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6 Simple Steps to Achieve Any Goal and Create a Life You Love

Get Real, Get Ready, and Get Going!

Tired of your resolutions giving you a smack down? You can achieve your goals. Follow these six simple steps. Soon you’ll be checking off your accomplishments and creating a life you love.

The secret is in the system.

You’ve got to get real about where you’re starting and where you want to go. Next, you need to prioritize your goals and break them down into doable steps. Finally, don’t let perfectionism stand in your way. Move forward at all cost and learn to welcome the small fails that ultimately will lead you to success.

Ready?

It’s time to act, time to move boldly, time to take a leap. Let’s make this year the year you surge ahead into a better life. Follow the six steps below and soon your goals will become your reality.

Hang onto your hats, we’re going to move fast!“

Leap and the net will appear

John Burroughs

Step 1: Start where you are

Yes, and…

There is only one rule in the world of improvisation. You never say NO. You must always build on what you’ve been given. In improvisation and in life, things work best when you say YES, AND…

For example, if your improv partner says, “Daffy Duck just landed a rocket in our backyard.” You don’t change the subject. You don’t deny Daffy Duck is sitting in his rocket outside. You accept it and BUILD on it: “Great! Ready to blast off?”

The same principle will help you make your dreams a reality.

You gain nothing by wishing your circumstances were different, pretending they’re not real, beating yourself up or feeling guilty, or ignoring your situation. Where you are right now is simply a fact. It’s a fact that must be accepted before you can move forward, change, or grow.

YES, this is my reality, AND this is where I’m going next.

Accept your reality

Let’s take a look at how this applies to something that we all can relate to: achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. . This is one of my top priorities this year. I know I can only make positive changes in my weight if I acknowledge my current reality.

YES, I am overweight. My current weight has a negative effect on my health and it’s sucking all the joy out of shopping (right?!). It’s cramping my style and slowing me down. This is real.

YES, I am the reason why my pants don’t fit. Those extra pounds didn’t come in the mail! My behavior affects my health. I ate to comfort myself, slid into a nightly wine wind-down, and reduced my activity level to human sloth. This is real. It’s important information to have if I really want things to change when I look in the mirror.

AND, I am willing to living differently to change this reality. Accepting my reality allows me to move forward. It becomes my springboard to change.

Start where you are. Your path forward will be clear.

Step 2: Choose Your Target

I used to usher in each New Year with a laundry list of resolutions: lose weight, start running, eliminate debt, organize my home, learn to knit, and write a best-selling novel. It was a fantasy wish list, not something I, or any other human being, was likely to achieve in a year. Inevitably, within a few weeks (or days) I’d throw in the towel with nothing crossed off my list.

You can’t split your arrow. You can only aim at one target at a time.
What is most important to you? This is the first thing you need to figure out.

  1. Set aside some time to dream and brainstorm. What do you want your life to look like? What makes you happy? What would you like to improve? What is missing?
  2. Make a list of all the things you’d like to change.
  3. Circle your top four goals. Forget about the rest.
  4. Label your goals A, B, C and D in order of importance.
  5. For each goal, make a list of steps you’ll need to take to achieve it.

This is your map for the year. Now that you know where you’re going, it’s time to create your plan.

Step 3: Small Steps to Big Change

Sprint to success

There’s an old African Proverb, “There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.
Your goal is your elephant, overwhelming when you look at it as a whole, but not when you divide it into small bites.

That’s why you need to create a clear, doable plan. This doesn’t have to be time-consuming or overwhelming. Start with your big picture, then gradually break it down into manageable steps.

You’ve got 12 months to accomplish your goals. That gives you three months to laser focus on each goal, giving it your complete attention. It’s a 90 day sprint to success.

That’s much less daunting than a year long slog! 90 days is doable. You can do stay the course for three months! It’s the perfect amount of time, short enough to keep you focused and long enough to get things done.

Create a plan

Let’s begin with Goal A.

  1. Review the list of steps you created for Goal A.
  2. Determine what you can realistically accomplish over the next three months.
  3. Divide that into monthly tasks.
  4. Divide each months tasks into weekly steps.
  5. Schedule your first week’s tasks, setting specific times for accomplishing each step.
  6. Begin!

I love this method. It keeps you moving forward without overwhelming you. With a clear path in front of me, I feel confident that I can achieve my goals. I even find myself looking forward to charting my progress.

It’s amazing how much more manageable a goal becomes when you break it down into daily steps! These tiny baby steps taken one day at a time will ultimately help you achieve any goal you set your mind to.

Step 4: Leap into Action

You know what you want. You know how you’re going to get it. All that you need to do now is follow your plan. Take the leap. Begin.

This is where you need to channel Larry the Cable Guy and “Get ‘er done”. There is no time for dithering and no time for “I don’t feel like it”. There is only what you want and what you’re going to do today to achieve it.

First thing in the morning, grab a coffee or a tea and pull out your schedule. Take five minutes to think about what steps you need to complete today? Keep moving forward, one step at a time. At the end of each week, review what you’ve accomplished, then create your schedule for the following week.

I like to think of my future as a pristine, snow covered path. Each day I leave a fresh set of prints on that path as I move forward to my objective. I don’t have to take a lot of steps, I don’t even have to cover a lot of ground, but I DO need to keep moving forward. Every day takes me one step closer to my goals.

In just three months, you’ll have made significant strides towards your first goal. Celebrate your accomplishments! Then repeat this process for your next goal, making a plan for the next three months. Before you know it, the year will be coming to a close and you will have achieved not one, but four major goals!

How great will that feel?

Blast-off!

Sure, some days will be harder than others. Sometimes life throws us a curve ball and we swing and miss. When that happens, just shrug it off. Adjust your plan and keep going.

If a lack of motivation is the problem, you need to outsmart yourself. Mel Robbin’s Five Second Rule always solves this problem for me.

When you feel yourself hesitate before doing something that you know you should do, count 5-4-3-2-1-GO and move towards action…

Mel Robbins

Robbins’ method is simple but effective. I use it all the time:

  • The alarm goes off, I hear myself think, “Do I really have to get up this early?” and I cut it off with 5-4-3-2-1-GO! and roll out of bed.
  • I plan to work on a project, but a favorite movie pops up on the TV. 5-4-3-2-1-GO! and I’m back in my productive groove.
  • I need some fresh air and exercise, but it’s cold outside and I really don’t want to go out. Shut it down with 5-4-3-2-1-GO!

If you eliminate the pause between impulse and action, you’ll find you can accomplish so much more than you ever have before.

Trust your instincts and act. Don’t hesitate. Don’t second-guess yourself. Just keep moving forward to achieve your goals.

Step 5: Embrace Good Enough

Progress over perfection

If there is one thing I learned this year, it’s that perfection is the enemy of progress. Looking back on some of the posts I wrote, I can see that I edited them more than 40 times! Honestly, that is just embarrassing.

  • Do my readers care if I used the right adjective in the third paragraph? Nope.
  • Did the 25th edit make a big difference the quality of my writing? Uh-uh.
  • Are any of you waiting to pelt me with catcalls and criticism if this post isn’t perfect? Unlikely.

Reality check, Jane! The world couldn’t care less.

Perfectionism is fear running around in a beautiful ball gown. It may act la-di-da, parading its lofty standards and highfaluting work ethic, but underneath those fancy clothes, perfectionism is just fear in disguise.

We use the unrelenting search for perfection to stay stuck in the cozy and familiar. New is uncomfortable. It’s awkward and scary. But embracing the new is also the only way you grow. That’s why perfectionism is such a limiting habit.

Has it been limiting you?

Put it in Drive

Here’s the thing. I’m a grown-up. I can survive a little awkwardness, a little novelty, a little discomfort. If I want to live the life I dream about — if I want to achieve ANY goals — I have to keep moving ahead.

As my husband, Michael, said to me this morning: “You’ve got to put it in drive.

There is so much to gain from pushing through the discomfort of the new. If I ‘d decided my posts were good enough after a few edits, think of how much more I could have accomplished. Instead of 15 “perfect” posts, I might have published 120! That’s an 800% increase!

That’s why I am determined to get comfortable with good enough – and watch my productivity soar.

What about you? How much more could you accomplish if you stop second-guessing yourself and silence the nagging voice of perfectionism?

Repeat after me: it’s good enough. Buh-bye perfect, hello progress!

Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.

John C. Maxwell

Step 6: Fail Forward

There are no fails, only learning

I’m a big fan of Ruth Soupkup, a hugely successful blogger, coach, and author. (I highly recommend her book, Do It Scared.)

Throughout her programs, Ruth urges her students to move forward as quickly as possible and embrace the learning opportunity in each failure.

Why? It’s the only way to make real progress and the best way to learn. How will you know if you don’t try?

Sure, you’ll make mistakes. Sometimes you’ll “fail”. But even when things don’t work out the way you wish, you learn. You become wiser than you would have had you not attempted something new.

Failure is the cost of admission to the success club.

Learn as you Go

The only way to move forward is to embrace the possibility of failure. That’s why I love the phrase, fail forward. The reality is, there is no failure, only progress. The only way you can truly fail is to quit.

The prolific inventor, Thomas Edison, knew this. He was relentless in his quest to create and he understood that every failure was an important step in his path to success.

I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work.

Thomas Edison

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Try new things. Take a leap. You’ll land on your feet eventually.

Trying something doesn’t mean you’re committing to always doing it that way. It means you’re gaining new information to help you make the right decision. After all, you can always try something new or fine-tune it later.

Take a leap. Learn as you go. Fail forward.

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Dream Boldly

I’m done with waiting, done with wishing, and done with pussy-footing around my dreams. I’ve got a wild, sweet urge to live singing in my veins. I can’t stand another minute walking the same well-trod path.

There are new horizons to explore, new challenges to embrace, new people to meet, and new lessons to learn. I’m dreaming big and I’m moving forward into a better life.

How about you? What will your future hold? Are you ready for your next adventure?

You have endless potential. You can achieve any goals you set your sights on.

Get going!

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