If you study the difference between those people who achieve their goals and those who flounder, you are likely to find that they have very different approaches to reaching their goals.
The ways successful people achieve goals can be found in many management books and self-help books. Once you have read one you will find the same things repeated, just in a slightly different way. The common steps are:
Know where you want to get to and why.
Understand where you are currently and why.
Identify the key things that you need to achieve to get you from where you are to where you want to be.
Decide on the simple, step by step actions you need to carry out in order to achieve these outcomes.
Carry out these actions.
Review how things went and change accordingly.
Each of these steps are important and need to be done in the correct order, but for me, the process of reviewing is the one that consistently separates out those who achieve what they want in the lives from those who don’t. People will often be able to tell you what they want and why they haven’t got it, they can even tell you what they need to do to achieve it.
Take weight loss as an example, the vast majority of people I work with know what foods are causing them to be overweight and know what foods they should be eating. They know they should be taking exercising but don’t. What they are not doing is identifying the things that are really getting in their way by reviewing their progress.
Highly successful people do not achieve their goals straight away or in the way that they originally intended. They decide on what they believe at the time are the best actions to take, take them, review what worked and what didn’t work and then took some more actions. The path they take is a ‘windy’ path, not a straight one. It comes through a continual process of review, act, review, act, etc.
Behind this process lies the qualities of determination and perseverance. Of all the qualities that separate out people, these are the ones that for me are the most important. Achievers recognise why they want something and set out to achieve it, no matter what gets in their way. They understand the concept that‘there is no failure only feedback’.
No Such Thing As Failure, Only Feedback
This is a great belief to hold because when it comes to measuring your achievements you have always been successful. You might not have got the perfect result you wanted but you have got a result. Based on the result you have achieved you can then learn the appropriate lessons and go again.
To help this process further, high achievers tend to set their goals differently. Rather than set goals that are very difficult to achieve, i.e. things that relate more to perfection than reality, they set goals that are possible.
For example, rather than set a goal such as “I exercise every day”, they set something like “I exercise 3 out of 7 days a week “. Another example would be “I stick rigidly to my meal plan” versus “I eat healthily based upon my meal plan at least 5 days in the week”.
This is important because of the concept of “success breeds success”.
Success Breeds Success
All the time you are making comparisons between what you set out to achieve and what you actually achieve. If you when you make the comparisons you have been successful it helps you feel positive and good about yourself.
On the other hand, if you haven’t you may feel guilty and become discouraged. So often when you feel negative it relates back to the expectations you set for yourself. Once you learn to get off your own back, paradoxically you will begin to achieve more.
So in short, regularly reviewing how you are doing helps you to see the progress you have made which provides you with positive feedback that you are doing well. Secondly, it helps you uncover the obstacles that are getting in your way, this then enables you to take further, appropriate action, to remove them.
Sometimes we find it difficult to look closely at ourselves, so you might want to talk to a health coach about how well you are doing and bounce some thoughts off them. Talking to somebody often helps us to see more of ourselves, particularly the good, successful things we are doing!