How to Achieve Goals – A Step by Step Approach

In order to achieve your goals, you first must create a list of values, then engage in clear goal setting. Once those two items have been accomplished it is time to learn how to achieve goals.

Goal achievement is a skill, and just like any other skill it can be learned. If you look below the surface of any successful person or organization, you will more than likely find regular calendarized process of goal setting and goal achievement that drives their success. You can be that person if you learn this skill.

Goal achievement is a skill, and just like any other skill it can be learned.

Learn How to Achieve Your Goals from The Big Company Approach

Some of the greatest goals in the world have been achieved by big companies, and other large organizations. Every successful corporation creates an annual plan where goals for unit sales, revenues, expenses and every other detail of the operation are forecast in advance of the coming year.  The annual goals are then broken down into quarterly goals and monthly goals, and in some case even weekly and daily goals.

Once the company goals have been set, they are broken down into smaller goals for each department. The departments then set goals for each team and each individual on the team.  Action plans are developed at the individual, team and department levels designed to deliver on the goals.  Then everyone gets busy working on the action plans designed to meet the corporate goals

As the year unfolds, the corporation updates the plan based on how the results have come in.  Goals are adjusted, and action plans are refined to keep everyone on track. When the year is coming to a close, the next year’s plan gets developed.

In this manner, huge corporations can arise from a single idea, and small companies can eventually become massive enterprises achieving great things, and growing year after year. Think of Apple as an example. You can do this on a smaller, personal level. But you need a plan.

To Achieve Your Goals, You Will Need a Plan

Winston Churchill once said “He who fails to plan, is planning to fail”. When it comes to goal achievement, truer words have never been spoken.  Another apt phrase that captures this concept is “A goal without a plan is just a wish”.

How much different do you think the outcome would be for someone who “wishes” they had a million dollars, versus the person who works hard, upgrades their skills, saves their money, and wisely invests over a sustained period of time?

The first person has virtually zero chance of reaching the goal.  The second person, with a plan of action, has a very good chance of reaching the goal. By making a plan to achieve your goals, you will dramatically increase the likelihood of achieving them.

How to Create a Simple Plan of Action to Achieve your Goals

Many people shy away from creating a plan to achieve their goals because they feel it is complicated and time consuming.  It does not have to be that way.

You can create a plan in short amount of time, and spend a few minutes each day, each week and each month reviewing your progress and adjusting your plan and actions to keep you on track to reach your goals. This small amount of time spent planning can accelerate the achievement of your goals far faster than years of unfocussed efforts.

Here is exactly how to make a plan to achieve your goals.

Feel free to download the goal-plan PowerPoint template to work through these steps here:


Free Download:  How to Achieve Goals

Step 1: Write Out Your Top 5 Values – From the list of values that you have created, list your values out from the highest priority to lowest on the first page of the PowerPoint template.  It is good to see all of these on s single page, and as it will really summarize what you want out of life.  This page will not change very rapidly.  If you have done the value exercise contentiously, this is who you are, and what you value.  This is kind of like a corporate mission statement, and it is meant to be fairly permanent, although over long time periods your values will likely evolve to some degree.

Step 2: Write Each Value on a Sperate Page, With Supporting Goals Listed Below – From the exercise on how to set personally meaningful goals, you should have a list of goals that are aligned with your values. Now is the time to explicitly list them out under your values.  This should be pretty easy to do.  For example, if you value health and fitness, losing a certain number of pounds by a certain date would like fall under that value.  If you value financial freedom, you might have a specific date to be out of debt, and so on. For this exercise, you should be thinking in terms of annual goals.  That is, where do you want to be in one year’s time for each of your goals.

Step 3 – Break your Annual Goals Down into Monthly Goals –  You now know where you are headed for the year.  This exercise is designed to get you thinking about the monthly steps needed to achieve your goals.  Since you have quantified your goals, this is simply a matter of doing the math needed to determine where you should be each month to keep on track with achieving your annual goals.

Step 4: Write out Your Key Strategies for Accomplishing Your Goals – Strategy, in this sense, is defined by Merriam Webster as “the art of devising or employing plans toward a goal”.  Strategies can be thought of as guides for choosing among various options for actions. For example, if you want to get out of debt, you could go to a financial planner, you could buy a book about how to get out of debt, or simply cut your spending by $500 per month.  All of these actions support the goal of getting out of debt.  But which of these are the best approach?  This is what you need to be thinking about when you write out your key strategies.  Write out a list of five or ten possible strategies for each of your values and then ask yourself: Which of these possible actions are most likely to help you achieve your goals? Pick those 1 or 2 items for each goal that have the best possible chances of helping you achieve success and write them in the key strategies section of the PowerPoint.

Step 5: Write out the Key Imperatives to Make Your Plan –  By now you should have a pretty solid plan written out in the PowerPoint.  The problem at this point is that you have too much to focus on, and your efforts may become diluted, or you will simply be overwhelmed by your lists of goals and strategies.  The point of this final step is to boil down your plan into those things that you really MUST do to achieve your goals. For this step, prioritize your strategies to the top 3-5 things that you want to do over the next month.  Write them out here.

How to Use Your Plan

You should now have a simple 8-page plan that you can focus on every day to move you inextricably toward achieving your goals.  Print your plan out.  Review it every morning or every evening or both.

As you start to internalize this plan, you will feel happier and more focused on what you really want to get out of life. Before you know it, you will have more energy and you will begin moving toward achieving your goals.

Each quarter you can update your plan based on what you have achieved, and what you still need to achieve.  Each year you can do a new plan, based on achieving even more of what you want out of life.

Free Download –  How to Achieve Goals

The Foundation for Goal Achievement is dedicated to providing comprehensive resources for individuals from all walks of life to set and achieve meaningful goals. We provide a quarterly goal achievement scholarship for college and high school students and offer speakers to energize your organization, business or school to achieve more. This article is focused on how to achieve goals.

List of Values