4 Things I’ve Learned From Achieving My Goals

Every individual, regardless of their profession, has goals. Whether it’s to spend more time with our family or to improve our fitness, we all have them. But the sad fact is when people set goals, too few actually achieve them.
That's why I'm sharing my own tried-and-tested methods to help you forge your own path to success.

Achieving your goals can be a daunting task. It takes time, dedication, and hard work to achieve anything worthwhile.

It’s easy to get distracted by the next new shiny project or tasks that seem important at first glance, but don’t get us closer to what we want to achieve. It’s equally as easy to burn the candle at both ends and stretch ourselves thin, only to end up burned out, frustrated, and further away from our dreams. 

There are some things in life that you just have to learn the hard way. But how to achieve your goals shouldn’t be one of them. So, here are four things I’ve learned from achieving my goals to help get you started on yours…

Missions” are more effective than “goals”

Growth is a common drive and motivation for entrepreneurs. But this constant need to improve and optimize can take over other aspects of your life, too. Your personal journey, hobbies, and family time can also be hijacked by this mindset. It ties in neatly with our culture’s fixation on self-improvement.

Researcher Lincoln Hill argues that our obsession with goals is detrimental to our growth: “Take a moment to consider: Where does your desire to “fix” or change yourself come from, and does this dynamic feel familiar? When we allow ourselves to be present without the pressure of doing, we gain insight and self-compassion.”

There’s one way to combat this mindset — instead of obsessing over goals, work to accomplish a mission — a living ideal you can imagine with all your senses.

Often, we think of a goal as a dry, numbers-driven purpose, but it doesn’t have to be. Spreadsheets and review meetings come to mind. But a goal can also be something engaging that you can feel and imagine.

Can you turn selling your first million products into an experience, or is it just a number in a graph? If you asked yourself why selling a million units matters to you, I’m sure the real answer would be to provide financial security to your family, or to make a real difference in people’s lives with a product you truly believe in. Breathe some life into that goal and make it into a mission that resonates with you.

Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that inspires you and gets you excited about the future.

And don’t forget to break your mission down into smaller, more manageable steps so you can stay on track and celebrate your progress along the way. With a bit of planning and dedication, anything is possible!

You need to dedicate lots of time to your mission

Many businesses fail because their owners spend too much time on the wrong tasks.

Technology has made our jobs easier than ever, yet it’s a minefield of distractions. We’re spending more time than ever before on energy-zapping tasks that consume our days. This leaves very little time to do work that actually gets you tangible results.

In 2018, a study conducted by RescueTime found that “knowledge workers, on average, have just 2 hours and 48 minutes a day for productive tasks (or 14 hours and 8 minutes a week).” 

A high-impact task has the potential to get you closer to realizing your mission. Finishing a sales pitch is a high-impact task. Organizing your documentation is not. Ideally, at least 90% of your time should be dedicated to the high-impact tasks and activities that will make it possible to achieve your mission.

For some business owners, the problem comes when all their tasks seem equally important. Where should they start?

There are several techniques to prioritize your obligations — each one with its own strengths and benefits.

Popular techniques are the Eisenhower Matrix and Scrum/Agile prioritization, but if you want to keep things simple, start with the MIT method.

MIT stands for ‘Most Important Thing’, and it’s simply a list of the three most important tasks you need to complete that day. This method forces you to reflect on which tasks are the most impactful. And while you can do over three things if you have the time and energy, choosing only three tasks as your minimum gives you a clear finish line for your workday so you can wrap up feeling satisfied with your progress.

If you want to give the MIT method a try, remember to write your three tasks first thing in the morning. Make sure at least one of them is directly related to your goals!

You should work in 90-day cycles

Many entrepreneurs and business owners are familiar with the concept of setting quarterly or yearly goals. But what’s often missing is a plan for how you’re going to achieve those goals.

And this is where 90-day cycles come in.

I find 90 days to be the most effective as it is not too intimidating, but it is a significant enough commitment that you should see tangible progress from your efforts. Missing a few days here and there won’t derail your progress completely, but it’s crucial not to lose your momentum.

There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big, but if your goals are too lofty or too long-term, the details of how you’re going to get there can get a little muddy. So, you need to break it down into smaller goals, and each smaller goal into several tasks.

Ask yourself what would need to happen for your goal to become a reality? Forget about specific, measured, numbered, or timed targets; but what deliberate, daily activities would make a difference in closing in on your mission? They do not have to be the same thing every day. However, there should be something to do every day so you can build and sustain your momentum.

The key thing is that these actions must be directly related to, adding value to, or moving you closer to your mission. If it doesn’t fit those criteria, it shouldn’t be a priority.

You don’t always go from A to B

Sometimes obstacles will feel like frustrating setbacks as if you’re taking one step forward and two steps back. Other times you may feel stuck despite putting in the same number of hours each day.

To help you overcome the challenges you may face along the way, you’ll need flexibility and faith to help keep you on the right track. They will allow you to adapt to changes quickly, transform challenges into opportunities, and find new ways to move closer to your goals.

There is no such thing as a perfectly linear journey to success. Your path might not always be clear-cut, so it’s important to believe in yourself and the process.

Final thoughts

If you’re an entrepreneur who’s working 24/7 to make your dreams a reality, you’re not alone. We’re all facing the same challenge — building something that could change our lives and our future for the better. But the secret to achieving goals isn’t found in spending more time working. It’s about knowing what’s important to us, making smart choices, keeping the momentum going, and having faith in your journey. 

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