Keeping goals. Have you figured out how to keep yourself on track to the goals you’ve set? What works for you and when doesn’t it?
Making The Start
So now that you have selected and set some more appropriate goals and considered the various options of enhancing your likelihood of their successful achievement, you will be in the process of “making them happen”.
The hardest part of achieving any goal is to start working towards it. Once you have started however, it is imperative you build up and maintain some momentum. Success comes from trying and failing. From keeping on keeping on and never quitting. Doing something towards the achievement of that goal every single day.
I have heard “character” defined as: “that which keeps you focused on achieving something you committed to long after the euphoria in which the commitment was made has passed.”
Keeping Goals: Winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win
After a while of trying and perhaps with mixed results, there is often a critical point where most people (remember the blog The 5% that know WHY) lose faith and quit on their goals. This is where doubt and procrastination can set in.
However, even if you find then that you are far behind the eight ball, you will still achieve more with having set a goal you have started chasing down than if you hadn’t set one at all. Think back to why you set the goal in the first place. Allow the emotions you pictured with its achievement to inspire you back into the realm of belief that you can still achieve it.
Driven by your values
I also like to suggest you revisit your values at this time. For instance, if one of your highest values is your health and you are still struggling to get into the habit of an excercise regime, you may have rated this value too highly. Maybe you chose it because “it is the right value to have” and it’s one that you aspire to but that you don’t actually “live it”. Values are the “set of rules” by which you measure and judge everything that matters most to you and living and working out of line with them can be a major contributor to procrastination and even result in affecting your health and well-being. Well worth talking to your coach about.
How reward features in keeping goals
One other important aspect of goal chasing is that of reward. When you have achieved a milestone and certainly when you have achieved a substantial goal it needs to be recognized, celebrated and your effort rewarded. Don’t underestimate how our unconscious mind can help or hinder us here. If you reward yourself for effort invested and/or results achieved, it remembers this and will inspire you next time when the going might be getting tough. Conversely, if you fail to recognize and reward yourself it will remember that also and perhaps feed you a “why bother” attitude.
If it’s going to be, is it all up to me?
Also, what part will you play in reaching the goal and what will you rely on others for? Involving them in the planning and ongoing milestone review assures their WIIFM (What’s In It For Me).
Another point worth considering is an ecology question. Please ask yourself whether your goal is good for you, is good for others and is good for the greater good. Your unconscious will help feed you what matters in terms of the Law of Attraction here, but conversely goals that aren’t good for you, others or the greater good will usually fail in the long term.
Here are some further pointers that I have learned:
Think global, start local
In the New Years euphoria, we might set too many goals, wanting to “fix everything up in one go” and so set ourselves up for failure by simply trying too much and going from no goals to 20 goals. Make sure you pick a few goals important to you and that have some reality of your being able to reach them. You can always set some new ones once they are reached.
We often fall into the trap of: “when I’ve reached xyz goal, I’ll be happy”, don’t we? Perhaps we can reframe that assumption? I have learned the opposite to be true – that the choice or existence of happiness will actually spurn you on to achieve your goal. Happiness isn’t a result – it is a choice.
If you link a goal to a motivating outcomee you enhance your chances of its success. For example, going to the gym because you “should lose weight” won’t work as well as “seeing yourself” weighing 5 kg less or how you will feel being able to wear a different size outfit. Even more powerful is attaching the achievement of an event to it like being fit enough to join the charity fun run or the Great Victorian Bike Ride or something like that. This gives your goal a purpose and the enjoyment of pursuing it because you want to, not because you have to. Might I also strongly recommend teaming up with another person with the same goal so you hold each other accountable? Nothing assures your “leap out of bed” more than knowing your mate is waiting for you down the road. Or if you want to spend 30 minutes each day walking, why not associate that with walking the dog? Also, are all your goals “serious” goals or have you included some “fun” goals?
The company you keep…
A further factor is who we associate with. Are you surrounding yourself with people that are going to encourage your achieving your goal? Or will you allow some typical “tall poppy” people to cynically try and keep you “back in the pack”?
How strongly do you believe in your goal and your ability to reach it? You will be challenged by the non believers. Will you see through those inevitable challenges or will they already suffice to fuel doubt on whether you can achieve it?
So What Next?
So having previously covered the “why” and the “how” of setting goals, and now having discussed your keeping yourself on track, I trust that you have seen some new and different perspectives on a topic that is as “old as the hills” yet deemed to be “one of the more difficult” to get good at. I hope this blog trilogy has made the process a little more “personable” for you, given that the scenarios I have included are the most frequently encountered by most of my clients. Setting and chasing reasonable goals as a tool in the achievement of “success” is the domain I find people can best benefit from the professional assistance of a coach. Goals and coaching are synonymous with every possible sporting success. Why not make both part of your “success”? Go on – find yourself a coach and allow them to help you surprise yourself. I’m convinced you will be so glad you did.
Click here for the other blogs in this trilogy: