Wednesday, 5 September 2007

The Basics of Goal Achievement

I left the sunny island of Barbados today. I spoke to my nephew while at the airport. He told me that he wanted to come and see me off but that he was stuck at home and didn't have bus fare. I was bemused. It was clear that I didn't make enough of an impression on my young nephew otherwise surely he would have found a way to get to the airport!

Seriously, there are important lessons to be learnt here about goal achievement. As Anthony Robbins says,

"Failure to attain goals is never about a lack of resources; it’s about lack of resourcefulness."

There were numerous ways in which my nephew could have found the means to get to the airport but there are several other reasons why he did not achieve his goal.

Lack of Planning
My nephew didn't have a plan. To successfully complete any journey you at least need a basic plan. You can change the plan along the way and you should be prepared to make changes because circumstances can change and your degree of success will depend upon your ability to adapt to and take advantage of those changes. In other words, you need the ability to make new plans as you progress. However, without some semblance of a plan to start with you are doomed.

"The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail."
Napoleon Hill

Lack of Commitment
If there is a goal you are trying to achieve you have to make a commitment to achieve it. A commitment is a pact with yourself to do what it takes to achieve your goal. This is why it is important to write down your goals. The act of writing your goals can be likened to issuing yourself a contract. Goals which are written down have a much higher chance of success.

Throughout history there have been many examples of men and women who have demonstrated their extraordinary commitment to achieve their goals. Take Hannibal for example. Hannibal was a Carthaginian military commanders and tactician.

He is perhaps best-known for his extraordinary march across the Alps. During the Second Punic War Hannibal marched an army which included war elephants from Iberia over the Pyrenees and the Alps into northern Italy. It was a hazardous, tortuous journey on which many of his troops and elephants were lost. Had Hannibal not been committed to his goal all would have surely perished for there were times when he literally had to carve his way through the mountains.

"If you make the unconditional commitment to reach your most important goals, if the strength of your decision is sufficient, you will find the way and the power to achieve your goals."
Robert Conklin

Lack of Action
You have to take action. You cannot achieve anything with intention alone. Intention does not motivate you to get up off that couch and do the things you know you should be doing in order to achieve your goals.

"You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone, which can become a watered-down, occasional hope that you'll get to tomorrow. Intention without action is useless."
Caroline Myss

There are many other ingredients that are necessary for goal achievement but the basics are you need a plan to which you are committed to take action if you want to succeed.

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