7 Steps to Achieving Your Goals


Have you found yourself floundering in reaching your goals? At every point, we all face obstacles and the momentum leaks. Here are seven actions needed to achieve your goals.

Assess your present.

Before an architect begins a blueprint, he inspects the property site, assessing environmental factors that could either enhance or restrict his final design. Before a coach begins the rebuilding of a losing team into a championship team he assesses the talent of his players to determine if they are being utilized in the right positions.

If you were to do a personal audit, what would it reveal? What actions are needed to reach your goal?

Determine your purpose.

Assessing your present answers the “where” question. Determining your purpose answers the “why” question. Why were you born? What is your reason for existence?

A Russian priest was discouraged and disappointed about his ministry. One evening, he took a walk in the woods and wandered into a military installation.

The young, armed guard at the perimeter shouted, “Halt! Who are you and why are you here?”

The priest perked up and asked, “What did you say?”

The soldier became even more stern and said, “Who are you and why are you here?”

The priest asked, “How much do you get paid?”

The young man, caught off guard by the question, said, “Why does it matter to you?”

“Because,” the priest replied, “I’ll pay you that much to ask me those same two questions every day.”

Focus your concentration.

Monumental power exists in focus. Many people fail to reach their aim because they do not learn to maximize their efforts. Diffused light falls harmlessly onto a piece of paper, but intensely focused, the same amount of light becomes a laser beam that can cut through steel. The same principle holds true for human effort. Diffused effort has little effect, but intense effort focused on a single goal can bring about startling results.

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale wrote, “When every physical and mental resource is focused, one’s power to solve a problem multiplies tremendously. To win in this life, you simply have to give your all, every bit of yourself . . . Life cannot deny itself to the person who gives life everything.”

Let go of your past.

We all have a past. We must not allow the past to dictate our future. We cannot change the past, but we can change the meaning of the past.

One Olympic runner shared the secret of his success. The runner said, “The only way to win a race is to forget all previous victories which would give you false pride and all former failure which would give you false fears. Each race is a new beginning. Pressing on to the finish tape is all that’s important!”

Pumbaa from The Lion King said: “You got to put your past behind you.”

Establish your plan.

It’s been said, “Most people don’t plan to fail they fail to plan.” Admittedly, most people spend more time planning their vacation than planning their life.

Ted Engstrom, in his book Strategy for Living, said, “How we live is determined by our goals. What goals we choose are determined by our priorities. Whether we reach our goals is determined by our planning.”

Pay the price.

For every worthwhile prize in life there’s a price. For every cause, there is a cost. Great goals require great sacrifice.

The cost is work. Whether you are pursuing an academic degree, a promotion, or a gold medal, it doesn’t come without intense labor. I think of the Olympic swimmers who will spend approximately 1200 hours per year training for a four-minute race. Is the cost worth it? Ask them when the gold medal hangs around their neck.

Forward your movement.

Missionary David Livingstone returned home to England. He was asked, “Where are you ready to go next?

He replied, “I’m ready to go anywhere provided it is forward.”

Those whose aim is high and cause is worthy live the same way.

A few years ago, United Technologies printed a poster entitled “Aim So High You’ll Never Be Bored” that sums up the pursuit. “The greatest waste of our natural resources is the number of people who never achieve their potential. Get out of that slow lane. Shift into that fast lane. If you think you can’t, you won’t. If you think you can, there’s a good chance you will. Even making the effort will make you feel like a new person. Reputations are made by searching for things that can’t be done and doing them. Aim low: boring. Aim high: soaring.”

Did you know that if we practiced love our relationships would be stronger, our jobs would be more meaningful, and our ailments would be fewer? Earlier this year I wrote an encouraging book on love called Chapter 13: The Excellence of Love. The book gets its title from perhaps the greatest statement ever made on love in 1 Corinthians 13. This book provides a guide to love, and, if practiced, it will make us well and whole. Click here to claim your copy.

About Rick Ezell

I am a husband, father, pastor, and writer. This blog is about shaping character, transforming church, and impacting culture. I believe that if one defines their moments then their moments will determine their character and their character will influence their world. I write on personal development, church leadership, and our changing culture. I also write about the resources I am developing and the books I am writing. My goal is to create challenging, relevant, and inspiring content that will help you be a better person, the church be a better parish, and the world a better place. If you are interested in those things, this blog is for you. I have served the church my entire career as a student minister and senior pastor. I studied at Samford University, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary (eventually I will get it). I have written eight books. My most recent ones are Chapter 13: The Excellence of Love and Soul Therapy: The Healing Words of Psalm 23. Both are available as eBooks. I have written over 1000 articles for various local, regional, and national publications. I have been married to Cindy for thirty-three years. We have one wonderful daughter. We live in Greenville, SC. In my free time, I enjoy writing, reading, running, tennis, and golf. You can contact me via email or follow me on Twitter or Facebook. This is my personal blog. The opinions I express here do not necessarily represent those of my employer. The information I provide is on an as-is basis. I make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information on this blog and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its use.
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2 Responses to 7 Steps to Achieving Your Goals

  1. Stephanie Ridgeway says:

    Good Morning, Rick….. Thank you for this article….I’ve been evaluating life goals lately and I needed to hear these words. God Bless, Stephanie (Smith) Ridgeway

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