How to Achieve Your Goals Faster

Have you ever felt stalled on your goals?

Maybe you set goals at the beginning of the year, but unexpected challenges came up. Maybe your sales didn’t grow as fast as you planned. It could be an important deal fell through.

Maybe you planned to develop a product in-house, but you can’t find people with the right skills. Or you’re trying to move a project forward, but you’re stuck waiting for someone to get back to you.

Whatever the reason, you feel like you’re not moving forward fast enough.
Sometimes we can become discouraged, or even be tempted to give up on our goals, because it feels like we’re not making enough headway. Or because our focus gets pulled away by external challenges.

As an entrepreneur this has been a challenge for me too.

In the past, I have felt overwhelmed when outside circumstances made it difficult to focus on my goals. I felt discouraged and depressed. Since then, I’ve learned that these challenges are normal, and they don’t have to stop me from achieving my goals. I’ve learned to adapt to challenges, refocus my goals and keep moving forward.

Now when challenges and unexpected events happen, I have a strategy to deal with it.

This year has been a good example of how I’ve been able to rely on this strategy. 
I had plans to launch new INSPIRE programs this year. In the early stages of the product development, a family health issue came up, requiring an unexpected move to a new home. Other changes happened in our extended family and other areas of my life. It seemed that so many things were requiring my attention at once, so new business projects moved forward slower than planned.

As I get settled back into a regular work rhythm, I can look forward with excitement at how I can get my projects moving forward faster, to meet my goals for the year. The way I do that is to set aside time to evaluate the last six months, and make a new plan to meet my goals by the end of the year.

It can be tempting to stay stuck in old thinking.

The old thinking is looking at challenges as a reason to doubt yourself. Or to get discouraged about a project. Maybe we are even tempted to give up on our goals. Those are normal feelings to have, but it’s important not to stay in that thinking very long.

We need to resist giving up on our goals if we want to move ahead. We need to shift our thinking from old thinking, to new thinking.

New thinking avoids getting stuck in negative patterns. New thinking sees challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. With new thinking, we apply strategies to overcome obstacles and move forward faster

What strategies can help us move forward faster?

One of my favourite strategies is to take time to review and refocus on my goals. I like to review goals regularly, and look at the big picture on a quarterly or semi-annual basis. One of my favourite tools is a six-month review. It helps me to see the progress I’ve made, even when it feels like I’ve been moving slowly.

A six-month goal alignment review helps you take stock of what you’ve accomplished, and revise plans for the next six months. Some goals might be completed, some in progress, and others might need adjustment. Now is the time to decide how you’ll keep moving forward to reach the goals you originally set.

Here are three things to include in your six-month goal alignment:

1. Review your goals
2. Celebrate what you’ve achieved
3. Create new strategies to reach your goals

Let’s look at these one at a time:

1. Review the goals you set

Look back at the goals you set at the beginning of the year.  What were they? Write down the major goals again.

During this step it’s important to remind yourself not to put yourself down. You are reviewing the goals you set, with no judgement about meeting or not meeting them. Don’t beat yourself up because you think you haven’t progressed as fast as you imagined you would.

Now that you’ve written down your major goals, think about why you wanted to accomplish them. Write down why your goals are important.

What is your dream?
What is your motivation?

Remind yourself why you set these goals in the first place, and why you want to work towards them.

Once you’re clear on your goals and why they are important to you, it’s time to review what you’ve accomplished so far.

2. Celebrate what you’ve achieved

In addition to writing down the goals, take stock of what you’ve achieved so far. 
What have you built, created or done this year?

What goals have you met?
What have you accomplished and learned as you work towards your goals?
What goals have you made progress on, even if they’re not completed?

Make sure to celebrate these accomplishments.

Tell family and friends what you’ve achieved. Share what you’ve learned. Have a celebration over each milestone as you work towards your goals.Without celebration, you’re always working hard without allowing yourself to enjoy your successes. You have little incentive to stay motivated and move forward if it’s not fun.

This was a big deal for me to learn. I was working with a coach who observed that I was viewing life as hard, and didn’t allow myself to enjoy my accomplishments and successes. Once I reached a goal, I would set another huge goal without taking time to acknowledge what I had done. I had to train myself to celebrate accomplishments. It’s a skill that I have to continue to work on every day.

Take it from me: celebrate to feel good about taking the next steps. Look forward to the next celebration!

Now that you’ve acknowledged celebrated all you’ve accomplished, it’s time to move on to the final step of the review.

3. Create new strategies to reach your goals

Now is the time to look at where you need to focus to achieve your goals for the year.

It’s important that you only do this after reviewing your accomplishments. You need to see that you have moved forward, you have achieved something. Give yourself credit for all you’ve done, so you don’t get trapped in the old negative thinking spiral when you start looking at what you still want to accomplish.

Even if you haven’t achieved exactly what you planned, you have achieved something. And maybe what you achieved was bigger, or more important than what you still need to do.

So, let’s look at the goals that are still in progress.

What goals are you still working on?
What do you still want to achieve before the end of the year?

Use your calendar to schedule deadlines for these goals, and plans times that you will devote to working on them. If you don’t have deadlines, and scheduled time to work on your goals, they won’t happen. Make sure you have time blocked in every week to work on towards your dreams.

Don’t just write your goals down here and forget about them. Make it a daily habit to write them down each morning, to keep you focussed. Even if you can’t work on the big goals that day, having them in front of you will remind you to keep moving forward.

Keep on building your business, and building change in the world!

If you want to see how I do a six month review and try it out for yourself, download my Six-Month Goal Alignment worksheet.

--Melanie

P.S. Want to get involved in the conversation? Visit me on Instagram, and tell me about your goals in the comments. https://www.instagram.com/inspireretail/

— Photo by NORTHFOLK on Unsplash

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