Image via Flickr user tec_estromberg
Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals, but not others? Decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.
1. Get specific. When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible.
2. Seize the moment to act on your goals. Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it’s not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them.
3. Know exactly how far you have left to go. Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress — if not by others, then by you yourself.
4. Be a realistic optimist. When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it.
5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good. Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability.
6. Have grit. Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty.
7. Build your willpower muscle. Your self-control “muscle” is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn’t get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time.
8. Don’t tempt fate. No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it’s important to always respect the fact that it is limited, and if you overtax it you will temporarily run out of steam.
9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do. Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or put a lid on your bad temper?
by Heidi Grant Halvorson
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