Do You Want to Achieve Your Goals? Lead.
What does it take to achieve your goals and move your life in a particular direction?
Leadership! That’s right. You need to lead yourself towards the aspirations that you have for your life. Personal leadership is about being the master of your fate and the captain of your soul, to paraphrase William Ernest Henley’s Invictus.
Like all forms of leadership, personal leadership requires that you engage in certain practices that will help to move you forward in life.
How to lead yourself to achieve your goals:
Define your vision
Too often people get busy “doing” without quite knowing what they are doing and why. What is important to you? Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time? Who do you want to become? What would you love to achieve? In what way do you want to contribute? All of these questions are vital to ask yourself as you craft a powerful vision for your life.
Translate your vision into tangible goals
A vision is a lofty ideal, the “north star” that guides your life. That vision needs to be translated into tangible goals which represents the significant milestones along your journey. A good leader is able to shift from the “big picture” vision to articulate the goals that need to be achieved in order to realise that vision.
Take action to achieve your goals
It’s not enough to know where you want to go; you’ve also got to get yourself there. Personal leadership requires that you inch yourself forward on a daily basis, especially on the days when you don’t feel like it. Action is non-negotiable if you want to achieve your goals.
Establish empowering habits
Your life is a reflection of your habits, so if you want your life to be different you have got to establish empowering habits that help you to become who you envision. There is no easy way of establishing a habit; it’s about consistent practice until the activity becomes second nature. A leader sticks with these practices to establish empowering habits.
Pause to reflect
Reflection is an important leadership practice, with good reason. How will you know whether you are moving in the right direction if you don’t pause to reflect on where you are relative to where you want to be? Reflection allows you to assess what’s working, what needs adjustment and what to do differently in future. Reflection also aids self-awareness, which is an important requirement for making significant changes in your life.
Don’t be afraid to change course
You are the master of your fate, and when you realise that you are veering off course, don’t be afraid to change direction. Let go of what no longer serves you; learn the lessons that every hiccup offers, and move on.
If you are setting and working towards big goals, you will encounter failure from time to time. Guess what? That’s a good thing! Failure is an opportunity to evaluate what you’ve been doing to see why it hasn’t been working, and to do things differently.
Keep learning. Keep growing.
Personal leadership requires that you keep growing as a human being, which means that learning has got to be a life-long practice. Read; take courses; join mastermind groups; improve your skills. We live in a rapidly changing world and all of us need the agility to navigate the changes successfully. Ongoing growth and development provide that agility.
Make self-care a priority
As human beings our capacity is finite, so it is essential that we replenish ourselves often so that we can keep giving of our best. What is your self-care practice of choice? How do you “fill your tank” to ensure you keep going at top speed? If you don’t tend to your own care, how do you expect to be of service to others?
If you truly want to achieve the goals that you have set for yourself, you’ve got to become the leader of your life and adopt the thoughts, feelings and practices of a leader. That’s how you’ll move yourself forward and become the person you were born to be.