At the start of each new year, most people are excited about making changes in their lives.
We make vision boards, resolutions, and outline detailed plans for success. Unfortunately, many of us fail to stick to these plans. By the end of January, we’ve reverted to our old ways.
Working out becomes too inconvenient, chocolate chip cookies are too tasty to resist, the job you hate doesn’t seem so bad after all, and saving money seems like an impossible task.
I know all about this behavior because I have succumbed to it.
I want to do better, but my comfort zone often feels quite comfy.
Last year, I had six goals I wanted to achieve. I’ve only managed to work on three of them. Sure, part of it had to do with living in a global pandemic, but I can’t blame COVID for all of my shortcomings.
Am I disappointed by my progress? Of course. But my lack of progress showed me that I need to make some adjustments in my life if I intend to keep my promises to myself and to my family.
And maybe you do too.
After much introspection, reading, and journaling, I came up with 7 ways to achieve your goals.
I’m no self-help guru, but these principles are sound and I believe you will benefit from implementing them in your life.
Document Your Goals
“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands—your own.” —Mark Victor Hansen
However you chose to document your goals is up to you, but you must make sure that they are visible. Writing your goals in a notebook and storing it on a shelf is not helpful.
My family likes to frame our goals and place them in conspicuous locations around our house. The visibility helps to keep us focused and serves as a constant reminder of the commitments we’ve made.
Find Your Motivation
Motivation is the reason or reasons why you act or behave in a particular way. Some people are motivated by money. Others are motivated by failures they experienced in the past while others may be motivated by a friend or family member who believes in them.
Find what motivates you and remain committed to it. Your motivation will sustain you when things get difficult.
Seek Accountability Partners
It’s easy to think to yourself, “I’m going to be a better husband this year.” The hard part is actually making the changes necessary to become a better husband.
That’s where accountability partners come in.
Having someone in your corner that you can be honest with is important for your success. We all need someone who will empathize with us, motivate us, and give us a kick in the pants when we need it.
I’ve surrounded myself with several guys who help to hold me accountable in several areas of my life – business, fatherhood, marriage, health, and spiritual growth.
People like to perpetuate the myth of the self-made man, but the truth is no one can make it on his own. We all need help.
Overcome the Dip
It’s always exciting and fun to start something new, but when the initial excitement wears off and the hard work begins, you may find yourself asking if it is even worth the hassle.
Author Seth Godin, calls this dilemma The Dip — a temporary setback that will get better if you keep pushing. If you’ve reached your Dip, don’t give up. Go back to start and try again. If you stumble, get back up.
What really sets apart successful people from everyone else is the ability to overcome disappointments and failures without becoming discouraged.
It’s easy to focus on our failures because they are often quite visible. However, we must learn to celebrate our successes. Any behavioral psychologist will tell you that positive reinforcement is the best motivator.
When you lose a couple of pounds, celebrate.
When you close that business deal you’ve been pursuing for years, celebrate.
When your boss agrees to greenlight your project, celebrate.
Life should be a constant celebration because good things happen every day.
Quit Without Guilt
There comes a point in your journey when you have to decide if your goals are actually worth pursuing. Pursuing the wrong goals is an exercise in futility that will only lead to frustration.
When you realize that you’ve made a bad decision or assumption, it’s important to quit fast, quit often, and quit without guilt.
You’re better off channeling that energy into something else that will get you closer to what you’re trying to achieve in your life.
In this “always on” culture, it’s hard to find time for self-evaluation or introspection. But if we are to achieve our goals and be successful, we must find time to be still.
Turn off the TV, hide your cell phone, and place your laptop in sleep mode.
Find a quiet place to pray, meditate, daydream, and be alone with your thoughts. These few moments of solitude allow you to recharge and reconnect.
I often find clarity during my quiet time. It refreshes my soul and gives me the energy and confidence to conquer the world – one goal at a time.
Although there are many other ways to achieve your goals, you will achieve success if you do the things listed above. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.