Steps to Reaching Your Goals
– By Dr.
executing any personal strategic plan for change requires that as you
develop your plan, you effectively incorporate these seven steps for
attaining each and every goal.
1. Express your goal in terms of specific events or behaviors.
For a dream to become a goal, it has to be specifically defined in terms
of operations, meaning what will be done. When a goal is broken down
into steps, it can be managed and pursued much more directly. "Being
for example, is neither an event nor a behavior. When you set out to
identify a goal, define what you want in clear and specific terms.
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2. Express your goal in terms that can be measured.
How else will you be able to determine your level of progress, or even
know when you have successfully arrived where you wanted to be? For
instance, how much money do you aspire to make?
3. Assign a timeline to your goal.
Once you have determined precisely what it is you want, you must decide
on a timeframe for having it.
The deadline you've created fosters a
sense of urgency or purpose, which in turn will serve as an important
motivator, and prevent inertia or procrastination.
4. Choose a goal you can control.
Unlike dreams, which allow you to fantasize about events over which you
have no control, goals have to do with aspects of your existence that
you control and can therefore manipulate. In identifying your goal,
strive for what you can create, not for what you can't.
5. Plan and program a strategy that will get you to your goal.
Pursuing a goal seriously requires that you realistically assess the
obstacles and resources involved, and that you create a strategy for
navigating that reality. Willpower is unreliable, fickle fuel because it
is based on your emotions. Your environment, your schedule and your
accountability must be programmed in such a way that all three support
you — long after an emotional high is gone.
Life is full of temptations
and opportunities to fail. Those temptations and opportunities compete
with your more constructive and task-oriented behavior. Without
programming, you will find it much harder to stay the course.
6. Define your goal in terms of steps.
Major life changes don't just happen; they happen one step at a time.
Steady progress, through well-chosen, realistic, interval steps,
produces results in the end. Know what those steps are before you set
7. Create accountability for your progress toward your goal.
Without accountability, people are apt to con themselves. If you know
precisely what you want, when you want it — and there are real
consequences for not doing the assigned work — you are much more likely
to continue in your pursuit of your goal. Find someone in your circle of
family or friends to whom you can be accountable. Make periodic reports
on your progress.
About the Author:
Dr. Phil McGraw is a life strategist, human behavior expert, and author
of five # 1 New York Times bestsellers. His books have been published in
37 languages with over 22 million copies in print. His nationally
syndicated daily one-hour series, “Dr. Phil,” has been making headlines
and breaking records since its September 2002 launch, when it garnered
the highest ratings of any new syndicated show since the launch of “The
Oprah Winfrey Show” 16 years prior. For more information, visit