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The Top 10 Secrets to Achieving Any Goal

We all have goals that are important to us. They range from quitting smoking, to creating our own businesses, to raising great kids. Unfortunately, most of us also have the experience of being unable to reach our goals, of having them always seem just out of reach. We can see them. We want to complete them, but we never quite cross that finish line. Here are 10 steps that are almost like magic! They will help you reach your goals, every time!

  1. Precisely define the objective.   Exactly what do you want? Measure it, put a number on it.  How many pounds do you want to lose?  How many dollars do you want to earn?  No one can achieve a fuzzy goal.  Be precise.

  2. Align the objective with your values.   You won’t work toward a goal that conflicts with your values or sense of purpose.  Make sure your goals are consistent with your religious and moral beliefs, and with other goals that you have.  Internal conflict will undermine your performance, every time!

  3. Develop appropriate affirmations.   A series of positive, powerful, present-tense statements that describe the benefits of having your goal and how you’ll feel when you’ve reached it are essential.   They should be short, active, exciting, and you will need to write them down and repeat them many times, every day!

  4. Develop powerful reasons to achieve your goals.   "If you have enough why’s, you’ll find a way."  We reach goals that excite us, that stimulate our imaginations.  We reach goals that are vital to our health, our family and our future.  Find lots of reasons!  When it’s important enough, you’ll make it happen.

  5. Write your goals and your reasons down!   Write them on file cards every day!  There is power, magic and mystery in writing your goals down.  Put the cards where you’ll see them through the day.   Put them on your mirror, or on your desk.  Carry them with you and read them, over and over, through the day.

  6. Set a deadline.  Again, have the courage to be exact.  Quit smoking by your birthday, double your income by the end of this year, get out of debt by September 1st.  A goal without a deadline is just a pipe dream!  Give yourself the discipline of a date.

  7. Define intermediate targets.  To lose 40 pounds in 4 months, determine to lose 10 pounds EACH month.  Having smaller goals makes each one easier to achieve, and you can track your progress to your larger goal.  A journey of a thousand miles is just a series of steps, one after another.

  8. Make your goals public.  Tell friends and family what you plan to do, and your target date.  Ask them to hold you accountable and to help you along the way.  Knowing your friends are rooting for you is a powerful motivator.  Set yourself up for success by making a public commitment to reach your goals on time.

  9. Get a partner. High achievers rarely do anything significant by themselves.  Get a running partner, make a friendly bet with your spouse to quit smoking, make it a family project to get out of debt.   Always have at least one person who totally supports you, and make sure they are part of your campaign.  Hire a coach, if appropriate.

  10. Celebrate every intermediate victory!   Give yourself a reward for each day without a cigarette, have a family celebration for each bill that gets paid off.  High achievers find reasons to celebrate every day!  Like that journey of a thousand miles, you must celebrate – really celebrate! – each step along the way.

Remember, "if you can imagine it, you can achieve it."  Any goal that truly fires your imagination and fills your heart with joy, is reachable!  Set targets, develop an adequate support system, break large goals into smaller steps, and go for it!  You can do this!

Here’s to your success!

Phil, Mary, and the Staff at
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Copyright 2003 by Philip E. Humbert. All Rights Reserved. This article may be copied and used in your own newsletter or on your website as long as you include  the following information:  "Written by Dr. Philip E. Humbert, writer, speaker and success coach. Dr. Humbert has over 300 free articles, tools and resources for your success, including a great newsletter! It's all on his website at: "