Have you noticed that some people are very consistent goal achievers? It seems that they can achieve any goals they set their mind to. What’s their secret? How are they different from people who are not that consistent in reaching goals?
I’ve been interested in and studying goal setting psychology for two decades. Over the years, I find that people who consistently achieve their goals all seem to possess some habits or behaviour patterns that are very conducive to goal accomplishment. Whenever I try to strengthen any of these habits myself, I find my success rate with my goals simply soared.
So here today I want to share this list of 5 habits that most consistent goal achievers tend to have.
- Set only goals within your control
This may seem obvious but many people tend to set goals that are not under their control, or not entirely up to them. But people who succeed in goal setting tend to avoid this trap. They carefully think about their goals and make sure what they set out to achieve is indeed mostly determined by their own effort.
For example, you may have a goal to find a high paying job. But that goal has a lot of things beyond your control. A person with better goal setting skills will approach the same goal differently. Their version of this goal could be to apply to as many jobs as possible that they are qualified for. The difference is the control factor. (You can learn about this concept in the goal course GoalMasteryAcademy.)
2. Always have a plan, even if it’s a bad one
People who achieve their goals always have some sort of plan, even if it doesn’t work out at first, but then they can adjust their plan to keep moving forward. That’s very different from having no plans at all, which is why most New Year resolutions fail. Without a plan, it’s extremely difficult to take real action on your goal.
Sometimes your plan can be as simple as “to make a plan”. That’s better than doing nothing at all after you set a goal.
3. Do something, anything
People who are good at reaching goals tend to prefer a do-something-and-see-what-happens approach. They don’t like spending too much time ruminating or dwelling on how to do something without actually doing it.
Because taking action has at least two benefits. One is that you could actually get some result, and two is that if it doesn’t work, at least you gain some feedback or experience. You will get neither if you simply do nothing.
4. Separate your happiness from the goal
People who get things done tend to care less about whether they enjoy doing it or not, or at least not as much as those who may get easily frustrated whenever the going gets tough or things start to feel boring.
They are able to separate their emotional response from doing whatever achieving a goal requires. Or you can say that they have a high tolerance of the boring or uninteresting parts of the process for reaching a goal.
5. Momentum first, then intensity
People who succeed at reaching goals, especially a long term goal, tend to always find ways to make themselves stick to a particular action or routine for a long time.
They want to build momentum first, just to get things started. Once the routine is set in place, they will then experiment by adding more intensity or volume.
But those who often fail at goals tend to do the exact opposite. They start off very excited with high intensity in activities or action, but they can’t keep it up, and the momentum will quickly taper off.
Perhaps there are more habits that a successful goal achiever may possess than what’s mentioned here. But these 5 habits are a good list to start from if you happen to lack any on the list. If you focus on getting better at one habit at a time, you will become a more consistent goal achiever.