Got goals to reach? 

Have you noticed how your energy is on the higher side after you’ve verbalized your goals? Have you written them down, posted them in your calendar and planned a start date?  Yay!

Then you begin. A day or two, maybe a week and you’re doing fine. Then you stop.

In this article you’ll get the wisdom and success secrets recommended by high achievers for reaching your goals.

Let’s open that envelope. Here’s TEN Success Secrets.

1)  Feel it… make it yours.

Get into the ‘feel’ of your goal. Want to be fluent in Spanish or host a virtual class or get rid of some pesky belly fat? Do any of these feelings fit: happy, confident, proud, hopeful, alive, comfortable, light and/or smooth?

If feelings aren’t your thing, then sense what it’s like to reach your goal. What do you see? What do you hear? What are you thinking? What are you doing?

The point is this: Own your goal by making it yours. Fill in the colors, sounds, textures, odors, mood, temperature, and anything else.

2)  Start in the am.

Are you a morning person? I am! Love the mornings. Not everyone is– Watch this:

James Clear at jamesclear.com is a mighty cool guy who is knowledgeable about getting things done by developing habits. Look him up.

Like he says, distractions can kill the momentum and derail your focus. I’m someone who is tied to her phone for work reasons, yet some well-placed rules for checking the phone are possible– that’s why there’s different tunes to assign to numbers– like my emergency dispatcher. The other calls can go to voice mail for times I need to focus.

3)  Choose a dogged deadline.

Establish a date to reach your goal. Stubbornly unyielding date–dogged.

Don’t you find this to be true?

The amount of time that one has to perform a task is the amount of time it will take to complete the task.    – Parkinson’s Law, Wikipedia

Once you have an end date to reach your goal work backwards and spread out the tasks to be completed.

4)  Commit to weekly check-ins.

Yes. It’s accountability time. Whether it’s accountability through text messages, a phone call or face-to-face, knowing someone is waiting for your update matters. It’s both an extrinsic (someone is expecting your update) and intrinsic (you gave your word to update) motivator.

It works best when you both take the commitment seriously with a willingness to seek and find progress

5)  Try twenty minutes at a time.

A lot can be accomplished in twenty minutes. And most of us can find twenty minutes.

Feeling skeptical?

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.     – Mark Twain

The first time I set the timer for twenty minutes, I spent at least two minutes feeling negative about being able to make a dent of progress. I had to figure out where to start.

And the rest of the story is I started and figured something out. Got the job done. Sweet.

6)  Show up for a minimum two-minute rule.

What about those times you just don’t feel like it, or run out of time legitimately due to ‘life’ showing up unexpectedly (a sick pet, a sick you, an invitation to join friends for a spontaneous celebration).

Do two minutes of something related to your goal: phone the business contact, run in place, meditate, stack the records for review — for two minutes. That’s all.

If you can do more, great. If not, you’ve shown up– and that’s important to maintaining a stride towards reaching goals.

7)  Choose FIVE goals.

Make a list of 25 goals, says Warren Buffet. Then circle the five that matter the most. Eliminate the rest. That’s right– discard them.

Focus on the FIVE you circled. Those FIVE only. If the activity you’re considering isn’t related to those FIVE goals then it’s a ‘No-Way-Not-Doing-It’ decision.

Psychological Advantage: To feel more productive, keep your To-Do List shorter rather than longer.

In a study people who accomplished three tasks on a list of ten felt less productive than the people who accomplished the same three tasks on a list of three.

It’s okay to set yourself up to feel successful.

8)  Understand and deal with procrastination–now. 😉

Goals are reached when procrastination is faced with a plan of action. Following the two minute rule, starting in the morning, and accountability partners are action steps which counter procrastination.

Here’s another perspective to nudge the pull away from procrastination:

At its core, procrastination represents shoddy treatment of the one person who should matter most to you: the future you.

                              –Inside the Psychology of Productivity by Leigh Buchanan

Make friends with your future self and practice self-care.

My client’s stress significantly decreased when she thoughtfully scheduled work activity sooner than later. Instead of postponing for the next week and stacking activity back to back she is considering time for lunch, afternoon walks and time with her partner.

Reaching your goals means thinking about the self-care needs of your future self and planning accordingly.

It’s a loving option to the shoddy treatment of procrastination.

9)  Design goals to build a desired change.

That is, is your goal approachable? Does your goal direct you towards something more desirable?

  • So a goal to stop complaining becomes: compliment others daily, show positivity three times a day or ask for changes sooner rather than later.
  • A goal to spend less money on extras, becomes: make a list of low-cost alternatives like checking books out at the library or preparing food at home so eating-in is easy during the hectic work week.
  • A goal to stop overthinking becomes set boundaries around start and finish times while realizing everything is a work in progress.

10) Identify with your goals.

If you’re looking beyond the goal and living its results you can say things like:

  • I’m someone who finishes what she starts and feels good about herself.
  • I get important things done.
  • I make healthy choices and exercise daily.

Use one or all of these success secrets and reach your goals.

Mary Franz LCSW, PCC  is a couple’s therapist, critical incident responder, and personal strategy coach. Need to talk about a personal or business relationship challenge? Visit her website and ask for a complimentary strategy session.