What you Need to Achieve Your Goals

 

Get Results: goal setting and making a plan of action
Get Results: goal setting and making a plan of action

I use this model of analysis to help me achieve my goals by formulating a clear actionable plan

#1- Goal Setting

  • What do I want to do/achieve?
  • Do I know clearly enough what my goal is?

If I don’t know clearly, it will be hard to work out a plan. You must have a defined goal so that a plan can lead to its attainment. It’s ok if that goal moves along the journey, but have a goal before you make a start.

#2- Current Cause and Effect

  • What am I doing currently?
  • What is happening/not happening?
  • Why is it happening/not happening?

There should be a clear cause and effect to follow. Do this and this will happen. If not then clarify the plan further if possible.

#3- Remedial action

  • What can I do to correct?
  • What am I missing/not knowing which is important?
  • What am I not doing that I need to do?

Now that I’ve laid out the structure of the model, let’s have a closer look at this model of analysis in more detail:

 Goal

  • What do you want to do/achieve?
  • Do you know clearly enough?

knowing what you want to achieve (having a goal) is crucial to developing an actionable plan to make it happen, but think about it in enough detail so that a plan to achieve it is crystal clear. Check out the example below for more clarity about what I mean.

Lets assume your goal is to make more money. There are a number of ways to look at this, what most people mean when they say they want more money is have more money in their pocket after they have paid the bills.

Now this can be achieved two ways, by making more money (increase in income) or saving money they pay out for bills etc.

Saving money is often easier to do then earning more, so we’ll cover this first. Now there are those essential things we have to pay, like rent / mortgage and utilities, which you can’t avoid but which you could look to reduce the cost of, by shopping around for cheaper suppliers, lower  tariffs etc. It’s not exciting but it can really put extra money in your pocket if you take the time out to shop around.

For other costs/expenses, try to cut out the ones that are none essential, and that don’t add some enjoyment or value to your life. That’s the criteria I use for expenses.

  • Is it essential?
  • Is it adding value to my life?

If the answer is no to both of these questions, get rid of it. If you have debts like loans etc, pay these off as a matter of priority, don’t fail to pay them back, because this is both morally wrong and can affect your credit rating in the future. If you’ve done the crime do the time, so to speak. Just don’t be in a hurry replacing this debt with more debt in the future.

Imagine if you had no bills to pay and every pay cheque that came through the door was yours to keep and enjoy. When people earn more money they tend to take on more debt, they buy a bigger house and nicer car etc. All this does is keep you having to grind away to pay these things off. Once you have the nice car or nice house do you really feel happier? Really? If they do make you happier, then while they are none essentials they are adding value/enjoyment to your life, which is fine.

Earning more money on the other hand is dependent on the skills and knowledge you possess. Learning new higher-paying-skills, working more hours, and /or earning extra income on the side will help you earn more. There is no magic bullet here. Have a plan and work the plan based on your preferences, skill base and motivation levels.

So having the goal of simply “earning more money” isn’t going to be clear enough. By digging deeper into what this involves, will help you work out what options are open to you.

If you don’t know clearly enough, you will have difficulty working out a plan to attain it. Clearly defined goals make the plan easier to formulate and follow through to conclusion.

 Current cause and effect

  • What are you doing currently?
  • What is happening/not happening?
  • Why is it happening/not happening?

There should be a clear cause and effect to follow. If I do this… this will happen. If not then clarify the plan further. There are never any guarantees, there is an element of risk to whatever you do, but progress on a best guess basis.

Look at what you’re doing now to achieve your plan. We are looking for a clear cause and effect. You do X and Y happens.  Working backwards can sometimes help with each stage. So for instance, if you want to save money, but you’re not currently doing so, then, look to see if you are taking the necessary actions that will lead to this goal being realised, because it’s not going to happen otherwise.

You have to make it happen. Have you looked at what you’re paying for bills? Have you shopped around for cheaper alternatives? Action is key here. Doing what needs to be done to achieve the goal.

 Remedial action

  • What should you do to correct?
  • What are you missing/not knowing which is important?
  • What are you not doing that you need to do?

Use something like the decision matrix to determine amongst alternative options, problem solving techniques to work out a way are around obstacles.  Use role models to see if you are missing something, look at the models, systems, habits and relationships they use to achieve what you want to achieve.

Summary

This article is designed to make you think with more clarity about your goals and plan of action so that you can formulate and take actionable steps to make it happen. Empowering yourself to find the solutions you are looking for, rather than feeling you have no control about how things turn out.

It’s true that sometimes things don’t work out how you wanted them to, but I have found that having a goal, and a clear actionable plan to achieve it will move you in the right direction. Being flexible in your journey is fine, as long as you know the end destination.. A crystal clear goal makes the plan easier to formulate.

Having a goal of “Making more money” can involve earning extra income or having more money in your pocket at the end of the month by saving. If what you mean is actually having more money in your pocket at the end of the month, then this suddenly opens up extra options including saving on expenses. Be clear what you mean and by do so you find the options open up to you more clearly.

Hope you find this article informative and thought provoking. Please share if you did, thanks.

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