10 Rules to Follow to Successfully Achieve BIG Goals

Having BIG goals can be exciting and intimidating at the same time.  Whether you reach those goals successfully or buckle under the pressure and fail can come down to how you approach big goals from the beginning and the mindset you maintain along the way.  When it comes to accomplishing something, it helps to begin with a clear goal (your destination) and a plan (map of your route) that guides how you’re going to get there.  Achieving big goals requires setting smaller goals or objectives – it’s not good enough to merely set a big, important, perhaps even life changing goal and then leave the journey to completion unmapped.  You could wander for days, weeks, months, or even years without ever reaching your goal destination.  That’s where the rules to successfully achieve BIG goals comes in.

rules for achieving goals

10 Rules to Follow to Successfully Achieve BIG Goals

Think of these 10 rules as guideposts along your route that remind you of the success mindset you want to maintain – the thinking that fuels the behavior that leads to goal attainment.  Without the right mindset, you’re more likely to engage in behaviors that are counterproductive and undermine your success.

  1. Set yourself up for success by making sure you have the tools and training you need.
    • Do an honest assessment of the skills, tools, and abilities you currently possess.
    • Determine the ones you’ll need to achieve your goal, but don’t already have.
  2. Give yourself time to learn and practice new skills without being too critical of your progress.
    • Start from where you’re at and gradually work on new skills that will help you complete your goal.
    • Allow yourself to make mistakes along the way.  Use them to learn what does and doesn’t work for you.
  3. When you transition from task to another, allow yourself a few moments before jumping right in.
    • Giving yourself time to mentally shift from one task to another will help you stay focused on the new task once you do.
    • Develop an evening “wind-down” ritual to help you let go of the day’s worries and sleep better.
    • Giving yourself transition time will help you feel less stressed and enables you to put things into perspective.
  4. When you suffer a major setback, take a breather.
    • Allow yourself a break before tackling the challenge again.
    • Take the time you need to distance yourself from the problem and see the situation from a wider angled lens.
    • Giving yourself a breather allows you to break through your tunnel vision and come up with creative solutions.
  5. Reward yourself with some well deserved “down-time” after you’ve completed a major task or goal.
    • Relax and rejuvenate before jumping into the next major task or starting to work toward the next BIG goal to prevent yourself from becoming burned out.
  6. Focus on effort toward goal completion.
    • Some days progress will be slower than others, but remaining persistent in your efforts will eventually lead you to successful goal attainment.
    • Don’t allow yourself to get bogged down in frustration or rigid thinking.  Be flexible, but determined.
  7. Monitor perfectionisitic thinking and overly competitive behaviors.
    • Being overly perfectionistic or competitive creates stress overload and sets you up for failure.
    • There are times when you’ll need to power through a difficult task, and then there are times when you’ll need to slow down and move at a more moderate pace in order to achieve the best outcome.
  8. Challenge yourself to learn new skills and try new ways of approaching tasks.
    • Continually challenging yourself mentally and physically will prevent boredom and eventual cognitive decline.  It also gives you “practice” in proactively dealing with them in everyday life.
    • If you choose to see challenges as opportunities to learn, you won’t be de-railed when they crop up in your path.
  9. Make a plan, set reasonable time-frame expectations, and follow through.
    • Set a realistic, yet exciting goal (destination).
    • Make a plan (map) to reach your goal (destination) that includes objectives that need to be met along the way.
    • Set reasonable time-frames for meeting your objectives and BIG goal.
    • Take action…follow through on your plan.
  10. Anticipate potential roadblocks and obstacles.
    • Before they crop up, consider what roadblocks and obstacles you’re likely to encounter.
    • Develop a proactive plan for how you will deal with them should they crop up.
    • Having a plan allows you to set debilitating worries aside and focus on what’s right in front of you.

rules for goal achievement

Although some of these rules involve behaviors to engage in, they’re all founded in a “success mindset” that will serve you well regardless of the size of your goal, the nature of your goal, or whether that goal is short or long-term.  The key – you cannot accomplish important life goals if you do not believe in yourself and your ability to learn what you need to know along the way.  You have to give yourself permission to fail a few times in order to ultimately succeed. You don’t have to start out being a master at everything – to achieve great things you just have to be willing to be an avid student!


Stephanie Eissinger is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Certified Professional Coach, Embody Love Movement Facilitator, Community Coach Consultant, and Self Help Book Author who’s dedicated her life to empowering individuals to overcome life’s challenges to live happier, healthier lives.  Her self help books include:  Journey to Self Empowerment: Increase Self Esteem & Self Confidence; The Stress Management 2.0 Series; The Fitness Goal Triad: How to Successfully Reach Your Fitness Goals.


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