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If you feel frustrated, concerned, or challenged when it comes to both setting your goals and achieving results, you are certainly not alone. Especially in our American Dream-driven society, people often feel a pressure to arrive at their goals "ASAP."  While this may seem to be a source of anxiety, read on to discover ways to channel such intense desire into positive self-discipline. We will help you to focus on key result areas and maximize your personal effectiveness.  

Many people have never taken the time to consider what their goals are, and so cannot purposely direct their energy toward reaching those goals. However, if you are reading this, you're likely among those that have considered the matter and now you want to get there, and fast. Once you have set your goals, there are some things to keep in mind that will assist you along the path of reaching those goals.  

Putting Things into Perspective  

First, let’s examine something that might seem obvious. ASAP stands for As Soon as Possible. While traditional interpretations of the acronym connote haste, the term is in fact a relative one.  A major pitfall we often encounter when we focus on reaching goals is comparing ourselves to other successful people. We compare our success or our results with other people who have already gotten where we think we want to go, and this can often lead to unrealistic expectations – like the idea that overnight success actually happens overnight.  

In actuality, as proven by experience time and again, succeeding at anything –including attaining one's goals – is usually achieved through a series of small actions and accomplishments. These small steps accrue and lead you along a path of personal strategic planning so that eventually you arrive where you want to be. These steps take time. Be encouraged that each small success, each triumph of self-discipline, is leading you in the right direction.

Another aspect that can be discouraging is the inevitable smattering of disappointments along the way. These disappointments can trigger self-doubt and might even cause you to begin questioning your willingness to continue to move in the direction of your present desire. All these obstacles can be daunting and make it seem like progress is taking forever – especially when you‘re focused on the end result of achieving and reaching your goals.  

So how can you get to your goals ASAP?  

Milestones on the Pathway to Your Goals  

We assume you already have some sense of what you hope to achieve and that you have set your goals accordingly. For the purposes of this article, we’ll call your goals your “desired outcome.”  

The first step we recommend is that you identify what’s at the core of your goals. What is at the core of your deepest longings that this desired outcome will bring to your life? Identify this for yourself in very concrete terms and it will help you stay inspired, moving forward, and enjoying the ride.  

In fact, we recommend writing goals down, in addition to the underlying core desires that inspire these goals. This way, you have a physical and constant reminder cheering you along all those little steps. Any time you begin to feel challenged, discouraged, frustrated, or just confused about what you‘re doing, re-inspire yourself by reminding yourself why you‘re actually doing it – what’s so important to you about reaching goals you're determined to achieve.

As we repeat over and over again, what you focus your attention on grows. If you focus on what’s not happening, how little progress you’ve made, or how far it seems you are from your goals, guess what – you‘re more likely to notice all the things that aren’t working and all the things that seem to be keeping you from what you want.

A change in thinking is critical. So the second step is to start focusing on what IS working. We suggest you begin by making a list of all the achievements, accomplishments, and actions you are taking that are moving you closer to your desired outcome – no matter how small they may seem in the moment. This is one way to guide your attention to the positive. You want to focus on what's working so that this is what grows. This will have a snowball effect, allowing you to notice more and more opportunities for moving in the direction you desire.

The third step is to start a habit of actively being grateful. Again, what you focus your attention on grows. Make a list of the all the ways you can be grateful for who you are, all you do, and what you have that has brought you this far along your path. Start each morning by reading this list and end each evening reflecting on what went right that day. Remember, no accomplishment is too small to acknowledge – no action too insignificant to appreciate. You are magnificent! Know it and you will grow it.

So to recap:

• Identify your inspiration and continually renew your vision.
• Focus on what is working, and be grateful for who you are and what you’ve done so far. Nothing should stop you from dreaming big dreams or achieving the happiness that comes with fulfilling your personal desires.
• Developing the self-discipline necessary to change your thinking from the negative to the positive and to continually remind yourself that the small steps are taking you exactly where you want to go.

Then, just continue taking action toward your desired outcome – we guarantee you’ll be more confident about your ability to reach your goals ASAP.

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