Friday, January 4, 2008

Tips for Reaching Your Goals

If there are two things I've learned that really work for me in achieving my goals it's sharing them with others and writing them down. I know these concepts seem simple and you've probably heard them from other people and haven't really given them a second thought. Let me tell you two examples of how these things have worked in my life.

When I was in college I decided I wanted to do something different than everyone else. I thought it would be cool if I attended grad school in Boston. So, I started telling people that I was moving to Boston when I graduated. The more people I told, the more cemented that idea became, until one day I truly believed it myself. Of course, I really did want to move to Boston, but I hadn't even been accepted into the school I wanted to attend. However, it was too late to tell people that I wasn't going so I knew I had to do everything in my power to get out here. And guess what? 3 1/2 years later here I am, still living in Boston, having finished up grad school and now working.

One of my loftiest goals has been to pay off all of my school loans in 3 years. Even I thought that was a bit of a stretch but I have committed to myself on paper that they will be gone by that time. I decided to make a timeline of my payoff and figure out how much I need to have paid off by what date. Periodically checking in with myself and realizing that I am still on track, even when I sometimes feel like I don't have traction has helped me immensely.

On a side note, I have made several New Year's "goals" that I wrote down on paper, along with the steps needed to achieve those. Just knowing that they are looming over me and that they are written down has forced me to think about them every day and decide if the things I'm doing are contributing toward those goals.

Anyone who is looking to achieve change in their life should absolutely try one or both of these things. For me, it has guaranteed success.