative self-talk, trying to find someone to take the blame or behaving like victims.  If you can learn to respond to set-backs resourcefully, you are well on track to achieve your goals and dreams.

As we enter a new year, I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year.  I trust that these points are helpful and pray that the year ahead is full of great joy and God’s abundant blessings for you and your loved ones.

Are there any specific goals that you will be aiming to achieve this year?

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