You Need To Have A Plan To Achieve Your Goals

J.R. Heimbigner

Photo by alan KO on Unsplash

What does it take to actually complete or achieve goals? It is the end of another year and everyone is talking about goal setting and life planning. Why? Because we want to live the best years of our lives now. Every year, people set New Year's Resolutions and goals for themselves.

They feel excited going into the new year and want to do something great. Ultimately, most people fail. Something happens and they lose motivation, excitement, or vision and they give up on achieving their goals or resolutions.

Do you want the bad news or the good news?

Forbes published an article a few years ago stating that only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions according to a study by Stanford University. And after reviewing more and more articles, it seems that barely anyone can keep resolutions past February let alone six months.

This is bad news for a lot of people. They have these high expectations for their lives in a new year and then fail almost right away.

There is good news. Most people fail because they didn’t create a plan. However, when we create a plan to achieve goals, not only set them, we give ourselves a fighting chance at success. Setting goals is only part of achieving goals. Living a better life in the new year is about achieving goals. Nearly every resource has a few tips and tricks for achieving its goals and I have created a plan of my own that has helped me to continually achieve my personal goals year after year.

The Plan

I used to think I would be successful at my goals if I created amazing goals at the beginning of each year. What I found out was my goals wouldn’t be completed if I didn’t create a plan that included the following:

  • 1. Share in Community
  • 2. Chart the Course to Achievement
  • 3. Review Regularly
  • 4. Creating Movement

It is not enough to merely create goals and say you will complete them. It is essential for you to prepare yourself to achieve your goals. You need to create a plan to help you through the hard times and take advantage of the easy times. We need to focus in on how we will complete the goals more than the content of our goals. You will find when you complete a plan with your goal setting, you will feel more confident in seeing your goals through.

1. Share in Community

The key is having a community you trust. I have seen people share their goals online, and then when I check back with them a few months later, they have given up. It goes to show how little connection we have over the internet. What we need from the community are a few people, trustworthy people, that we can share our goals and create space to check-in. What we need are people who truly care about us and will call us out when we are not living up to our goals and plans.

This community will be so important when we get partway through the year and we want to give up. They will be the “truth-tellers,” reminding us why we set the goals and why it is important for us to push past any sort of adversity we encounter. Your community is number one in preparing for this year’s goals because they will be the ones who will believe in you when you don’t believe in yourself.

2. Chart the Course

When I set goals, I focus on breaking them down into bite-sized chunks. The idea is that if I can set goals each month that will build up to my goals for the year, I can easily complete my goals. I chart a course for my goals in this manner. First, I have a big goal for the year. Second, I create goals every month that has a focus on my goals for the year. Third, each week in a month, I set out to complete certain goals or build up to complete the goals for the month.

The idea is to turn the big goal into smaller tasks to help me make progress and gain momentum. We do this because we thrive when we know we are making something happen. When we string a few months of smaller goals together, it becomes easier to stay on track and to achieve our goals. We must chart our course quarter by quarter, month to month, week to week. Otherwise, we will lose momentum and focus.

3. Review Regularly

As we chart the course, we must review our goals often. The way that we track our progress is through review. If we are not reviewing our goals, the chances of us actually succeeding at them drop drastically. We will say we forget about them. But really, we are showing that they are not important to us. Reviewing our goals on a regular basis keeps them at the forefront of our minds and helps us see when we need to change the course. It also helps us know when we need to focus more on a goal for a specific time.

What I have found to be the best way to review our goals is quarterly, monthly, and weekly. I set time aside to look at my goals. Track my progress and then re-evaluate my next steps. The quarterly review helps me focus on which goals will take priority, or if I need to adjust my deadline. The monthly review helps me break down each goal into doable chunks and track my progress. And weekly reviews help me take small steps while keeping my goals in focus. Each one is for review and for setting the next applicable action.

4. Create Movement

What does it mean to create movement? When we create a plan to achieve our goals, we need to be conscious of the times when we start to stall out and the times when we need to pick up the pace. These are moments when we need to create movement in our plan. Over this last year, I have found that my ability to complete goals and stay on track has been made possible by having inspiration along the way and having the motivation to chase down.

Inspiration can come from almost anywhere. I typically have quotes or bible verses that help me. Though I know plenty of people are motivated by songs or exerts from books. These inspirations keep you moving and help you pick up the pace. This is something that you can review every week or month to make sure that you sustain your drive to complete your goal.

Motivation can simply be knowing what will be true from completing your goal or it can be a reward. When things get hard, we need something to have in mind so we can push through our lack of desire or the plateaus we might experience in the process of working toward our goals. Again, you can reward yourself for achieving your goals with physical items or fun experiences.

More Than Goals and Plans

The main idea is this: when we create goals, we need to create a plan. When we create a plan to achieve the goals we give ourselves way better odds to complete them. And when we make it to the end of our goals, we begin to change our lives year after year. And that is what we want to be doing, living better lives every year. Building and growing our lives into something great for ourselves, our families, friends, and the world. I am confident this will help you achieve your goals this year.

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