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A Simple Technique to Achieve Your Goals

You put a lot of energy and effort into setting goals.  It doesn’t help that there are hundreds of goal setting processes and planning tools.  

You may have tried many of these tools with some success.  Increase your chances of achieving your goals in the last stretch of 2019 an in 2020 by following this simple technique.  

As you look to the new year, you may be asked to complete professional goals at work.  You may also set some personal goals to support key changes within your life.  The great news is there’s still time for you to not only plan goals, but to begin taking steps toward achieving your goals next year.

You may use certain tools such as a SWOT Analysis to assess your strengths, opportunities, threats and weaknesses.  Once your personal or professional SWOT Analysis is complete, you create goals to address the areas identified.  Simple, right?  Well, not so much.

Many of us establish “S.M.A.R.T.” goals only to find ourselves rolling over the same ones from year to year.  If we’re lucky, we make a little progress towards our goals only to find that we have partially completed them by our target date.  We may even completely dismiss them if we don’t have a great goal setting process.

Goal setting can cause stress, but the goal itself is not that complicated.  

Our stress is a result of the fear of not meeting the goal.

There seems to be something missing.  This simple technique is key to fulfilling your goals in your life and career.  It includes three components that I call the “TDR” Factor and can help you move beyond setting your goals to achieving them.

1. Talent

At a minimum, you need to be aware of your talents and know how to use them to reach your goals.  We all have talents.  Talents are your natural abilities, but they can also be skills that you’ve learned throughout your career and life. Your talents and skills usually combine to form your strengths.  Your strengths are what makes you…well, YOU!

Think of your talent, skills and strengths as your personal blueprint that you bring to your organization or the world.  They are how you’re “designed” and when you complete a task, project or assignment, it has your personal blueprint.  The same task, project or assignment could be completed by someone else, but it would have their unique blueprint.

You may already know your natural talents and may have even built your career around them.  If not, you will need to identify your talents and can do this by asking others.  You can ask your colleagues, family members, friends, and leaders to describe things that seem to come easy for you and things that you do extremely well.

You can also consider areas where you naturally excel that you may have even taken for granted such as an ability to communicate well with others.

Talent is also your baseline competence.  You’ll need to have mastered a few skills in order to reach your goals.  

For example, you may create a goal to advance to the next level in your career.  Even if you reach your goal, you may not succeed once you get there without talent or competence to perform at a certain level.  It doesn’t mean that you will have mastered all of the skills needed, but your talents should expand to help you succeed in that role based on your current effectiveness.

Talent alone will not help you reach your goal.  You’ll also need drive.

 2.  Drive

You’ll need to be driven to achieve your goals.  Your drive is what’ll force you to expand your talents and continue to grow personally and professionally.  It helps you take it up a notch and continue to push past complacency and comfort even if you may not be exactly where you want to be in your career or life.

Think about the last 6-12 months of your life.  Have you intentionally moved outside of your comfort zone, learned a new skill, or improved in any area?  Were you focused on building on your strengths and natural talents?   If not, then you may be taking your talents for granted.

Your drive can also be summed up as your determination to succeed.  There are people who may not have had the best natural talents and abilities, but were driven to practice, stretch and grow those talents beyond anything that anyone could’ve ever imagined.

Michael Jordan, who is arguably the best basketball player ever, did not make his high school basketball team the first time around.  He was not the best in terms of natural talent.  However, his drive to earn a spot on the team gave him energy to continue practicing.  Jordan earned a spot on the team the next year and went on to earn a scholarship to attend college and play basketball at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.  The rest is history

Your drive is only the 2nd part of the “TDR” Factor.  You’ll also need the most important component to complete the technique and reach your goals.

3. Resilience

The biggest factor that you’ll need to master is resilience.  Resilience is critical because you may have talent and the drive to reach your goals, but what may trip you is the inability to persist in the face of challenges and get back up during the difficult times.

One constant in life is change and with change you can experience setbacks or obstacles that you weren’t prepared to face.  

You can’t always foresee the challenges that may come your way as you work towards any goal in your career or life, but you can think through potential barriers.  Then, you can explore solutions to overcome those barriers if they occur as you’re progressing towards your goals.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back when life throws a curveball and things don’t go as planned.  Another way to boost your resilience is to find your motivation.  Think about your burning desire and take action towards it daily (even in the midst of obstacles).

This is one reason why creating a vision is extremely important.  Your vision helps you remember your “why” and where you’re headed so that you can re-focus your energy in the present moment on navigating the twists and turns of life.

Although, you can’t plan every scenario, you can use your talents, drive and resilience to find an alternate path to reaching your goal.

Try It For Yourself 

You can probably think of people that have talent, but don’t have the drive or resilience to fully use or expand those talents within the workplace or their lives.  We encounter individuals every single day with immense talent.  Artists that could’ve been the next Picasso, musicians who could’ve been the next Beyoncé, or innovators that could’ve been the next Bill Gates.

This technique consists of three key components to successfully reach any goal that you set in your life or career.  Talent will get you started, drive will propel you forward to new heights, and resilience will help you bounce back when you experience challenges (notice, the word “when” not “if” you experience challenges).

We can all think of people throughout our lives who had great talent and drive, but weren’t able to overcome obstacles and barriers to reach their goals and sustain their success.  They were almost there, but didn’t keep going long enough to see their vision come to life.

Challenges can be the greatest catalyst for your growth.  You may find that you’re more talented and driven as a result of the challenges you experience.  You also build confidence knowing that you can get back up when life knocks you down.

Okay, I said this was a simple technique, but it will require some action.  With intentional focus, you can put the powerful combination of this “TDR” Factor to the test in your life and career to support you in reaching any goal.

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