Goal achievement is a very dynamic process. Sometimes you’re flying along; other times you’re wondering if all of your hard work is ever going to pay off. Sometimes you neglect your goal. There is doubt. There is confusion. There isn’t enough time. So how do you keep motivated when you’re in the thick of it? And how do you fit your goal into a busy life?
These are the key elements of success:
1. WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS! Narrow the list down to the top 5, so you don’t overwhelm yourself – and focus most of your energies on the #1 goal. Magic happens when you write what you want. It’s the first command you give to your brain: “This is what I want.”
2. GIVE YOURSELF DAILY COMMANDS. You’ll have moments of doubt and fear; or times when you focus on the problems and not the solutions. Create a daily habit of visualization and self-talk, imagining and speaking of your goal already achieved. The more detail and emotion you incorporate, the better. Now, I know that some people view this as silly new-age lala stuff. But think about it – anytime you’ve ever achieved something, you first pictured yourself doing it.
Even getting yourself a cup of tea requires an instant’s worth of visualizing yourself having a cup of tea. It is a command to your brain to help you take the physical actions required to make tea. Before you get out of your chair, walk to the kitchen and fill the teapot, you picture the goal (enjoying a cup of tea) as already accomplished. You don’t sit there and picture yourself not being able to turn on the faucet to fill the teapot, or spilling tea all over your desk! And you certainly don’t get up and make a cup of tea without first having the idea to do so!
You picture yourself HAVING TEA. Goal. Accomplished. Only then does your brain know what to do next! You have to give your brain a command so it knows what to look for in your environment (the people and resources to make your goal happen). Visualizations/affirmations create BELIEF that your goal can, and will, be achieved – and then you’ll take action. Without belief, you won’t get up and do a thing. If you believe that for some reason you can’t have a cup of tea, you’ll never get up and make one.
3. CREATE AN ACTION PLAN. How do you get from A to B? Look at the big picture and then break the whole thing down into TINY daily action steps. Unless you’re able to work a goal full-time, you will have to be realistic and fit it into your schedule. Finding 10-30 minutes every day to work your goals is realistic and manageable and eliminates the excuse of “I don’t have time.” Sorry- hate to take that excuse away, but there it goes!
10-30 minutes a day is nothing in the grand scheme of things. Make daily action a HABIT. Commit to working your goal every day. Just like you brush your teeth every day. Persistent and consistent action will get you there. Sporadic activity will not. Set aside a short scheduled chunk of time where you can focus on your goal (10-30 minutes a day), and DO something.
Persistent and consistent action is easier and creates more forward momentum than taking occasional huge leaps. It’s like spending 10 minutes a day cleaning the house (it’s nothing!), versus spending an entire weekend at it and resenting and hating every second because you’d much rather be playing or relaxing!
Track your progress. Milestones and deadlines are great motivators. Set milestones as part of your action plan, and you’ll feel great about how much you’ve already accomplished. Create a timeline or a chart and set deadlines for yourself. And reward yourself by celebrating the milestones you achieve!
4. GET SUPPORT. You might need help creating an action plan (most of us haven’t got a clue as to where and how to even start, let alone continue!); you might need help with skills and knowledge. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Don’t be afraid to ask someone to mentor you!
Together, these steps will move you closer to your goal every day. Don’t let the big picture overwhelm you! Achieving any goal is easy, if you ‘see’ it, feel it and work it, every day.
Inspired by a blog written by Tracy Brinkmann on www.goalsontrack.com