Have you ever wondered why some people succeed and others stick closer to the middle of the road?
I have, so to try and understand what leads to success I went to a few people in my life I thought had ‘made it’ and asked them their secrets.
Interestingly, I found almost all of the people I spoke to had something in common; at some point they sat down and set themselves a good old-fashioned target, perhaps with a set of smaller targets to aim for along the way.
These wizards referred to their targets as ‘goals’.
I know, it sounded strange to me too but after trying it for myself I’m telling you, they’re on to something!
This personal survey is backed up by a great Harvard MBA study reported in Forbes, where graduates were asked “have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?”
In the study, the 13 per cent of grads who had goals, but didn’t write them down, ended up earning twice the amount of those without goals. That’s a pretty big result.
But going one further, those who had goals and wrote them down were on average earning ten times as much as the rest of the class combined!
So I guess the thing is, just having a goal isn’t enough. To actually achieve your goals, you need to take things a bit further.
And as the people in my life were kind enough to hand their witchcraft on to me, I shall now impart it on to you, valued reader.
1. Write them down (it could make you rich)
The simple act of writing your goal onto a piece of paper makes it feel tangible and is generally a habit of people that are heinously rich.
Be specific and avoid vague wording. For example, ‘I want to own a house’ makes it a little too easy for you to be lazy and claim that you own your dog’s house; therefore, you have achieved your goal.
2. Break them down
When you set yourself a goal, the next question you should be asking is ‘how am I going to get there?’
Break the goal down into smaller chunks that can be completed in realistic timeframes. How will you measure and track your success? Be sure that your measures are not ambiguous.
The more thought and effort you put into your planning process, the easier it will be to follow through on owning that people sized house.
3. Reward yourself along the way
The best part of setting goals is that they convince you that you can actually achieve them. Make a timeline for you to work from and plot your milestones on it.
Let’s keep rolling with the house example: maybe you want to be living in your own home by 2017. Create a 2-year timeline and set yourself quarterly savings goals that are in line with your current budget and stick to them.
The process of simply plotting points on a line should confirm that what you’re about to undertake is absolutely achievable. And when you do, reward yourself.
4. Be accountable for your failures
I don’t want to get all doom and gloom here, but a necessary component of goals is the possibility of failure.
The trick is to use failure as further incentive to succeed.
If you do encounter a hiccup in your plan, examine your milestones and make sure they are still realistic. A wise sorcerer is never afraid to adjust his goals if required.
5. Make sure they’re realistic
Alright, settle down Elon Musk, It’s great that you’re confident enough to set some fairly audacious goals, but just because you made a six point plan to travel to Mars in thirty days doesn’t mean it’s attainable.
Make sure you are realistic with your goals and deadlines or you’ll only be setting yourself up to fail. Happy sorcering!