Achieving Your Goals

In today’s hectic pace of life, it is common to lose sight of the destination we are headed to because we are too busy focusing on the road. Day-to-day life and the routines of work and family life take over all the available time and before you know it, the earlier goals and  aspirations are a thing of the past. However, in order not to lose sight of where you are headed, I have put together just three simple ways which have helped achieve my goals. These are tried and tested means which have been passed to me by my mentors- educationists and successful businesswomen. These strategies can be used for any number of situations. The concepts can be extrapolated to suit the present situation and may evolve to include your specific goals.

Start with the end in mind

It is a good idea to start with the end in mind. This means having a clear idea about what your end-point looks like. Use visualization to mentally “see” the picture of what success means for you.  For example, a student may visualize himself or herself completing a graduate degree in the long-term,  or passing an exam within a specific grade-range. Or maybe the goal is to buy a house or set up a business. Add as much detail as possible to this goal. What does achieving the goal feel like? How are you placed financially at that time? Who are your associates or colleagues? Where is your office? What does it look like? How does your home look?

Having all these details sets up your mind for success and subconsciously it works  to achieve these goals. Some psychologists believe that the mind cannot distinguish between what has happened and what you visualize in rich and vibrant detail. Therefore it is doubly important to feed your mind positive images and thoughts. Negativity can actually undermine your chances of success as your mind then starts believing you have already failed.

 Sharpen the saw

Sharpening the saw is a metaphor for working on yourself getting the tools of your trade up to the mark. A woodcutter is not going to get very far with a dull or weak saw. Likewise,  It is imperative that you acquire the skills needed to succeed. No amount of organization or visualization will  get you to the finish line unless you have developed the skills to get you there. Do not be satisfied with being average or mediocre but aim to become the expert in your chosen field, whatever that may be. I have met several people who rate different work as good or bad, or don’t  undertake work they consider is beneath them. Understand that no work is superior or inferior in itself.  It is what you make of the work that gives you an edge over the others who may be doing the same thing.

 Keep on keeping on

While I was studying towards my doctorate, my mentor and supervisor always advised me to “keep on keeping on”. It sounded odd, but as the long months and years of research, interviewing, writing, teaching, and preparing for the doctoral exam spanned on, it became clear that she was really talking about perseverance and resilience.  Perseverance, the ability to hold on to your dreams with tenacity, is a vital characteristic of successful people. Success does not come easily or readily. Sometimes it takes years, decades, or a lifetime before you can claim it. Resilience is the attitude which keeps you from breaking down in the face of difficulty and strife. It helps you get back on your feet after set-backs and helps you get back on track and headed towards success.