Whether you’ve got a goal to lose weight, achieve financial freedom, or change your career to something you love, the journey is the most exciting and challenging part of the process. During the journey, you’ll experience setbacks, mistakes, and other obstacles that will serve as tests of faith and vision. Getting to any goal is possible if you follow these six steps, which include everything from mastering your self-discipline to keeping mental health in mind. Keep reading to learn the best ways to reach any goal you may have.

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1. Master Self-Discipline

This tip doesn’t need any sugar-coating; without self-discipline, you will get nowhere when it comes to reaching your goals. Disciplining yourself to stay the course and do what is necessary even when things seem impossible, is one of the most important skills one can master. Self-help gurus, coaches, and motivational speakers from all over the world have encouraged their pupils to learn and master self-discipline as one of the most important skills in life.

Self-discipline gets you off the couch when you should be productive but want to watch TV. Self-discipline tells you to put down the cookie when you should be eating healthier. Most of all, it creates a sense of pride and accomplishment, which can boost your self-confidence and drive you further toward your goals. Mastering self-discipline is nothing short of a necessity for a happy, fulfilling lifestyle and for reaching any goals you have in mind.

2. Rise Early

A wise man named Benjamin Franklin once said, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Nothing could be more true. Rising early to meet the day head-on not only sets you apart from your competition, but also helps to reinforce that all-important self-discipline that was just discussed in the previous section. When you wake up early and start your day with productivity, you’re not only setting the pace for the rest of the day, but also the attitude for the next fourteen or so hours you’re awake. What is ambition? Rising early and reaching for that goal before anyone else is awake. 

Rising early from a good night’s sleep has been shown to have many benefits; not the least of which is a boost in energy and motivation. Long hours of hard work aren’t always productive, but shorter, more focused working hours can mean increased productivity for the day. Starting early allows you to get a jumpstart on your goals and start your day off right.

3. Surround Yourself With Like-Minded People

One of the most important aspects of your goal’s journey is the people who share the journey with you. When you surround yourself with motivated, ambitious, and like-minded people, you’re creating not only a support group for your goals, but also a solid foundation on which to create long-lasting, healthy relationships. Toxic people have no place in the mind of a winner, and they should either have a minimal place in your life or no place at all.

The problem with toxic people is that their toxicity is contagious. If you know someone who’s constantly miserable, you’ll understand this very well. One long-winded conversation with that person can leave you feeling drained, unmotivated, or even depressed. Those people who don’t understand your goals and aspirations can’t possibly support them, especially with their own limited visions on life. Rise above the toxicity and make the conscious choice to only include quality people in your journey.

There’s a saying that goes, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Who do you spend your time with?

4. Be Grateful and Reflective

Being grateful for your skills, your vision, and how far you’ve come, are crucial components to reaching your goals. If you don’t appreciate what got you to this point and what will carry you beyond it, you’re missing the bigger picture. Missing the bigger picture can cost you a lot more than your goals in the future, so be sure to take a step back now and then and appreciate what you’ve got and how far you’ve come. Self-reflection is the best path to improvement.  

5. Be Specific With Your Vision

Many people don’t reach their goals because they lack the clarity to see a specific vision. You may say things like, “I want to lose weight.” While this is a great goal to have, it lacks the specific vision to make it possible. You’re not setting an achievable goal with vague statements. Instead, say “I want to lose ten pounds this month.” The clearer and more concise the vision is, the easier it will be to find the path to your goals.

Larger goals can be taken a few steps at a time. It’s often helpful to set several short-term goals in order to reach the larger, more impactful goal because it gives you something to hold onto during the journey. You’ll have made quantifiable progress which you can measure by looking back on the success of your short-term goals. This helps keep your motivation intact so you can continue on to the final goal.

6. Don’t Ignore Your Mental Health

Last, but not least, don’t neglect your mental health for the sake of a goal. Yes, you should work hard, and yes, you’ll likely spend long hours working towards your goals, but that shouldn’t mean sacrificing your personal time, interests, or relationships. The very things that add such incredible value to the human experience are often forgotten when we get tunnel-visioned by a goal. Don’t forget what’s important; keep the vision, but keep your humanity and your mental health as well.