Hopefully by now you have a full grasp of starting your goals, setting them, and have a long-term vision of what your goal looks like. This blog will talk about goal follow through and how imperative it is for you to reach your goal(s). This is the most important blog out of the entire series because it will teach you step-by-step on how you need to follow through with your goal(s). If you do not understand this the first time, please reread this again and again until you understand the full concepts provided. This section is all about taking action and steps that will help you do as such. Let us take action right now so we can move forward to our goal(s).
Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort. - Paul J. Meyer
This section will focus on how to move forward and set yourself up to conquer your goal(s) for achievement. Are you ready to conquer your goal? Are you ready to put in the time and effort it takes for a successful goal? Do you have your eyes set on the prize? Let us move forward together and do this as a team!
There are 12 steps to getting past commitment to achievement:
1. Do it today, not tomorrow
2. Develop a passion or an anger about your present situation
3. Do it for the most important person in the world - you!
4. Write down your exact plan
5. Set a time frame
6. Look for substitutes (placebos or pacifiers)
7. Determine the daily dose
8. Don't quit just because you slip
9. Post your goals and achievements
10. It's a day-by-day process
11. Change other habits, so that one is not overpowering the other
12. Celebrate your victory!
This is the formula for moving forward on your goal. Start today and not tomorrow. That is the single most important step out of the entire formula because if you procrastinate and put it off until tomorrow, then you will have less of a chance of moving forward. The reason being is that anxiety, fear, and other things will get in the way and inhibit you from moving on to the next level. The largest part of moving forward is to face your fears and anxieties. Do not let those get in the way of reaching your dreams. Those are dream and goal killers! They do not belong!
Having a strong character is extremely important to goal follow through. Character determines the type of person you are and how well you handle adversities that may happen along the way. There are several points that determine a strong character: 1. An individual needs to possess the strength to a certain degree to be able to show strength-related behavior, 2. Situational circumstances need to allow or call for the demonstration of a strength, as trait-related needs conducive circumstances to be displayed, and 3. The applicability of a given character strength may be defined as the degree to which situational circumstances allow an individual to display strengths-relevant behavior. The point is that without a strong character and determination to see the light at the end of the tunnel, moving forward to reach your goal is nearly impossible. It can happen, but you cannot short change yourself hoping for a miracle if you do not take action and the steps to move forward.
Read below a quote which sums up character and goals:
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
When following through with goals, make sure you do so with intent. Do not start a goal and not finish it. That is not the way to live life and that is definitely not the way to be successful. Run the race and complete it! Do not run your race with uncertainty. Run it knowing that you have a goal to reach. If you do this, then you will conquer your goal and will not live in your past.
Let us dig deeper on how to follow through with your goal. Hopefully by now you have picked up on the obvious hint of writing down your goal and doing extensive research on it before diving forward. The next step is to follow through or going from writing it down to doing it. The follow through stage involves more research. For example, you will be able to hopefully write a small novel or at least be knowledgeable so that you can inform people you know how educated you are in your goal.
Let us take the next few minutes and talk about how to research your goal. For example, use scholarly resources, credible websites, educated individuals (i.e. PhD's or people with years of experience in that field), or nationally accredited journals. Do not consult gossip columns, online message boards or blogging websites to do your research because those are only opinionated columns and do not hold any educated evidence. Doing the proper research and being intentional about it will help you determine how to reach your goal and steps on how to go about it.
Implemental planning has proven useful for goals ranging from exercising and smoking cessation, to recycling and academic achievement. Although a broad range of goals has been studied, each study has examined the benefits of implementation intentions for a single goal...Indeed, we theorize that implementation intentions are less beneficial when applied to multiple goals versus a single goal. This effect occurs because forming implementation intentions for a set of goals draws attention to the difficulty of executing the planned actions. The anticipated difficulty of carrying out all the requisite activities undermines commitment and, in turn, goal success.
Implement and follow through with your goal. As Dalton stated, having multiple goals may be a difficult thing to focus on. Be tactful and focus on one goal for the time being and when that is completed, then move on to the next. The best example for this is debt snowballing. Debt snowballing is a method to get rid of debt as fast as possible without going broke again trying to pay it off. With debt snowballing, pay off the smallest debt first and take that payment and apply it to the minimum of the next smallest and so on. When everything is said and done, you will have your debt paid off. Same goes with goals. When you have one goal completed, it is ok to go on to the next one only if the goal you completed is not a long-term goal. If it is a long-term goal, then focus on that and do not leave it until you have completed it. If it involves several short-term goals to get you there, then go that route. The point is to get you to your long-term goal. Do not live life on the short term because you will not be successful doing so. Living life on the short term will leave you broke and frustrated in the end.
This may be a question that is lingering through your mind. The easiest way to illustrate this is to go back to the debt snowballing example. If you have $75,000 in debt and are being charged 6% interest per payment (or month), then you will have to look at the income you are making. Most people with this type of debt can pay it off within 3-5 years with strong discipline and a salary of $85,000 - $100,000+ per year. This equates to $4903.84 to $5769.23+ per month. The minimum payment on the debt (without snowballing) is $832.65 per month. The payment with the snowballing method is $2281.65 (paid off in 3 years). The point is that with the proper research, determination and discipline, you will get the debt paid off in 3 years.
Here is another example, when you take out a mortgage loan for a home, make sure your debt to income percentage does not exceed 25%. This is where people get in trouble. They buy too much home for what they can afford and end up foreclosing. Sometimes you have to look at your goal and match it up with what you can financially afford. The reality check happens if your goal is so big that you cannot afford to get yourself there. Then it becomes a dream. Take a step back (at that point) and re-evaluate, start small and work from there. The big, long term goal probably will not happen for a few more years (sorry).
Another example, how to own a business. You must first do your research on the business (your goal) and make sure it will be profitable in 3 years. After you have done your research, write down the steps on how you are going to open the business (i.e. What is it you are wanting to open? Overhead?, Operating Costs?, Profit? Profit margins? How long will it take to pay off the loan? (if you have a small business loan) What is my breakeven point?) and get started. The next step is to ask yourself if you must build a building or do it out of your home. If it is a building, then what are the costs for that (Contractor, materials, what if's). If you are a one man show, then you can essentially run the business out of your home. If that is the case, then you need to build and order your supplies (marketing materials, forms, supplies, product). After that, how are you going to bring in your customers through your door? (marketing costs, if you do it yourself opposed to having someone do marketing for you (i.e. marketing company or private consultant)). Who are your customers? (Target market? Demographics?) Once you do that, then you have to plan your grand opening (the long-awaited step) (when are you going to open your doors? Any incentives for your first customers? Sales?) Then the most important step, planning your overhead (i.e. bills, employees, supplies/product costs). If you feel you can do that, then own a business. Please note: If you plan on starting a business, do it the right way. Do not go out on a whim and quit your day job and go gung ho into being an entrepreneur. The failure rate is much higher than if you are conservative and still work while building your business. Some of the wealthiest Americans have done that approach (i.e. work while building a business) and have done very well for themselves. Those Americans are: Steve Wozniak (Co-founder of Apple), Pierre Omidyar (Ebay), Henry Ford (Ford). 20% of CEO's indicate that they continued to work a paying job after they found their organization. Be smart and still earn an income until your business takes off.
The last example is what 99% of Americans have as a goal: To move up the corporate ladder. How does this happen? The obvious answer is through hard work and determination that one day you will land your opportunity into the ranks of management. How are you going to get there? The question is: Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10+ years? There is a reason why employers ask this in interviews. They want to not only make sure you want to stay at the company for the long term but want to see if you have any ambition to manage or lead. Do not plan on moving up into a management role if you have the mindset of staying at the company for a short period of time. You are wasting your time and effort you can be placing toward something else and you are wasting your employers time. If you stay for the short term, that is fine. Earn a few extra bucks and save for your long-term goal. If your long-term goal is to be in management, then prepare yourself now to be in that place in the long term (i.e. Work extra hard, have excellent work ethic, perform well, have discipline and show your boss you can and will take on extra responsibilities). Also, show your peers you can be a great leader and be selfless at work. Followers look up to leaders. Do not be a follower; rather be a leader because you will then be an influencer at the work place and then move into a leadership role within your organization.
Hopefully this blog helped you in figuring out how to follow through with your goals after planning them. Re-read this until you fully get the concept of how to follow through with your goals. This is the time to move forward and act now (if you have not already). Do not waste time because the time is now to make a statement and change your family tree (for the positive). One thing that I have learned is to not let anyone stand in the way of my long-term goals. If one ounce of negativity is included, then that will cloud your mind and will keep you back from pursuing your long-term goal. Do not allow the negativity to ruin your pursuit to following through with your long-term goal. It is going to take time but once you get there, it will be a success and it will pay off.
The next blog will discuss how to finish your goals, conquer them and perform them to the highest potential. Move on to that blog if you are absolutely ready to. Finishing your goals is an important step to goal success and making sure reach your goals with full potential. Therefore, it is important to follow everything that was taught to you in the first two blogs before moving forward. See you in the next blog!