If you’ve ever watched a TED talk or listened to any of your teachers in school, you’ll know that setting goals are the stepping stones to getting where you want to be in life. You watch one video featuring Tony Robbins and immediately get inspired to set as many goals as you can. You think of the pride you will feel when you cross that finish line. You fantasize about that happy glow you’ll get when you accomplish all your goals. And then what happens?
Birthdays, meetings, funerals, vacations, hospital visits, happy hours, company losses, promotions, natural disasters, bills. There are so many things that we can’t control in life, pulling our minds away from the aspirations we have. The goals we had yesterday slowly turn into the same goals we have ten years from now. Like a scratched record, you get stuck in the same spot and live the same moments over and over again.
So how do you move forward with your life and accomplish the things you want to do? Below are five efficient and effective steps to achieving your goals.
Don't Go Overboard
When motivation strikes and we’re ready to take on the world, we oftentimes make too many goals. We get overzealous with our list until it’s this all-consuming pile that takes over our lives. When this happens, it’s easy to burn out quickly. You get discouraged when you’re not able to complete your full list of goals all at once, so you quit.
Instead of trying to turn into Superman overnight, sort through your entire list of goals by priority. Once you’ve established which goals are most important to you, only focus on one or two goals at a time. You’ve got to walk before you run!
Say Goodbye to Excuses
If you ever want to achieve anything in life, you must want to change. Acknowledge that life will happen to you, but don’t let every little event get in the way of what’s important to you. Because achieving a goal requires discipline and iron will, your brain will want to make excuses for you.Fight the urge to give in! Recognize that those urges only provide short-term satisfaction, whereas reaching your goals will give you long-term happiness.
This method is particularly cruel but effective. Sacrifice one activity you love until you complete your goal. By doing this, you are creating some tension and a good reason to work hard toward your goal. If you want to learn a new language, but are addicted to watching television, try giving up TV until you are finished.
Want to lose five pounds, but can’t seem to live without your car? Walk some extra steps by not driving on the weekends.Is this method extreme? Yes. Is it effective? Most definitely. Your mind will resist the change, but once you get used to it, your sacrifices will serve as a reward for all you’ve accomplished.
Give Yourself a Deadline
I know, I know. Deadlines give you flashbacks to late-night term papers in school. But, you always finished the paper, didn’t you? The looming deadline pressured you into working harder and getting the job done in time. The same concept works for reaching your goals. Mark a date on your calendar for when you’d like to reach each goal.
Want to run a half marathon? Give yourself fifteen weeks to train. Want to write that novel you’ve been thinking about? Mark a due date three months from now. Whatever goal you have in mind, set a time in which you want to complete it.
Do Something Every Day
Whatever your goal is, make sure you carve out a little time every day to do something that pushes you closer to achieving your goals. People can fantasize about their accomplishments all day, but there are only a few who choose to act.
Acting on your goal can look different every day. You can either take a baby step or a huge leap. It doesn’t matter how much you accomplish each day, just so long as you’re doing something. And, don’t belittle that accomplishment, no matter how small. Those tiny activities will add up in no time. You’ll achieve your goals before you know it.