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How to Tune in Your Goals to Your Actions

Eilidh Milnes

Six Steps to Tune in Your goals to Your Actions


In previous posts you've found advice that can help you to keep your motivation fine tuned. In this one, let's feature on three important aspects of goal setting. How to:
  • Prioritize your goals 
  • Focus on your high pay-off activities
  • Small, persistent changes will bring you, significant, long-term results
  • Tune in to my interview with the massive goal expert, David Hyner.

Keep in the Forefront of Your Mind

  1. Why do I want to achieve this goal?
  2. What's the purpose behind it?
  3. What result/s do I expect after accomplishing this particular goal?
  4. How will I celebrate my success?

1. Discover your long-term priorities with SWOT

Conduct a SWOT analysis that will concentrate around finding out what your current situation is and establish your opportunities and threats. You'll learn how your current assets and weaknesses are connected with your opportunities and threats. It's possible that you'll be tempted to shortcut the process and skip this step by moving immediately to the task of listing your goals, however I do not recommend this approach.
As an outcome of this analysis, you'll find out invaluable insights for creating a long-term action plan, and you will have the possibility to: sum up where you are at the moment as a team, company, or person in your developmental process, plan your directions and specify where you would  like to be in the future. So don't short change yourself and try to short-cut a short cut!

2. Write down your goals

One step that all successful self improvement writers including Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar, Anthony Robbins emphasize is the importance of writing down goals. A goal that is written down can bring you clarity and focus. It can give you direction and a declaration of where you are headed.
Evidence of the efficacy of written goals lies in a study conducted during 1979 Harvard MBA program, where graduate students were asked “have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?”  
The results? Only 3% had written goals and plans, 13% had goals but they weren’t in writing, and 84% had no goals at all. 

Ten years later, the same group was interviewed again and the result was absolutely mind-blowing. The 13% of the class who had goals, but did not write them down was earning twice the amount of the 84% who had no goals. The 3% who had written their goals down, were earning, on average, ten times as much as the remaining 97% of the class combined! So, as was proved in the research, the very act of writing down your goals vastly increases your possibility of success. This is an activity that we would encourage you to not pass up; after all who wouldn’t like to be in the top 3%.

The process of writing down your goals also frees up your memory to be occupy with more important things, and allows you to be less stressed and more concentrated on crucial activities. Memories, in many cases, are also not very reliable. Every time we remember something we recreate what happened, rather than just replaying a film from our mental archives. During the process of recreation, we tend to leave out some details and change those that are uncomfortable for us. So, our memory can be like a leaking bucket. So, take your time, and list everything that you have always wanted to accomplish or have always dreamed about.

3. Prioritize: Important vs. Urgent

Research indicates that many people spend a great deal of their time—an average of 41%—on unimportant activities. Why do they keep repeating these tasks? Because ridding yourself of unnecessary work is easier said than done. We instinctively stick to tasks that make us feel busy and that seem to be urgent.
It’s just human nature to give more weight to things that are right in front of your nose, so you need to use your willpower to make up the difference between the strength of your immediate desires and the importance of your long-term goals.
To quote U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, "What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important."
You need to distinguish important issues from urgent ones that seem to be important, but actually are traps set by our mind that add additional priorities to activities that require you to put out fires, yet produce little value at the end.

4. Important vs. Urgent

Your goal is to move the most urgent tasks to the long-term goals section, and put off all unimportant issues and come back to them if you have some spare time.
By focusing our efforts on working on fewer but more important items at the same time, you will get more done. Lots more, actually. And you will feel less stressed.

5. Manage Your Priorities

At the end of the day, when you will have accomplished one small but important objective, you will actually feel more fulfilled than after accomplishing several less important ones. The more compelling that you can make your long-term desire, the less willpower you will need to close the gap between planning and acting.
In order to do this, you keep before your eyes only those goals that we are currently working on. You also need to constantly remind yourself “why” you want to achieve this goal, and what reward or improvement stands behind this particular goal. 
Write down the purposes for and the reasons why you consider these particular goals to be the most important, how you will recognize that you have accomplished them and keep reminding yourself of these important points as many times as you can.

6. Action Beats Everything

Rome wasn’t built in a day; likewise, successful people don’t always know the right answer straightaway, however they keep moving regardless. Taking action will lead to answers, so don’t let obstacles stall you when you’re searching for the right solution. You definitely are ready to spread your wings and take action right away. You can do this with your new plan.

Tune into the new Confidence Collaboration Podcast when I discuss goal setting with expert David Hyner. 


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