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Achieving Your Goals

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/22/2006 | Self Improvement
Setting and achieving your goals can be one of the most stressful and sometimes futile things you ever do in your life.

Each new year brings new resolutions. People make unrealistic promises to themselves knowing that many of them are sure to be broken. But we do it anyway, because it is a tradition that has been passed down through many generations.

There are several ways to plan for reaching your goals that can greatly increases your chances for success and reduce the amount of stress involved.

First, you must understand that while goals should be written down, they need not be etched in stone. For instance, say that you want to lose 20 pounds in the next two months, and two months later, you have only lost 15 pounds.

Many people would see this as a failure, get depressed, and go back to their unhealthy habits. The results are predictable. They gain back the weight they lost (or more) and end up back at square one.

Achieving a goal is like driving to a different city. You never travel in a straight line. You make turns, take detours, and sometimes get lost (although most men would never admit to this). Do you go back home and start over? Of course not. You just make adjustments from your current location.

Taking the above example once again, losing 15 pounds instead of 20 is not failure! Absolutely not. You simply need to make the necessary adjustments in your goal and continue on. Instead of dwelling on your inability to lose 20 pounds, consider that you now only need to lose five pounds. Since you just lost 15 pounds in two months, losing five more in the next month should be a snap. But if you do not, you simply make the necessary adjusts once again from that point. Each goal gets easier and easier.

You should also make reasonably achievable goals. If you need to lose 100 pounds, do not plan to lose it in the next six months. That is not only unreasonable, it can be dangerous to your health. However, losing 100 pounds in 12 months breaks down to slightly less that two pounds per week. That is certainly within reason.

If your goal is to earn a million dollars in the next year, that is admirable. But have you thought about how you are going to do that? If you are starting from scratch, that may not be a reasonable goal. Perhaps you should start by building a foundation first and shooting for your first million dollars next year.

Of course, if you plan on making a million dollars next year and only make 20 bucks, you only have 999,980 to go.