How to Achieve Your Personal Goals – From Listening to Tweaking

To get what you want out of life, you need to know how to achieve your personal goals. These practical, effective tips are from psychotherapist and author Karol Ward; they’ll give you the boost you need.

Before the tips, a quip:

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals. Adjust the action steps.” ~ Confucius

Achieving your goals can require re-planning, re-scheduling, and re-thinking your approach. No matter what your professional or personal goals are, they are achievable – if you adopt a strategic approach. Don’t worry: it’s easier than you think!

Read Find Your Inner Voice: Using Instinct and Intuition Through the Body-Mind Connection by Karol Ward for help setting goals.

And, here are her seven steps to success…

How to Achieve Your Personal Goals – From Listening to Tweaking

When it comes to setting new goals, it’s important to remember that “one size does not fit all.” A personalized approach will help you set and achieve goals that are aligned with who you are.

Listen to your body

Give your body a chance to voice its opinion as you set and achieve personal goals. Pay attention to your physical energy every time you set a goal. Do you feel calm or excited or lethargic? These are important cues to consider when you’re setting and achieving your personal goals.

Consider your personality traits

When setting personal goals, factor in your personality traits. Are you someone who likes doing things on your own or do you thrive in a group? Do you operate best in the morning, afternoon or evening? To achieve a goal, you will have do something that goes against your natural style, like attending school at night when you are a morning person or fitting a workout in the morning when you are more energized in the evening.

Be realistic about your goals

Observe your current life situation. What do you need to pay attention to right now in your life? Are there certain things that are new and or perhaps not changing for a while? Are you relocating, changing jobs, going back to school or handling a health issue? Life can surprise us and we sometimes have to adjust for the unexpected. However, you can set and achieve personal goals by being realistic about your health, state of mind, family and career.

Know why your goals matter

There are times when your goals will bring you immediate gratification and times when you have to wait for the prize. Taking an action to finish a work project provides immediate satisfaction, while getting your doctorate has delayed gratification. Either way, it’s important to remind yourself along the way that you are worth the effort. Connect to the self-care and self-respect that is involved in setting a goal and achieving it.

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If you’re not sure why you’re trying to get what you think you want out of life, read What Makes Life Meaningful?

Do “acknowledgement” homework

Acknowledge your effort in tangible ways – this is key to feeling like you are making strides. I have many of my clients do “acknowledgment” homework so that they can stay in touch with their journey. This means they have to come in with a written list of the accomplishments they have completed during the week, no matter how small. Writing down your accomplishments and sharing them with others will inspire you to continue working towards your goals.

Evaluate what helps you get what you want out of life

If you gauge your progress along the way, you won’t give up when you reach an impasse.  Sometimes, we give up rather than fine tune some aspect of our goal-setting-and-achieving plan that is not working. However, we may just need to take smaller steps, resolve some fears, get information or bring in emotional support in order to continue.

Tweak what doesn’t work

When you’re working towards your personal goals, it’s important not to view the need for an adjustment as “starting over.” Instead, you are simply picking your goal back up after reviewing it. All the experience and effort you have already put in still counts…and you’re one step closer to achieving your goals.

For more goal setting tips, read How to Recognize When Goals Aren’t Good for You.

If you have any questions or thoughts on achieving your personal goals, please comment below…

For more inspirational, practical life tips and tools, visit Karol

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6 thoughts on “How to Achieve Your Personal Goals – From Listening to Tweaking

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    I just read yesterday that we should dream higher dreams and set loftier goals than we can achieve. Be unrealistic and creative – but don’t tie yourself to the outcome or have expectations that are burdensome.

  • Harry

    You may want to check out GoalsOnTrack, a very nicely built web app designed for tracking goals and todo lists, and supports time tracking too. It’s clear, focused, easy to navigate, worth a try.

  • Alex Work

    Great post Karol. Point number 3 resonates quite strongly. I most often see people set goals that are unrealistic. It isn’t always the goal itself that is unrealistic, but more often the timeframe they’ve set for themselves.

    The only thing I would add to this list is that goal-setters should be aware of how to deal with roadblocks and setbacks when they occur. (Let’s face it, even our best laid plans fall off-track once in a while.)

    Alex Work

  • Dorothea Hover-Kramer

    Good thinking! The tips for achieving goals are practical and well-stated. I would enjoy more details especially how to manage my own energy system so when an objection to success comes up or I just don’t feel like doing something, I will know how to treat myself.–Dr. Dorothea Hover-Kramer author of “Second Chance at Your Dream” (energy psychology press, 2009)

  • Angela England

    Great reminders! Setting reasonable goals for yourself can be the most difficult aspect for me – I am so Type-A I refuse to admit that I canNOT do something. So I set totally crazy goals for myself.

    I am learning the art of realism in terms of goal setting. 🙂 Especially with three young children.

  • PennySue

    Setting personal goals in life can be a challenge. Its up to you if you succeed with reaching your goals in life. Staying balanced and focused enables you to develop a plan of action and make it your choice to follow through. Very good steps for reaching success in this article.