Ideas to help achieve goals

Photo credit: Paul Kingsley, Photo Editor

Sorry to say, but this generation is accustomed to instant gratification. Thanks to iPhones, iTunes and the internet, you don’t have to work very hard to get what you want, when you want it.

This means people are having a tougher time achieving their aspirations because goal attainment is no walk in the park.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, stop procrastinating, quit smoking or get good grades, you have to realize none of these things are a click away. No pain, no gain.

Be realistic. You’re not going to drop five pounds tomorrow, or start studying a month in advance for our next test just because you want to.  There’s more to being a goal getter than desire.

First things first: You need to ask yourself what it is you want to achieve.

We all have at least one aspect of our appearance or daily routine that needs a makeover.

Maybe you would rather add or eliminate something entirely. No matter what it is (or isn’t), you need to know what you’re dealing with. You might even want to write it down and tape it to a mirror or bedpost as a little reminder.

This initial step is a real eye opener because it allows you to stare your wish right in the face. It forces you to put your thoughts, hopes and dreams into actual action words.
Next, you need to think about why you want to change this feature about yourself or your life.

What will you be able to do once you hit this target that you can’t do right now? What kinds of positive changes will occur strictly as a result of this transformation?

You can list the people you know who can help you succeed, and you should also recognize who isn’t facilitating your situation.

This is important considering the effect your relationships with family members, coworkers, friends and peers have on your confidence. You need to be surrounded by encouragement throughout this process.

So, you have an idea of what exactly you want to modify, the constructive differences you can expect, and who will and won’t help you along the way.

Identifying these key pieces of the puzzle is a big step in the right direction. You’re on your way to a sure win.

Now, let’s talk specifics.

To overcome obstacles of distraction and discouraging past failures, you need to create helpful habits. Establish when, approximately, you’re going to start climbing the ladder’s steps and the precise date you want to shout, “I did it!”

Consider what days of the week you will dedicate to soul searching. What time will the clock strike as you work on that waist line?

By deciding to, for example, work out at the gym every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., you’re solidifying your chance at goal-getting survival.

Monday will arrive, you’ll go to the gym at 11 a.m. and you’ll feel great because now you can believe yourself. When you said you were going to do something, you did it. Here comes Wednesday, and you find yourself on the treadmill at 11 a.m. again.

Of course, if this doesn’t sound like the brightest idea, there’s always a Plan B.

Instead of going all OCD on your goal, try limitation.

I know, it sounds like a scary word. But, surprise surprise, weight watchers don’t have to limit food intake and procrastinators don’t have to hit the books.

Instead, limit couch and internet access. Tell yourself you’re only aloud to watch TV or go on Facebook at night. That way, when you would normally be catching up on TiVo or stalking your friends in the afternoon, you’re free as the wind.

You’re presenting yourself with more time to participate in the changes you’re trying to make. Hopefully you would spend that time getting physically fit or studying.

Setting short-term, mini goals on the way to achieving a long-term want will increase the likelihood of your success through that instant gratification you’re expecting.

You’ll love this next word: rewards. That’s right; you can give yourself an incentive to initiate the probability of victory. Treat yourself for taking action. Instead of beating yourself up after taking a detour, why not stay on course and catch some compensation for your hard work?

It all comes down to this: Where there’s a will, there’s a way. You have the will and I lit the way, so don’t be part of passive plans. There are no more excuses.

Look! Wow! You’re a goal getter now.