How to Use Goals to Succeed

How to Use Goals to Succeed

As an Author and Writer, your success is often governed by your own actions - how you use your time and how disciplined you are about getting things done... but sometimes it can be challenging to keep yourself motivated and focused on what needs to be done to achieve success.

Goals and Success

Goals are the signposts along the road to success and anyone who can demonstrate a capacity for achieving their goals, as we all know, will be greatly rewarded for their efforts.

Interestingly, it's the goals we set that determine the level of success any of us achieves.

Set yourself small goals and you'll have small successes. Set yourself massive goals and you'll have massive success.

Chances are you already have career, project, personal and potentially lots of other types of goals that you use to steer your ambitions.

You may have even worked out that the greater the precision, the more detailed and better aligned your goals are to what you truly want, the greater the opportunity for you to fulfill your dreams.

Beyond setting your goals, you also need to regularly track how you are going against them. Asking yourself things like "Does what I'm doing right now get me closer to my goal?", "Am I wasting time or being productive?", "How can I get to my goal quicker?", "Who could help me achieve my goal sooner?", "What don't I know that is holding me back?" etc.

It's the tracking of your progress as you pursue your goals that keeps you motivated and constantly on the look out for opportunities for advancing towards your intended target. If you've ever heard an interview with an Olympic athlete, billionaire business man, famous writer, artist or actor, the one thing you'll find they have in common is the fact that they have tracked their own progress, monitored their performance, made adjustments when things have gone off track and stuck determinedly to their path.

When it comes to Internet Marketing and Online Publicity for building your reputation as a writer and author, it's the same. You need to be setting yourself goals and tracking your progress as you do what ever is necessary to achieve them. Both big and small.

Fortunately there are plenty of strategies, assistance and tools that can help you with setting, tracking and achieving your goals.

Set Yourself A Goal

The first place to start is where most people struggle - setting goals.

If you haven't set yourself any goals for a long time, or ever, then you'll need some guidance on how to do this. One very simple way to start is to grab a piece of paper and write down the 110 things you want to achieve in your life (you don't need to limit yourself to 110; write down everything even those things that feel foolishly over the top or out of reach).

Once you've got this list of lifetime achievements, go through and rank them easy to difficult. Next rank them based on how much you want to achieve them (ignoring how easy or hard they are), so that you know with 100% certainty the top 10 things you must do because you really, really want to.

Looking at your top 10 and taking into account the level of difficulty, pick the one that's the easiest to do and start with this one (You start with this goal because it is easy and most likely to guarantee your success whilst giving you the result you want). Pick just one.

Your enthusiasm may tempt you to pick more than one goal to pursue; be strong and deny the temptation. Your chances of success and exceeding your own expectations go up exponentially when you give yourself the mental and emotional space to focus all your attention on one goal at a time (as you become more practiced at setting and achieving goals, then you can actively pursue more than one at a time, for now give yourself permission to be a student of life).

Figure Out What You Want to Track

When it comes to tracking and checking your progress towards your goal, you can choose from lots of different numbers.

You can track your progress against money, time, quantity or anything else that is a number.

For example, Online share traders monitor their progress by watching graphs during trading hours, their share holding value at the end of a trading session and inspecting their bank balance to confirm they've made money. Property developers carefully keep track of their budget and watch real estate prices in the suburb to make sure they get a successful outcome.

Pick three different numbers that you'll keep track of for evaluating whether you're on track with your goal (When you're first starting out, quantity and time are the ones you'll find easiest to check on, so make it as easy as you can for yourself to succeed and go with these).

A Real Life Goal Tracking Example

A real life example from Keith Keller (the Global Social Media Coaching guy).

Keith Keller teaches people in the Arts (Artists, Musicians, Actors, Writers, Speakers etc) how to use Twitter for self-promotion. He recently began working with an Author who believed that Twitter was only going to be a small part of their online publicity efforts and unlikely to help with book sales; much to Keith's surprise.

Knowing that the website was capable of getting 1 in 97 people who visit it to purchase a book, the Author and Keith decided to aim for getting 20,000 people to the website, so that they'd make 20 sales.

Together they set the goal - "20K in 30 days".

So here were the three numbers that they used to track if they were on target with the goal of making 20 sales -

  1. Quantity - 20 sales [Report in Paypal]
  2. Quantity - 20,000 website visitors [Report in Google Analytics]
  3. Time - 30 days [Mark off on wall calendar]

In case you were wondering, they achieved "20K in UNDER 30 days" and got 20 sales.

From a psychology perspective, it's the tracking that matters more than the goal! Research has shown we respond with our best performance if we believe that someone else may be watching. A clear example of this occurs with dieters - simply taking photographs of everything you eat before you eat will cause you to lose weight.

That means that simply by incorporating tracking/monitoring of your efforts in the pursuit of your goals will inspire you to take more directed action and succeed.

Whether you decide to keep track using paper and pen, an Excel spreadsheet, photographs, video or whatever, ensure that it's something that is quick and simple for you to do. You'll only hamper your determination and progress if you make tracking hard to do.

Achieving Your Goals

You may already have experienced what it can be like online if you're doing things without goals, tracking or deadlines... suddenly you realise you've lost two hours of your day because you've been chatting on Facebook, searching for information on Google or looking for videos on YouTube. This is what happens when you do things without purpose... you get side tracked.

It's the reason why it's best to focus on achieving one goal at a time when you're reintroducing goal setting into your life. Wherever possible you want to set yourself up for success.

  • You may be thinking that one goal isn't enough for you - then do this one goal and achieve it sooner, faster and better than you ever believed you were capable of before.
  • You may be thinking that it's not the number one goal you want - then get this easy goal completed and out of the way so you can move on to your number one goal next.
  • You may be thinking there are so many other things to do - then recognise that you may have a problem with how your prioritise what you do and get this easy goal done first.

Dealing With Too Much To Do

To be fair though, when you're starting back into working with goals you can be overloaded with lots of things that really do need to get done.

When this is the case, you need to take a serious look at what these tasks and jobs are and work out if they are just keeping you busy or do they actually help you achieve any of the goals on your list. If they're just keeping you busy, then go 'cold turkey'. Stop doing these jobs and tasks.

If you're overloaded with jobs and tasks that contribute to your successful achievement of goals, then you need an extra pair of hands. You must delegate the things that can easily be done by someone else or are highly repetitive.

Find Volunteers

Find a friend or family member who is willing to volunteer their time for a fixed duration (3 weeks, 2 months, whatever they will agree to) so that you can regain control (if you haven't any income at all).

Outsource

If you have a modest budget, outsource to someone overseas using a service such as oDesk.com. This will force you to behave like an entrepreneur and employer - by being organised and having clear instructions to give the people you hire. Plus you'll be able to control how much you spend through fixed priced contracts or limiting the number of hours your contractors work.

Employ

When you have income without time, you must make time for yourself by employing someone else to do the daily repetitive tasks, administration and other jobs and tasks that take you away from pursuing your goals. This is when you'll need to hire a Virtual Assistant or if you prefer a Personal Assistant.

What matters most is that you do the things necessary to achieve your goal, whether you do it yourself or someone else does it on your behalf doesn't matter - action must be taken.

Achieving success whether your goals are big or small is done the same way -

  1. You must know what you want to achieve - picture it, feel what it's like to achieve it, make sure it rings true for you.
  2. Select the numbers you'll use to track success - using quantity, time, money and other numbers.
  3. Take action and do what's needed to reach your goal - do it yourself or have someone else do it for you.
  4. Celebrate you success - share your achievements with others, it's right to feel proud of your success, you deserve the win.
  5. Grab another goal and make success your habit.

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