We all know just setting a goal is much different from the actual effort involved in achieving our objective. Every January millions of people start out with the best intentions to revamp their lives or businesses. And yet, less than 8% of us statistically make it over the finish line each year.
Because any worthwhile & challenging goal requires sustained effort. No matter what you desire to change or implement in your life, the most important key to your success is CONSISTENCY!
Sticking to your guns and making forward progress is easy in the beginning. But, we all know as time goes on, staying focused and putting forth effort become progressively harder.
Like a rock rolling down a hill, the thing that can guide you past bumps and roadblocks is momentum. Creating momentum is crucial because it keeps you moving and helps you build consistency into your life.
So, how do we do this?
No matter what you want to achieve, it will be work. Hard work…sometimes, frustrating work. When you are struggling and questioning yourself, you need a big, strong WHY to fall back on. It’s the thing that keeps nagging at you to get off your butt and do the work. A powerful WHY, that can’t be ignored, keeps you from falling into excuse-o-mania and helps you hit your goal.
If a goal isn’t written down, does it exist? If my objective is in my head, I can change my mind and manipulate it and never really take action. Until it’s on paper, it is just a wish or a thought.
If something truly matters and you must make it happen, write it down. Put the paper someplace you can’t help but see multiple times a day. Revisit what you wrote when you need inspiration or a kick in the pants.
Visualization is a powerful tool and motivator. If you think it is a little too “woo-woo” or out there, look up how athletes and powerful leaders use visualization to help them be more successful.
When you can ‘see’ yourself hitting your goals or gaining some big win, you’ll be more likely to actually cross the finish line. If you can see it, you can do it and you can be it. Taking a few minutes out of your day to quiet your mind and visualize your goals can be one of the most powerful success factors.
Draw or write or do whatever you want, just make sure you have a plan of action and it isn’t just in your mind. Tap into your creative spirit and define not only the goal or objective but also the rewards. Make sure you list out milestones and build in some ways to treat yourself along the way.
If you don’t know where you started, what’s working or not working and the results you’re striving for, how can you be sure you are successful? If you do meet your goal or objective, how can you repeat it?
The answer is TRACK, TRACK, TRACK!!!
You don’t have to get elaborate, but having some way of documenting your progress will be immensely helpful. It can be electronically, on paper or even in a specific tracker.
Every day that you are working towards a goal, you are making progress. If you get complacent about the effort you are putting forth, it can be easy to get down about where you are in the journey.
Make sure you give yourself a pat on the back daily and remember all the baby steps you are taking to reach your ultimate goal. I like to keep a journal. A few lines a day may seem small and insignificant at first, but when I need inspiration to keep moving I revisit it. I’m always blown away by my progress when I do.
I love mastermind or accountability groups because they fill two needs: partnership/support and some way of keeping you on track.
It’s all too easy to get stuck in our own heads and not look for better alternatives. Sometimes, you need someone outside to give suggestions or support. Other times, you need an external kick in the butt. Either way, having a group you belong to can help spur you forward.
You’d never get up on January 1st and decide to eat all of the year’s worth of meals in that one day, right? So, don’t try to tackle every goal you have at the same time either. You need to spread things out and give your brain, body and life a chance to balance.
Pick a goal or two at a time and really focus on each. When you have achieved success, then you can add something new to your plate.
Break down your goal into manageable steps, in time frames that make sense. Make progress every day, but realize sometimes progress is going to look so small it might seem like it didn’t happen.
When you struggle, don’t beat yourself up. Break it down instead!
Maybe you want to work out daily but you can’t seem to do it. Today’s goal could be to get your workout clothes washed and into your gym bag. Tomorrow’s goal is to get the gym bag to your car. Maybe the next goal is to actually set your alarm earlier. You get the picture.
No one but you is measuring your success. If it takes a week before you actually get to the gym, you are still making progress.
You wrote out milestones and maybe even came up with some ways to reward yourself when you crafted your plan of action. So…make sure you actually celebrate your wins.
You don’t have to shout it from the rooftops, but make sure you congratulate yourself on your awesome achievement. Don’t focus on how it could have been better or faster, just revel in your success. You planned something, tracked it, moved forward and hit a milestone!
Here’s to staying FOCUSED and seeing bigger and better results!