Wednesday, December 31, 2014

How to Accomplish Absolutely Anything

It’s a bold claim, isn’t it—that this blog is the key to accomplishing absolutely anything in your life? Perhaps it is bold, but that’s what this blog is all about: finding ways to achieve your biggest dreams and to change your life.

Like a genie granting three wishes, there are limitations, but the following skill is one of the most important things I have ever learned and I guarantee it can help you manage stress, achieve your dreams, and improve your life. And being that it’s a new year tomorrow, there is not better time to implement this life-changing skill.

So how do you accomplish absolutely anything?

Proper goal-setting.

I truly believe our lives are in our control, but we’re hindered by circumstance, motivation, and distractions. Proper goal-setting treads a path that leads us to the life we want. This step-by-step guide, inspired by psychologist Gerard Egan’s skilled helper model, is easy and fun to do!

Before we begin, I’m going to establish the rules of proper goal-setting. Your goals must:

1.) Be something you have control over
2.) Have a timeline
3.) Be measurable

For example, “I want to sell my book to a Big 6 publisher and become a famous author” is not a valid goal because it does not contain the three necessary qualities for success. However, “I want to finish writing my manuscript by January 31st” has all three of the qualities for a successful goal.

Ready to accomplish something awesome? Grab a piece of paper and a pen and follow along…

Step 1: Brainstorm Statements of Good Intention

Use your piece of paper to write down as many statements of good intentions as you possibly can! Statements of good intentions are just things you would like to do. Think broad and go until you’re out of ideas!

Examples: I want to finish writing my book, I want to run a successful blog, I want to make new friends, I want to travel, I want to exercise more, I want to spend more time with my family, I want to get a new job, etc.

Step 2: Choose between 2-4 Statements of Good Intentions.

You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with too many goals, but you also want to start 2015 off right, and you want to challenge yourself. Choose the most important things on your list and write them down. I’ll use the statement of good intention of “I want to finish my novel” as a building block for the next examples.

Step 3: Create a broad goal

Now, we’re going to narrow down our statement of good intention into a more manageable goal.

Example: “I will make writing my novel a part of my daily routine.”

You may notice your statement of good intention can be broken into many broad goals. For example, a statement of good intention of “I want to be healthier” could have broad goals of: I want to start running, I want to drink more water, or I want to eat more vegetables. Choose one and direct your attention on that. After you create a detailed plan to achieve that goal, you can move onto the next one.

Write your broad goals down for each statement of good intention.

Step 4: Create a specific goal

In this step, you create a very specific goal based off of your broad goal. Try to be as detailed as possible.

Example: “I will write 1000 words of my novel everyday”.

Write your specific goals down for each broad goal.

Step 5: Create a manageable goal

In this step, we put timelines on our specific goals to make sure we can judge our progress.

Examples: By January 31st, I will have written 30, 000 words of my novel.

Write your manageable goals down for each specific goal.

Step 6: Create plans to achieve your goals.

Take a good look at your measurable goals and think about the barriers in the way of achieving them. Then, write down steps you can take to help you achieve your goal. For example, if your specific goal is to start running regularly three times a week by the end of the month, a barrier may be a lack of self-discipline. A plan to overcome this may be to join a running group that will hold you accountable. This step may be different for each goal, but try to write out about 3 plans for each goal.

Example: Barriers to writing 30, 000 words of my novel by January 31st include a hectic schedule and distraction from family and friends. My plan to overcome these barriers is:
1) I will set aside a certain time each day to write.
2) If I know I will be busy in the days coming up, I will write more on other days to maintain my word count goal.
3) I will tell friends and family members so they understand when I need time to write.
4) I will treat myself to a night out on February 1st if I achieve my goal.

And that’s it! 

Remember, goals are meant to challenge you! You have the ability to inspire yourself and achieve anything in the world. Goals are a map to the heart. Good luck! Please share your goals with me and have a happy, healthy, adventurous 2015! There is much excitement on the horizon.

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