It is very common to find ourselves longing for something we don’t have but we wish we had. The truth is that most of us have tried and gave up on many of our long term projects and dreams when we started moving on with life. The majority of us have taken several projects and then as life developed we forgot them as “more important” stuff started to come from the horizon.  In the end it seems that getting to where we want to go is a very difficult and almost entirely reward-less journey. We find ourselves struggling to reach the most simple of projects, giving their time up for things we consider to have a higher priority.

With today’s post I want to help all of those people out there who have been wanting to reach some goals but have never managed to achieve them. I want to make sure that all of you have some basic tools you can use to cut through the problems of long term goal reaching and get there successfully. The suggestions I will be giving you are based on my personal life experience and they reflect what has worked for me. Of course, some modifications of these ideas might work for you and it is of course entirely up to you to take the best you can from the bellow suggestions and modify them to truly make a difference in your life. So with no more talk, these are the ten most important things I do to achieve my long term goals :

1. Goals should be clear. The first step you need to take in order to achieve your goals is to know exactly what you want. When you know what you want it will be far easier to know how to get it. It is not enough to say – I want a business – but it is not necessary at this point to know the exact location, niche, budget, etc. What you need to know here is why you want to reach that goal, in what time frame you want to reach it (realistically), how much time a week you’ll be spending on it, etc.

2. Have a plan. As I said on my post about breaking tasks, it is not about detailing everything from nothing to successful business owner but going from milestone to milestone. Ask yourself. What is the first thing I need to do ? And get it done. From your first action, you will reach the next one. Reading my previous post dealing with breaking up larger tasks into smaller ones may help.

3. Define a time. It is very important for you to designate a time to work on your long term goal. If it is only 1 hour a week or even 2 days a week it will be very important for you to know the exact time that you will dedicate to this. It is very important to decide this schedule around your family because you need to make sure that you will have the peace of mind and necessary space to work on your long term project.

4. Count with your family. It is hard enough to reach a long term goal and having your family against you is not something you want. When you want to start a project that you know will involve time and perhaps economic sacrifices to reach a long term goal that will be worth it you need to speak with your family. Speak openly about the pros and cons and why you want to do this. Having your family on your side will be a huge plus.

5. Do not get consumed by your project. John Lennon once said that life is what happens while we are busy making plans and he couldn’t have been more right. It is very important for you to have assigned time frames for your project and stick with them. There is definitely time for everything and I can assure you that spending too much time on any goal that will make other areas of your life fail is not worth it. The best thing is to develop your goals within a supportive environment in which you have a balance in your life. Achieve what you want without losing what you have.

6. Setbacks are not a reason to quit. During any long term projects there will be setbacks and there will be a lot of them. You will fail, you will feel like a loser and you will like to quit your goal. If this means that your first business research or venture failed or that you ate that burrito when you had been dieting for a month, it is no reason to quit. Setbacks are just a part of being human. You failed, look at your failure, see what you can learn from it and continue. Failing is not a reason to stop. Push through any setbacks and fight another day.

7. Think about your goal. Perhaps one of the most important things is to remember why you are doing things from time to time. When you are struggling with your project, when you are thinking about quitting or just every once in a while take 5 minutes to remember why you did all the work you have done up until now. After realizing where you are and where you want to get it will be much easier to continue towards the finish line.

8. Be consistent. This is perhaps the heart of success, consistency. If you are going to work on a given project then you need to work on it when you said you would. If you said 2 hours each week, then devote two hours each week. If you are not able to work for the time you first proposed. No problem. Set up another time frame you can work with and stick to it. I have found out that this is not as much about the amount of time you devote but the consistency in which you devote the time. Maybe 2 hours a week sound too small but over time it will lead to where you want to go.

9. Listen. I already wrote a post about the huge importance of listening and how it is vital for healthy human relationships. However, when you are developing a long term project you also need to learn to listen. Probably you are no the first person in the world walking that journey and the words of others may be able to help you. It is very important not to be stubborn and to learn from the mistakes of other. You know what they say, if you don’t know history you will be doomed to repeat it.

10. Learn from your actions. When you start a project you will see that every action you take has a consequence, positive or negative. What you need to do is to know the relationship between action and consequence and how you can start doing things such that the consequences align with what you want to achieve. In other words, you should learn from your mistakes and your success. If you did something that had great results, do it again. If you did something that did not work that great, then analyze it and see what happened. It is not about not failing and not falling, it is about learning and about standing up.

I hope that you have learned a lot from this post and that now you have some tools you can apply to your own life and goal achieving process to increase the like hood of reaching your long term objectives. Remember that we are all human, we all sometimes fail and we sometimes also give up on our goals. The important thing here is to know where you’re going, plan your journey and learn from your mistakes.