Do you often feel like you’re working hard, but spinning in the same circle and getting nowhere? You’re not alone. This is a common complaint from many people who just can’t seem to break through to the other side. Let’s face it, if hard work alone equaled “success”, most of us would be there by now.
So, if hard work isn’t the answer, what is?
Don’t get me wrong, hard work definitely plays a big part in achievement. But it’s only the wheels on the car, not the motor.
So what drives the car?
Goal setting. That’s right, goal setting. Now, I’m pretty certain that this is not the first time you’ve heard this and it’s likely not the first article you’ve read about it either. The question is then, what are you doing now? Did you set any goals? Personal goals? Life goals? Career goals? Daily goals? How are they coming along?
Let’s stop there.
That’s a big part of the problem and where goal setting often gets dropped like a Ouija board on fire. Setting too many goals at one time can be overwhelming and put you and your wants on a train straight to Burn Out Town.
I’m going to keep it simple in six easy steps.
1. Write down everything you want to accomplish. It can look something like this:
a) lose weight
b) make more money
c) buy new car
2. Prioritize the goals. What is the most important thing on that list, at this moment?
Obviously If you pick c) buy a new car, you’re going to want to make b) make more money, the priority. If for instance you plan to make more money modeling skinny jeans, then you would probably want to put a) lose weight, in front of b) make more money. You get the idea.
3. Chunk. Break the goal chosen down into manageable parts (also known as “chunking”).
If your first goal is to lose weight, you’ll want to create a plan and then break it down. It might look something like this:
- join a fitness club and go 4 times a week for 45 min.
- purchase healthier food
- reduce fat intake
- drink 10-8 oz. glasses of water a day
- plan and prepare meals in advance
- journal all food intake and exercise
4. Be flexible. Don’t make a plan and give up if you can’t stick to it for some reason. Simply, restructure the plan until it works for you. Again, keep moving toward the goal and don’t punish yourself for any stumbles along the way. That’s how you’ll build mental muscle.
5. Visualize your completed goal. Keep that visual in your mind and refer to it often.
6. Remain focused. There is an old folk song titled , “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize”. In other words, remain focused on the goal until its completion. If you set too many goals at once, you will either burn out or get distracted thus causing you to once again “spin in circles”. In our excitement and/or impatience, we tend to try and accomplish too many things at once, leading to frustration, accomplishing little or nothing, and often causing lowered self-esteem. Take it easy on yourself. Although you are “keeping your eyes on the prize”, you also need to remain in the moment and on task, on your way there. Don’t look so hard at the future that you miss the present. It will always be the present. Enjoy it. You’ll get there and when you do, “there” will be “here” and “here” is where life takes place.
Once the goal is completed, you can check it off your list and not only will you have accomplished it, but you’re going to feel fantastic about it and your confidence level is going to be on the rise! This will also further motivate you to keep going and move on to the next goal.
Remember to set aside “you” time and recreation time. Keeping your life balanced is important for overall wellness. What good is any of it if you’re not enjoying the ride? Too much work and no play made Jack a very dull boy (and grumpy too).
Keep things in perspective. Decide on a goal, make a plan, see it through, and then move to the next. Repeat. But most importantly, enjoy the ride!
It doesn’t seem so out of reach anymore, now does it?