Goals are critical to our success and yet we struggle to achieve them. Why? There are many reasons, but here the most common reasons many fail to achieve our goals.
- Fear of failure.
- Failing to plan.
- Analysis paralysis.
I have some great news. You can achieve your goals and actually be quite consistent in getting them across the finish line. William A. Ward in his famous quote captures the secret to successfully realizing our goals.
“Plan purposefully. Prepare prayerfully. Proceed positively. Pursue persistently.”
Let's examine his first point: plan purposefully. When you form your goals, create a desired outcome for each one. A desired outcome is a brief description of exactly what you want to achieve when your goal is finished. This is the most critical step because it directs the Action Steps you need to take to complete your goals. Once the action steps are created for each goal, ensure they are scheduled in your calendar. Now you have a well defined goal, and are ready to minimize distractions and be realistic about the number of working hours you have in a day. Don't forget to plan breaks and time away from work to spend with family and friends - so you don't burn out.
Next, prepare prayerfully. I liken this second step to packing your gym bag for a workout. You don’t just arrive at the gym unprepared, wishing you had the right clothes on. You prepare ahead of time. Put together today the people and provisions you need to keep your goal moving to the goal line.
The third step is to proceed positively. Positivity will keep your actions moving toward completion. Without a positive outlook, we lose hope and lack that extra effort needed to realize our goals.
The last action point is to pursue persistently. Persistence is the less glamorous secret of every elite athlete or master of a craft. It’s the day in, day out, slogging through our plan with consistent discipline that few people recognize. If there’s an award for grit, the persistent individual deserves it. Persistence will cost you more comfort, recognition, and time than you may want to give. But the reward of persistence is achievement in its fullest measure.
Persistence will take you where you want to go, and while it may not always be glamorous or enticing, it is the true driver behind real achievement—and most of it is done in the quiet, nondescript moments of life, where few people notice or recognize the effort you are making. That’s all the more reason to be encouraged that you’re on the right track!
Let's be people who plan, prepare and pursue our goals with persistent effort - and you will reap the reward that is given to those who never give up!
To your excellence in achieving your most important goals,