I have recently come across world’s bestselling book on how to achieve goals by Brian Tracy: Goals! How to Get Everything You Want — Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible.
How to achieve your goals in 12 steps by Brian Tracy
1. Have a desire
This is not the moment to be logical and think what you should want in your life. Put your logic aside and listen to your heart. Allow yourself to desire whatever you want. You know the saying think big? Well, desire big, too!
On the contrary, if you really believe you can do it, you wil start seeing all the possibilities to make it happen, you will have more courage and energy to chase your dreams.
It is not always easy to have that kind of faith. We have all failed more than once and we fear that we can fail again.
So what can you do to help yourself believe you can achieve your goals?
Set smaller goals for yourself first, so you can see and enjoy your small successes. Slowly, increase your goals. The worst thing you can do is set too big of a goal, something unrealistic. You almost force yourself to fail and prove to yourself that you are not strong enough. So start small. Build your faith and courage.
3. Write it down
Brian suggest a 3P formula for writing down your goals: use present, positive and personal statement.
That means that if your goal is to earn USD 500,000 by the end of the year, you should write: I earn USD 500,000 by the end of this year. You use verbs in present tense, you use positive language (you write what you want, not what you don’t want) and you write in 1st person: I.
4. Analyze your starting point
Be honest with yourself. This is not the moment to allow your ego sabotage your efforts. Whatever your goal is, do a thorough analysis of your strengths and weaknesses in this area.
5. Determine why you want to excel in this area
So take some time to write down at least 5 reasons why you want to achieve your goal. How will your life improve once you get it? How will your relationships look like?
Make a list (yes, write it down!) and keep it always available to you.
6. Set a deadline
Secondly, it adds a pressure. Humans are lazy by nature. Setting deadlines adds a pressure that motivates us to work.
Think of any assignment you had to do at work on in the university. Have you ever procrastinated on it until a deadline came and you had no other choice but to do it?
Your deadline is your best guess about when the goal should be achieved. Don’t worry so much about not meeting it. In some cases, you won’t. But it doesn’t mean you failed. Deadlines are there to help us achieve our goals, but by no means are they determinants of our success.
Once you know a deadline for your goal, set deadlines for all the steps you will need to accomplish beforehand.
7. Identify the obstacles
Think of what could be an obstacle for you. Knowing what the worst case scenario can be, allows you to be prepared. So if the obstacle does appear (though it doesn’t always have to), you will know exactly what to do.
Brian gives a very interesting theory on obstacles. He uses a famous Pareto rule of 80/20 and explains it this way: 80% of all obstacles comes from within us, and only 20% are due to external factors. This is a good news. It means that you have control on 80% of what could stop you from achieving your goals. these are usually some traits in our personality or lack of skills. And you can work on all of them.
8. Determine the additional knowledge and skill you need
9. Determine the people you’ll need
Once you have that list, start working on relationships with these people. Offer then your help first. Don’t expect them to help you if you are not willing to do the same for them. Be genuine and honest. Don’t use anybody for your goals, but create real relationships beneficial for both of you.
10. Make a plan
Having a plan for achieving your goal is essential to your success. Without it, how will you know what to work on? We have limited resources (like time and energy) and you need to make sure you put them to the right use.
Make a plan. This is your roadmap. But stay flexible. Observe how the environment changes. You might need to adjust your plan more than once. Be open for it. Planning itself is a part of your success.
Create a habit of visualizing what you want. If you want to lose weight, see yourself with the body of your dreams. If you want to have your own business, picture yourself as a successful businessman. By doing so you activate your subconscious, or as Brian calls it – your supermind.
Here is how the magic works. Your external (the world you live in) is a reflection of your internal(your imagination, beliefs). If you want to change the external, you need to first change the internal. In an almost magical way you will see how the world changes to fit your internal.
It works because of the 2 laws. First one is what we’ve already discussed: self-fulling prophecy. Visualizing having achieved your goals makes you behave in a way that helps you notice all the possibilites and dismiss any obstacles. That keeps you focused and motivated.
The second law is called the Law of Attraction. It states that whatever it is that you mostly think of, whatever it is that you are always focused on and truly desire, will be attracted to you. You will suddenly notice that the right people and the right opportunities come to your life.