How to achieve any Goal. The 8 principles to your success. Setting goals can sometimes be very frustrating. When you set goals and then you do your best to achieve them and yet you fail to do so. This feeling of failure can sometimes be really demotivating, it can bring you down and stop you completely from achieving your goals again.
This is one of the reasons why a lot of people think that setting goals is useless. Why do you want to set goals when you know that you are not going to achieve them. First of all, Goals give you a clarity in your life. Having this clear image in your mind of where exactly you are heading will clear the path in your life. This will lead to you knowing exactly how to get what you truly desire.
You might get an illusion that you are achieving something because you are busy running around, but just because you are busy doesn’t really mean you are achieving what you want. Below you will find 8 principles you can use to start setting and achieving your goals.
Principle #1: Set the goal
If you do not have a clear goal, you achieve nothing. People do not plan to failure, they simply poorly plan. Amazing, but in most cases many people are taken for the cause, without having a clear vision of the end result. This fatal mistake is so common that there is even a bad saying: Come what may! People who are guided by this approach rarely succeed, because they are difficult to imagine how this success should look like.
Thus, if you want to be successful, it is not enough just to have the intention or desire. You need to have very clear image in your mind. It is necessary to prepare action plan, formalize your goal and specify the criteria for achieving this goal. Remember «Goal is a dream, with a plan to achieve it, and the date of execution.” The following principles are more fully disclose this statement.
Principle #2: The power of the decomposition
After you set the goal you have to make the decomposition of tasks. You should break each task to the micro-level, where it becomes simple and elementary to implement. Often, people do not start something new, because they do not know, how to do it. An easy way to think about a work breakdown structure is, as an outline or map of the specific project.
The power of decomposition is in the fact, that it allows more clearly understand where you have the exact problem or lack of knowledge. And the second advantage is that with sufficient split into smaller components, sub-tasks become so elementary, that it is impossible not to find solutions for them. Your goal breakdown structure starts with the top level and is further decomposed into sub-tasks using the outline hierarchy.
The best example here – a manned space flight to the moon. It was a terrific goal!Absolutely unknown problem engineers decomposed into thousands of smaller subtasks, so that eventually for just a few years, were built spaceships, spacesuits are created, and were developed the living conditions in space.
Principle #3: Monitor your progress
Control method does not matter. You can use simple or complex tools, you can use different reporting forms and the program – it will give you a different level of detail and comfort. It’s great if you have visual widgets with statistics or charts that are constantly updated. But even if you use a notepad and a pen, and will regularly cross out completed tasks – you will progress.
It is amazing, but everything that you control inevitably becomes better. We advise you to use a set of our favorite tools collected on the free website Goalton.com, but what is much more important for you, is to have at least some tools for regular monitoring.
Principle #4: It is impossible to progress permanently
This principle does not contradict the previous one, but rather complements it. You should not feel discouraged if after two or three weeks of continuous growth, you suddenly find yourself in a state of local stagnation. This is normal. Any athlete does not train all day and night.
For professional sportsmen phase of relaxation is just as important as the training stage. Even the most perfect computer or smartphone takes time to recharge, just as man needs sleep at night. Your organization or team, also need periods of recession. The word “recession” should not cause fear or anxiety – many processes are developing on a sinusoid.
So don’t be afraid to rest. Even if you happen to “off-season” and period of stagnation is stretched for a month, this is an excellent opportunity to polish internal business processes.
Principle # 5: Outline your tasks
Outline your tasks as hierarchy tree Each task must have a clear and measurable criterion for its performance. Its often called the KPI – key performance indicator. Without such a criterion, you cannot evaluate the progress of this task, you will not be able to assess the degree of its importance, and you will not be able to understand its contribution to the overall result. When we talked about the decomposition, we mostly paid attention to the need to clarify WHAT should be done to achieve the goal.
Now we say that when you properly decomposed task, you can clearly follow HOW the overall result is the sum of the results of subtasks. This hierarchy allows you to allocate time, budget or even risks.The top level represents the final result (totality of the project), while Sub-levels contain work packages that are assigned to an organization’s department or unit. It is similar to classification.
You must choose a criterion by which will be carried out decomposition and allocation of tasks – by function, by the people, geography, etc. For example, regional sales plan consists of sales plans of its cities, and they in turn are made up of specific dealers sales plans. Having a clear hierarchy tree of tasks, you will always be able to identify the bottleneck of your plan and to give it due attention.
Principle #6: Priority
Give priority to the most important tasks When we are dealing with many small subtasks, we must realize it is impossible to perform them all at the same time. As you remember, earlier we separated large goal into its component parts, in order to consistently perform tasks. The most important point is to understand that the tasks have a priority, in other words some of them are more important than others.
This importance can be assigned by your intuition, and even so you will achieve a certain order in the actions plan. But it is much better if the importance of the tasks will be related to its value. The best way is to define the contribution of the task into the overall result. It is scientifically proven that usually only 20% of our efforts gives 80% of the result. Therefore, if you do not have time to do everything – do the most important!
There are people (sometimes called perfectionists), who seek to do everything and do it “perfectly well”. But there are no such people among the really successful entrepreneurs. Success of Entrepreneur is in the ability to distinguish the most priority tasks and concentrate only on them, even to the detriment of everything else. So do only important tasks, and for that you need to prioritize.
Here you can see the amazing secret of successful people productivity. Taking only the most important things they can achieve impressive results over the same period. So schedule your time properly, and you will get a result that far exceeds ordinary outcome!
Principle #7: Set the order
This principle is closely linked to the previous one. In addition to the priority in terms of value, many tasks are performed in a certain sequence. In other words, you cannot build walls until the foundation is built. Otherwise we cannot be sure in reliability of your home. When you have a lot of tasks to do, you might have a question which task should be taken to do – task A or task B?
It is important to scheduling your tasks. Then you will see what and in what order to do. It is also important to understand that for some tasks there are deadlines, and this is also should be reflected in the scheduling and prioritization. To make a quick decision, you can use the following matrix. Divide all your tasks into 4 types, depending on their importance and urgency.
First of all perform an important and urgent tasks. Then schedule important but not so urgent tasks. These 2 types of tasks you have to do by yourself. Urgent and not important – delegate to your colleagues. The remaining tasks you can not do at all. Always follow this rule and give priority only to the most important tasks. Thus you will achieve clear order in your to do list.
Principle #8: Use of Sprints
A typical scheme of work is as follows: first, you plan, at the second step you build a product, then test how it works, and in the end make a review of what you got with what was originally planned. And only in the end of this process you will be able to present your shippable product. It could take a long period of time because often you have to go back to the previous step to make some changes you have realized only by going to the next step.
In this case, you risk losing a customer who has not waited your product. There is an interesting approach called Scrum. Originally it was invented by software developers, but it works great in other projects. In fact, this approach combines the two previous principles. First make a list of all user needs. After that make a list of tasks with the highest priority or value, and then implement them alternately, so to fit in certain time intervals, often called Sprints. You may vary the duration of your sprints from 1 day to 1 week, but should fix it for the period of your planning.
Next you can return to the list of user needs and make a review. Repeat this workflow for each sprint. This approach is well suited to address the problem of impossibility to progress continuously – as you remember we talked about it earlier. This approach applies equally athletes and businessmen. You should progressing during the sprint, and take a rest between them. Here is the key to success. You simply alternate the phases of activity and rest, and you will be at the peak of your form all the time, physical – when it comes to sport, or functional – in the case of developing your product.
The essence of the approach is to achieve the maximum outcome for the sprint. This becomes especially important if initially you cannot fully imagine all characteristics of your main goal, or your customers can change their minds about what they want and need. So at the end of each sprint you will always have the most valuable product in its final form, and with each new sprint you will expand its functionality.
Let’s summarize the eight principles of the success.
• Set the goal
• Use The power of the decomposition
• Monitor your progress
• Find time to relax and think
• Outline your tasks as the hierarchy tree
• Use priorities (80/20)
• Set the order, do the most important first
• Try to use sprints If you want to achieve your personal or business goals