Strategizing Your Way to Success: Three Ways to Achieve Your Goals
Many of us have life goals, whether it’s in our career or personal life. These might include gaining new skills for a job, learning a new language, training for a marathon, or simply pursuing personal goals for self-growth. However, as we work toward our goals, it’s not uncommon to wonder why two people with similar abilities and ambition can experience vastly different levels of success. One person may take much longer than the other, or one may fail altogether while the other excels. What sets these two individuals apart is not necessarily how hard they work toward their goals, but whether or not they have a good strategy in place for achieving them.
Developing a good strategy when setting goals is the most important and surefire way to achieve success. Here are three ways you can make sure your goals are on track to being fulfilled.
1. Embrace Each Experience as Growth and Forward Movement
Achieving our goals is a journey that requires nurturing and development. Our growth and onward progression, whether at work or personal development, is largely based on the experiences we have. Positive and negative experiences are usually plentiful along the way, and it can be hard to notice the ones that have taught us the most.
For example, someone might be aiming for a certain position at work, and the next step toward that goal is a promotion. If that person doesn’t get that promotion, they could see it as a failure or an opportunity for more time to work on certain skills in order to get to that next step. A person who is focused on the end goal will do what it takes to get there and has the ability to recognize the worth in each experience they encounter. While positive steps are a win, some of the negative experiences can sometimes be where the most growth occurs.
Embracing these experiences and realizing that they are hard to replace and have generated growth toward your goal is a sign of forward achievement. By recognizing that each experience, both positive and negative, is a learning opportunity, you can use them to your advantage to move forward.
2. Take Advantage of Both Vertical and Lateral Development
There are two types of growth and development when it comes to achieving our goals – lateral and vertical. Lateral growth is when we expose ourselves to new ideas and experiences. This could be learning something new, traveling to a foreign country, or reading up on a different subject. Goal setting, drive and motivation are not the primary tools of this kind of growth, but it is important during the initial stages of goal achievement. It opens our mind up to new ideas and gets us used to thinking differently. However, where some people fail is using this type of focus as a way of achieving their goals in the long-term.
Vertical growth, on the other hand, is the process of achieving, pushing ourselves and our ambition. It is the negatively perceivable struggles, challenges, and pressure that cause us to obtain our greatest achievements and victories. It’s about realizing our potential and how far we can be pushed, in the process, gaining clarity about what we really want.
If someone’s goal is to lose a certain amount of weight, they may decide to take up running. One person could happily run with no real plan and lose the weight, while someone else may go bigger and strive to run a marathon and go through the painful and challenging experience of marathon training. While both may achieve the goal of weight loss, one will most likely keep up the running and enter more and more races because they’ve experienced the pain and suffering and come out the other side – they are motivated to strive for bigger and better.
People who are stuck in lateral growth tend to take much longer to achieve their goals because they aren’t prepared to face challenges and grow from them. People who adopt the vertical development technique move along on their path much quicker, even though the path may appear more rocky and dangerous.
3. Checking In With Where You’re Going
Is the road you’re walking on leading to a bright future? While we don’t always know exactly where we’ll end up or if we’ll change our minds along the way – something many of us face in our careers (we change and grow after all) – people who achieve their goals in life do more solid research into where their decisions and goals will lead them down the line. They take time to ask themselves if their path has potential.
For some, it’s easy to choose a path and run as fast as they can to the end in order to achieve the goal much quicker. The problem with this is that they are running fast down a path they’re not actually sure is the right one. That’s why it’s much better to spend time choosing the path first before starting to run, even if the path you eventually choose is a bit less smooth than the other. By doing the groundwork in the beginning, you are setting yourself up well even if, at some point, you decide to change course.
Setting goals is what life is all about – whether big or small, for your career or your personal life and development. The way in which you go about achieving these goals is paramount to your success. Check in with your mindset, make sure you are focused correctly, and remember to enjoy the journey towards your goals and realize the lessons you learn at every step. By embracing each experience, taking advantage of both lateral and vertical development, and checking in with where you’re going, you’ll have a better chance of achieving your goals with a solid strategy in place.