New Year, New You
6 Ways to Achieve Impossible Goals
Goal attainment is achievable with the right strategy and attitude, even if everyone — including yourself — thinks it's impossible. Just look at women throughout history who accomplished things that were previously never done: Amelia Earhart, Marie Curie, Madam C.J. Walker, and Oprah, just to name a few, all accomplished things that had never been done before. And you can, too. Here’s how to accomplish any goal, no matter how large or small.
Goal attainment is all about passion. It’s much easier to get started on a goal if it excites you! What do you dream about having, doing, becoming, or experiencing? Don’t be afraid to dream big. Some of the greatest accomplishments in the world took years to come to fruition, like landing on the moon, for example. Having excitement for the end goal can motivate you to keep going — even when it gets tough.
2Break it Down
After you’ve identified your big, exciting, long-term outcome, it’s time to break it down. Start by listing everything you need to accomplish to get to the end result. If you’re not sure, take a guess or decide you’ll need to do some research or experimentation.
Next, break it down into what you can get done in 30 to 90 days by setting realistic goals. I like to break things up into smaller time frames because it feels less overwhelming. It’s much easier to keep moving forward when you only have to focus on one thing instead of a huge list of things. Once you’ve chosen your 30- to 90-day goal, break it down into weekly steps. You can go even further and decide what you’ll do each day to finish your weekly tasks.
Here’s where many people fall short. They write down their goal, maybe even break it into digestible pieces (setting realistic goals), but they never schedule the time and commit to actually doing it. Goal attainment requires commitment. Once you have your daily task written down, open the calendar app on your phone or your old-school paper calendar and schedule the time to do each thing.
As a busy mom and business owner, I’ve learned to give myself more time than I think it will take to complete the task, since unexpected responsibilities tend to pop up (hello, sick kid!) and I’m often overly ambitious. Choose one small thing to do each day and commit to finishing it no matter what.
Knowing I’m human and will likely slack off or lose sight of what I really want in favor of watching Netflix, having someone to keep accountable to is a must. Popular advice may be to ask a family member or friend to keep you accountable, but I’ve found this doesn’t work at all unless they are invested in the outcome. For example, if you and your partner want to pay your mortgage off early, you can help each other stick to your budget and find ways to earn extra money because you both want to accomplish the goal. But, if you want to start a business and your spouse is not on board, you need someone who believes in you and perhaps has experience doing what you want to do.
Hiring a coach is a good way to go because they’re getting paid to keep you accountable. They’re invested in and passionate about helping you reach your goals. Another effective method is to have two or three people on the same path as you and to meet weekly to help each other stay on track. They’re motivated to show up and help you because they want the same thing from you.
5Believe in Yourself
Perhaps the most difficult part of accomplishing a goal that seems impossible is to believe it can actually happen and that you can do it. This takes some serious work in and on your mind. Being aware of negative thoughts and limiting beliefs is the first step in goal attainment. A coach or self-development program may be able to help you identify and overcome these obstacles.
6Be Willing to Fail
Last but not least, knowing you will likely fail to follow through, fail when you try something new, fail when you step outside your comfort zone, and being willing to try, try again, is the best skill you can develop in order to reach extraordinary heights.
I used to set a goal, try a new behavior, fail miserably, and quit. Newsflash! That doesn’t work. In order to succeed at moving mountains, you have to keep getting up and moving forward each time you fall down. Often, the only difference between someone else’s success and perhaps the lack of your own is that they continue getting up and trying again.
So, what goals have you set for yourself? Do you believe you can achieve them? Are you willing to fail and start over again and again? And again and again? I believe in you. Go write the micro steps in your calendar and get to work. Start by investing time for yourself and setting realistic goals to help you achieve the big picture. You’ll be so proud of yourself when you finally accomplish what you set out to do. Nothing big comes easy, and if you have the desire for more in your mind, you can — and will — achieve it.