Goals are a great thing to have. But actually achieving them?
Despite all your best intentions, your goals always seem to be beyond your reach. With each time you try and fall, it becomes more and more difficult to get back up again.
Frustrating, isn’t it?
I get it because it’s something I personally struggle with (and I still do)! However, with each failure, I learned something new.
It’s like Thomas Edison with the invention of the light bulb. With each failure, he just learned one more way not to do it until he finally discovered the right way. Following Thomas Edison’s example of failure after failure, I discovered specific characteristics that hold you back from achieving your goals.
How YOU’re Getting in The Way of Your Goals
Now before we begin, I want to applaud you for having the courage to have a goal, to begin with. That’s awesome!
That means you have a burning desire to make a positive change in your life and I hope that the following tips shed insight on helping you to succeed!
1. You’re overly ambitious.
Have you ever done this?
For this month, you set the goal to lose ten pounds AND to meditate every morning AND to ace all your exams AND to start your blog AND to train for a marathon.
This is a frequent mistake many well-intentioned people make. (I did this all the time!)
The problem with this is that you only have 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week and a limited energy pool per day.
Your focus, energy, and time become scattered and this can severely limit your progress. When you’re overwhelmed by the sheer number of goals you’re committing to, it becomes easier to never start or to just quit.
Try this: Commit to just one goal at a time. As Gary Keller says in The One Thing, “It is those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world.” After all, achieving one goal amazingly is often superior to a dozen unfinished projects done mediocrely.
2. You’re impatient.
This is something I personally struggle with and understandably so!
The first day you set a personal goal, you feel super fired up. You’re ready to hit the gym or hit the books.
You’re doing awesome. You feel great!
Then after one or two weeks, you notice yourself slowing down. That fire that supercharged your motivation is now just a candle’s flame.
Then maybe after one month, you quit because you’re not seeing the results. It almost feels like a betrayal! You worked so hard but where are the results?
Discouragement sinks in.
Try this: First, acknowledge that achieving a goal is more often a marathon than a sprint. Treat it as a long-term project and remember to track your progress. As Peter Drucker said, “what gets measured gets managed.”
Schedule 30 minutes every week to review your goals and journal your progress. Whenever you’re feeling discouraged, review your journal and you might find your weekly victories may offer the motivation and reassurance you need.
Let’s say that your resolution this year was to lose 20 pounds.
That’s an awesome goal to have but it takes effort and consistency.
Losing the recommended 1-2 pounds per week requires for you to watch what you can eat and to exercise on a regular basis.
You can’t just eat healthy and exercise on only the days you feel like it. You also can’t just stick with your diet and exercise regimen Monday to Friday and then indulge in an all-you-can-eat cheat weekend.
You’ll undo all the hard work you did!
To succeed with your goals, you have to turn your goals into a system of daily habits.
Try this: Read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. What if I told you that creating a habit that actually lasts is as simple as tweaking a 3-step equation? If you want to learn the science and read case studies behind what it takes to exercise every day or write 1000 words every day or work on your side project every day, give this book a read!
Maybe you’re like this:
I can only get to the gym only if I wake up exactly at 5:00 a.m. and I wear exactly the right workout gear and have the latest wireless Bluetooth headphones. It has to be perfect.
Or how about this?
I can study for an exam only if I sit at the perfect spot in a coffee shop and have the right study playlist and ergonomic writing tools. It has to be perfect.
And when it’s not perfect, what happens? If you’re like me, you use it as a justification to not work towards your goals.
Since it’s already 6:00 a.m. it wouldn’t be worth going to the gym anymore because I’d have less time.
I would tell myself this every morning I skipped the gym because I hit the snooze button. I’m sure you’ll agree that this thought process is silly!
Try this: Rather than striving for perfection, strive for progress. Because guess what? Doing something is always better than doing nothing. Even if you skipped the gym in the morning, at least go for a walk during the evening because something as small as going as for a five-minute walk is still progress. You chose progress while everybody else chose to sit down in front of the television for the rest of the evening. That’s something worth being proud of!
5. You’re surrounded by the wrong people.
I read an article about a sickly gentleman whose symptoms required for him to navigate in a wheelchair. His name was Jon Morrow. Despite Jon’s setbacks, he did not allow them to hold him back forever. He wanted success and he wanted to be more than just a guy in a wheelchair.
So what did he do?
He changed the people he surrounded himself with. He cut out any negative people who held him back and replaced them the successful people who encouraged him to achieve his goals.
Fast forward to today and he’s the founder of Smartblogger.com where he teaches aspiring bloggers how to write and succeed within their niche.
Try this: Cut ties with the negative people in your life. Then go out and meet like-minded people who share your goals. Better yet, surround yourself with people who already achieved what you want to. You can join a club at school. Or join an online forum. Interact with brilliant individuals like yourself who encourage you to grow and challenge yourself.
Success Requires Perseverance.
Accomplishing your goals is difficult, no doubt about it.
And it’s so easy to be overwhelmed by disappointment and frustrations, especially if this is your second, third, fourth, even fifth attempt at it.
But it’s working towards your goals is a challenge and it’s only when you constantly challenge yourself can you truly grow and evolve as a person.
Just remember that you had a burning desire to achieve something and that in itself is amazing. So keep the above characteristics in mind the next time you feel that your goals are being particularly elusive to you.
And if you fall down another time, pick yourself up again and again and again.
Because to achieve the awesome goals that you have, I know for a fact that this is you: somebody who never gives up.