Some people are more successful than others. That’s just a fact. What is it about those successful people that helps them rise above their peers? Is it their character, their background, their intelligence, their upbringing? Those things contribute, for sure. But here’s another fact: everyone can achieve more than they are achieving. Everyone can learn to be more successful than they already are.
Humans are creatures of habit and it’s easy to develop habits that limit us—wasting time, negative self-talk, poor sleep patterns, drinking, smoking, eating badly. The good news, though, is that you can also teach yourself the habits that propel you to success. Goal setting is one of those habits.
Goal setting is what sets the successful apart from the unsuccessful. You can achieve more than you are achieving now if you create a clear vision of what you want, write it down, and commit to the actions necessary to fulfill that vision. That’s what goal setting is all about. It’s the practice of thinking and seeing where you want to go before you start moving.
This practice comes easier to some people than to others. Some people learn it earlier in life than others do. But it is leaned behavior. An ability to set goals is not genetic, it's the result of training and you can train yourself to do it too. Just like you can learn to plot a journey on a map to get to where you want to go by the fastest possible route, you can train yourself to think ahead in your life and spell out what you want, and plan the steps you'll need to take to get there.
Repeat the positive pattern of vision-commitment-action every day until it becomes your new default. It takes 24 to 30 consecutive days of doing that action for it to become a habit.
Are you committed to your goals? Prove it.
1. Write down your most pressing goal or challenge -- who you want to be, what you want to be, where you want to be. Maybe there are better habits or characteristics you want to strengthen or cut out. (Planning)
2. Write down 5 things you need to do to make progress toward that goal.
3. Circle the one thing in that list of 5 you're going to do first. (Prioritization and time management)
4. Write down a date and time when you will have that first thing done. (Commitment)
5. Do it. (Getting into action and follow-through)
6. REPEAT steps 3-5. (Determination)
Learn more tips like this in my book Goal Setting: Move Forward. Get Out of Your Own Way.