Thursday, September 24, 2020

The 7-Steps You Need to Take to Achieve Your Goals!

 The 7-Steps You Need to Take to Achieve Your Goals!

Have you ever set a goal that you didn’t achieve? Have you ever imagined a better future but weren’t sure how to get there? Whether you have professional or personal goals, all of us have set out to improve our livelihoods.

The real problem; however, is that many of us have a hard time in setting proper goals and taking the actions needed to achieve them.

If you struggle with defining proper goals or need a framework to help align your goals, then continue reading today’s blog. I’ll be sharing with you 7-steps you can take to develop your goal achievement process.

As you read today’s blog, I invite you to imagine how successful you want to be. In fact, by the end of the blog, my goal for you is that you grab some paper, a pen, sit at a desk and begin drafting the future you. 

1. Assess Your Current Reality.

The first step to setting your goals is to assess your current reality. This step involves being honest with yourself and thinking internally about how you work and learn best. The first set of questions you should ask are what are my strengths and weaknesses. As you start to sift through what you do well you should begin to see how your strengths deliver things that bring people value [3]. 

Additionally, you should assess your reality by addressing these questions:

  • What are your what current level of skills?
  • What are three of your core responsibilities [2] ?
  • Is my organization ready for change [2]?
  • What resources are currently available?

[1] The answers to those questions will help you identify areas you either need to address or help explore opportunities that improve your well-being. Likewise, they will help you consider where you fit within those trends and how you can take them to address your customer’s (or your boss’s) needs and expectations.

As you finish this step, your objective should begin developing a plan that expands on your strengths and improves on your weaknesses.

2. Visualize the Future You Want to Create.

One of the best ways to set goals is to imagine what life looks like after you achieve those goals. Goal setting requires you to make choices based on how best to use your existing resources. In addition, it requires you to consider the future and develop strategies to help you achieve the future you want for yourself [3].

Several articles, sermons, and discussions have alluded to having the “rocking chair” moment. This is the moment where you are outside on a nice warm summer day, sipping lemonade, in your rocking chair and looking back on all of your accomplishments.

It’s where we all want to be. To know that we have done well and that because of our focus we were able to achieve our goals and dreams.

That said you would want to take the trends you found in our first point and apply them to building your plan and how you will create a positive outcome. Look at the bigger picture to understand what you are trying to achieve [4].

In this step, what’s important to remember is that you should be creative and use your imagination. You need to take risks in this step. You should not be burdened by the need of guarantees and safety. More importantly, you’ll want to picture what you’d see if you were successful in advancing in all three of your core responsibilities [2].

3. Set Your Goals.

Once you know where you want to be you’ll be ready to set the goals that help you get to your “rocking chair” moment. One of the most commonly use goal-setting practices is the SMART method. This method stands for (S)pecific, (M)easurable, (A)chievable, (R)elevant, and (T)ime Bound [5]

First, you want your goals to be specific. You should know exactly what you want to accomplish, why the goal is important and what resources are involved. An example of a specific goal might be I want to reduce accounts receivable by 10% within the next 60-days.

  • You should set about 3-5 goals that will guide your performance throughout the year.
  • Each goal should feed into one another and help you achieve your larger goals.

Second, you want the goals to be measurable. You need to have a way to track your progress and be able to ask yourself how you know accomplished your goal(s). Assessing your goals (which we will cover later on in this blog) are important because they help you stay focused and motivated, as you get closer to achieving your goal.

Third, the goals should be achievable, realistic and attainable. In medical billing, all too of often our customers (and billers) will set goals that may not be as realistic as they may sound. For example, they may set goals with the intent to “get the promotion.” I have fallen in this trap before of setting un-attainable goals. What makes “getting the promotion” un-attainable is that there are factors behind our control that can prevent achieving this. Instead, our goals should be “I am going to get the experience to be considered for that promotion [5]

Next, the goals must be relevant and align with matters most to you. As you evaluate the goals, you should be asking whether they seem worthwhile, if it’s the right time, and is it applicable to your current situation. 

Finally, your goals should be time bound. You need to assign specific dates, deadlines or timeframes you are looking to take specific actions. For example, the timetables should be set weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. 

4. Determine the Steps Needed to Achieve Your Goals.

Now that you have set your goals, you need to develop your action plan and strategy. This plan will include the specific actions you need to take to achieve results. Remember, this should be a reference guide and not a systematic project plan [2]. Your plan should consider how you’ll use key projects or processes to achieve your goals.

First, you will take your goals and organize them based on their deadlines and how they contribute to your dream life. For example, if your goal is to reduce your billing office’s accounts receivable then you can organize how you follow-up based on when claims will approach timely filing and which accounts can be addressed later.

As you develop your plan, you will want to consider all of the challenges you might face along the way. This will help you understand how to manage your time and what resources you will use to fulfill your goals [4].

5. Assign an Appropriate Timeline.

The next step to achieving your goals is making sure you assign an appropriate timeline. Specifically, you will want to evaluate how quickly you can tackle your goals. What makes this step important is that it will help you stay focused and accountable to achieving your goals.

As we discussed in Step #4 (above), you need to organize your actions in order of importance. This will give you the best chance in advancing your goals along your timeline.

Therefore, in this step, you will want to be commit to the time you plan to invest in each activity and when you expect to see results. Furthermore, you will need to organize 

You should be dedicate another portion of your time to evaluating and reflecting on your progress. I’ll cover this more in-depth in the next section.

6. Review your progress.

The sixth step in achieving your goals is reviewing your progress. As you work through your goals, you should routinely review your progress. You’ve been working hard and now you need to assess how well you are doing. This step is important because it helps validate your strategy while offering insights on whether you are on track. 

As you and I review our goals, it is important to reward yourself along the way. For example, if you achieve one of your milestones then go out and get a bowl of ice cream. 

Another great way to review your progress is to remember why you are working so hard in the first place. One of the best suggestions I was given was to write down your goals and review them daily. Every morning I will look over my goals and action plan to ensure that I’m still on track to fulfill my weekly, monthly or yearly goals.

One of my close friends is great at framing reminders in the “remember when life was tough” perspective. This constant feedback helps me get right back on schedule and stay focused on getting through my goals.

7. Revise Your Plans.

The final step is to revise your plans. In the step above (Step #6 – Review your progress), we discussed that you need to review how well you are doing. As you assess yourself, you can re-evaluate approach and if those actions still make sense [1].  

After you have evaluated you can back off the goals that are going to be a stretch to achieve and add new goals that are more attainable. Again, these goals should still align with your vision and be adjusted as needed. 

In conclusion, set attainable goals and stay committed to your plan. When you stay committed, you will be able to achieve your rocking chain moment and enjoy a more fulfilling life. 

Please feel free to comment your questions or goals you have for yourself!

Also, don’t forget to subscribe for email updates right above this article!

Thanks so much for reading!

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