“Oh God, what was I thinking????”
This was me freaking out in June 2016. I had signed up for advanced coach training and the first class was already scaring me.
I was way behind on the assignments that I was supposed to complete before this class. So when I thought of the extra assignments for that week…total freak out!
The thought that I had to do this every week for 6 months caused more than one panic moment.
In the class that day, the mentor coach asked us to air out our concerns.
I had 2 concerns:
- I’ve been so used to doing things my way for so long and now I’m scared of having to relearn everything anew. This was actually my #1 concern.
- Where will I get the time to complete all this work?
It was much easier to stay in my comfort zone. At that moment, it actually felt as if I had jumped off a cliff without a parachute.
The mentor floored me when he responded, “Caroline, you’ve already left your comfort zone and jumped off the cliff by attending this first class. So there’s no going back.”
He also noted that if I really wanted to, I would create the time for the assignments, reading, and practice.
I had a ‘deer-in-the-headlights-moment’ there.
5 weeks later, I was smiling as I looked back at the things I thought would kill me.
Not only were my assignments on track, but I was ahead of the reading work and practicals.
And I had fun every step of the way.
Plus, the skills and experience I gained from that 6-month course made me a better coach. I also got the confidence to double my fees that year, with amazing results.
It’s time to leave your comfort zone
Getting out of your comfort zone is not easy. Unfortunately, remaining there is a sure way of letting your competition overtake you.
Remaining there is like deciding to simply be at the bottom of the barrel in your profession, career, company, industry…in all areas of life.
It means accepting mediocrity and being OK with things remaining as they are.
If you want to have massive success, you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone all the time until being out of it becomes your normal way of life.
This blog has enough material to help you expect change and growth. Using these resources will help you actively seek growth and commit to Constant and Never-Ending Improvement.
The journey is never easy, but…
One thing I see constantly in my life and coaching practice is people getting stuck. They get out of their comfort zone, but opt to go back when the journey ahead becomes too hard.
So many times, people reach out to me for help and after we explore their goals and dreams, many end up saying, “I really want to achieve this goal, but I don’t think I have it in me to do it.”
Sometime ago, my son who had started a blog sought my advice because he wants to get back into blogging.
He started the blog and then realized that it required more work than he was ready to take on because he needed to write consistently.
So he started writing sporadically…and finally gave up.
In our conversation, he noted that he wants to write, but doesn’t know how to get back to the level of excitement he had when starting the blog.
My response to him was that his wish to write had to be bigger than his desire to give up. I also noted to him that nothing big was ever achieved easily.
To achieve success as a blogger, he has to overcome the discomfort of writing and just write. The more he’ll write, the more stories he’ll have and the easier it will get – this I know for a fact.
Are you willing to pay the price?
If you want to achieve something big or become someone great, you have to give up something in return. You also have to go beyond your comfort zone.
Your most desired goals and dreams will not achieve themselves. Neither will they materialize from the ether.
Life will not hand your goals over to you on a platter. You have to work at them. You have to give up something (or some things) in return. This is the price you pay for success.
The bigger the goals and dreams, the bigger the challenges you find along the way…
…and the further you have to move from your comfort zone.
A lot can happen when you take just one single step out. And this single step leads to the next one, and the next one, and the next one.
Before you know it, you’re either well on the way to achieving your goal or have already achieved it.
Are you willing to do that this week?
Your assignment for this week is very simple:
Believe in yourself and take a step of faith towards your most desired goal and this time next year, we’ll be talking a totally different story.
Do you need a success team?
Every woman needs a group of people who support and cheer her as she moves up the success ladder. No one exists in a vacuum. You’ll find that life is easier when you have an optimal success team.
The main benefit of consciously creating your team is that you decide who’s in it and who is not. You then allow your team to guide you as you grow in your career or business. Your success team members also become your helpers and sounding board when needed.
You don’t have to wait until you have a large goal before creating your success team. In fact some members of your team may already be in place, but you never realized the important role they have played in your career or business success.
Important members of your success team
1. A ‘soul sister’
This is a woman who knows you inside out and whom you trust 100%. Your soul sister:
- is always there for you.
- knows your strengths and weaknesses and never takes advantage of them.
- has been with you through thick and thin.
- rarely lets you down.
- loves you unconditionally.
- does not fear telling you off when you’re being less than yourself.
- does not stand aside when you allow life to put you down.
She is always in your cheering team, celebrating with you, crying with you and soothing you. If you’re lucky, your soul sister is someone you grew up with or have known for a long time.
2. A mentor
This is someone who has already achieved success in the same field or business as you. Your mentor has seen it all and s/he is able to guide you around the potential pitfalls while at the same time challenging you to succeed.
Your mentors will change depending on what you want to achieve. Choose your mentors wisely so that you don’t end up with people who are in competition with you or who will steal your ideas and implement them. If you can’t find a physical mentor, then look for one in books, blogs or online programs.
I was lucky to have great mentors when I was employed. Every boss I had pushed me to excel beyond what I thought was possible for me. I didn’t appreciate it then, but I do today as most of the skills I use now (especially research, writing, speaking and listening skills) are as a result of my experiences as an employee.
I’ve also used virtual and physical mentors to grow as a coach, writer, blogger and trainer.
3. A coach or accountability partner
A coach will help you set and achieve your goals fast. At the same time, s/he will work with you to discover hidden skills and talents and provide you with a safe place to explore and change your limiting beliefs and behaviours.
Your coach is interested in helping you achieve a better future. You can meet in person, talk on phone or Skype, or use email on a regular basis.
If you cannot afford to hire a coach, then find an accountability partner who should be someone you know well and trust enough to share your goals with.
Working with coaches has been my main source of personal and business growth.
4. Mastermind team
This is a group of like-minded people who have come together to help each other achieve success. Members are able to achieve success faster than each person would on their own.
Masterminds can meet physically, on phone or online. Most masterminds consist of 6-12 people who meet regularly (weekly, fortnightly or monthly) to support each other.
If managed well, our Kenyan chamas can be turned into powerful mastermind teams and not the merry-go-rounds most operate as.
This is the most important person in your team. Nothing will change until you are committed to achieving your goals.
The other members of your success team can only go as far as you are willing to go. You also stand to lose your team if you’re not fully present or action-oriented.
Bonus success team members
6. A supportive mate
Having a partner or spouse who loves, trusts, understands and supports you will allow you to spread your wings. You will be comfortable knowing that you have someone with whom you can be totally yourself and who watches your back.
7. An outstanding housekeeper (for mothers)
I’m not talking about our regular househelps here. I’m talking about an experienced househelp who takes care of your home and children so that you don’t have to worry.
When you find such a person, pay her well and treat her well. Give her adequate time for rest each day and week and teach your children to respect her.
However, remember that this is your home and your children. You can only delegate housework and childcare, but you cannot delegate being a mother and parenting.
Your next step
Having an optimized success team will help you achieve your career or business goals faster and in an easier way than you expected.
Do you have these 5 members in your team?
Go back to your goal for this year and identify which members you already have and which ones you need to add.
You don’t have to start with all 5, but you do have to start somewhere.
Over to you now…
What has been your experience with creating a success team?
What worked for you and what didn’t work?
I’d love to hear about your experience so please share with us in the Comments.
(Image credit: Free Digital Photos)
Motivation is the inner power that helps people achieve their goals or complete important tasks. It’s the internal drive that will help you overcome obstacles to your goals, especially when things aren’t working the way you’d want them to.
I’d like to say that I’m able to stay motivated and focused on my goals. But that would be a lie. Working on big goals can be boring and challenging. There are times when even I am tempted to give up and abandon the goals.
What then can you do to stay motivated and focused on your goals?
Today’s article outlines 16 strategies for maintaining motivation. This article is Part 4 in a series on how to overcome overwhelm and overwork. Other articles in this series are:
16 Strategies for Maintaining Motivation and Focus
1. Decide what you want
Your goals should be yours and not what other people want for you. It’s hard to be motivated and passionate about things that you didn’t decide to do.
Once you know what you want, write it down. A study by Dr. Gail Matthews of Dominican University established that people who write goals are more likely to achieve them than those who don’t.
2. Write down WHY you want it
Having many reasons why you want to achieve the goal will boost your motivation. This list will also increase your commitment to your goal.
In the book Goals, peak performance expert Brian Tracy recommends that you come up with at least 50 reasons why you want this goal. He notes that the more reasons you have, the more likely you will hang in there when things get tough.
3. Visualize success daily
Do whatever it takes to keep your goal in mind at all times. Draw or paint your goal; write it on a 3x5 card or post-it note and stick it on your wall; create a vision board with images related to your goal.
Take 15 minutes first thing in the morning and last thing at night to relax and visualize yourself having achieved your goal. During the day, stay focused on your goal as you work on the smaller daily tasks.
4. Create and use an action plan
Organize your thoughts by thinking on paper. Start by writing down all the milestones that will happen as you work on the main goal.
It’s easier to start working on a goal when it’s broken down. So break each milestone into a series of tasks. Arrange these tasks into a logical sequence and organize them into a task list.
Schedule time in your daily calendar for the tasks. It’s better to do something for your goal each day, no matter how small, than wait to complete larger chunks.
To make this process easier, start by working on smaller and easier to complete tasks before moving on to the larger and more complex ones. Each smaller task that’s completed will motivate you to work more on the goal.
Finally, review your progress weekly, monthly, quarterly and half-yearly.
Related Article: How to Overcome Procrastination and Make Progress Towards Your Goals
5. Use short-term motivation strategies to get you moving
Some goals and tasks are less motivating to work on in the short-term than others. A simple shift in the way you think of or look at a task is enough to create motivation in the short-term.
For example, if you’re avoiding making sales calls to grow your business, you can motivate yourself by imagining how powerful you’ll be just for having made the calls.
One of my clients used to fear rejection so she decided to congratulate herself for having made the effort to call. The result of each call was no longer a problem because her focus wasn’t on the call, but on the fact that she made the call. The moment she started doing this, the results of her calls changed and business increased.
6. Be consistent, and…
Motivation is easier to keep up when you’re taking small consistent actions towards your goals. Avoid procrastinating and take action even when you don’t feel like it. Do something each day towards your goal. Schedule your most important tasks, those that are related to your goals, first thing in the morning.
However, take note of actions and processes that aren’t working and try something different. There are many ways to achieve your goals and what you’re currently doing may not give you the most motivation or the best results.
Don’t be afraid to try a new approach or keep trying different approaches until you find one that works for you. Once you find it, implement it consistently.
7. Keep on track
You’ll get a lot of ideas as you work on your goals. Some of these ideas will be great, but others will take you off track and kill your motivation.
Keep a notebook where you record all your ideas as they occur. Go through these ideas in your regular reviews and only take action on those that will move you towards your goal.
Before you add a new idea to your task list, ask yourself whether this will help you achieve your goal faster. If it will, then turn it into a sub-goal and add it to your task list. If it won’t, keep it in your notebook. Some ideas will not be useful today, but they may come in handy months or years later.
8. Take regular breaks
Insert breaks into your calendar so that you take time off your goals. At the very least, have one day each week when you unplug completely and do nothing related to your goals. During this day, relax and spend time with your loved ones, in nature, or working on your hobbies.
I used to work 6-7 days a week and was overwhelmed most of the time. Interestingly, I’m making more money now that I’ve stopped working evenings and weekends. My coaching sessions are also better because I’m well rested.
You also need breaks during regular days so plug them into your schedule and keep them as appointments. Take a 10-15 minute break each hour if you work while seating most of the time.
During the break, do something physical that requires you to stand up. You can take a coffee or water break, go to the loo, do yoga stretches, chat with a colleague, make your phone calls…something small. Remember to set a timer so that your hourly breaks don’t take too long.
Related Article: How to Create Time for Yourself
9. Reward yourself
Your BIG goal is months or years into the future. You will lose motivation if you wait to reward yourself when you achieve it. It’s important to reward yourself in the interim.
Have a reward for the big goal, such as a spa day or a shopping trip. Also build in smaller rewards for your milestones, such as going out for a meal or buying an outfit. Even something as simple as patting yourself on the back after completing a task is enough to stay motivated.
10. Make the process fun
Do you remember how great life was as a child? Children can turn any activity into fun. Do this with your goals and your motivation will remain high.
You can have fun doing almost anything, even tasks that you hate. Just keep asking yourself, “How can I make this more enjoyable?” or “How can I add some fun into my tasks?”
I used to hate cooking each day because I saw it as an extra job in the evening. Today, I love it because I unwind and let go of the day as I cook.
Interestingly, having this time has reduced my workload because a lot of articles get written in my head as I cook and I also get solutions to some challenges that I or my clients are facing.
11. Maintain a wins list
Start a list of all the successes you have as you work on your goal. Include both big and small wins. You can also create a list of fun things that happen as you work on your goal.
Read your fun and success lists when you’re lacking motivation or at the end of the day or week. This list is your best ‘pick-me-up’ when you hit roadblocks.
12. Fill your mind with positivity
Personal development experts have taught that you are what you think about most of the time. Your thoughts are largely affected by what you read, listen to, watch or speak.
Read or listen to something positive each day. Do this during your commute and when you take longer breaks like lunch.
The company you keep will also affect your success rate. Avoid negative and toxic people and hang out with positive people who support and encourage you.
Related Article: 7 Self-Care Tips for the Modern Woman
13. Ignore the ANTs
I once read that everyone has Automatic Negative Thoughts or ANTs and these can derail you from your goals.
You can’t control everything in life so don’t worry about the things that aren’t in your control. Ignore the negative “What if…” questions and focus on completing your tasks.
Don’t be so afraid of failure that you get paralyzed and stop taking action. Similarly, don’t be afraid to ask qualified or experienced people for help if your goal is outside your ability.
Attend a class, work with a mentor, or seek the advice of a trusted person. Listen to what they have to say and ask them lots of questions. Their ideas and advice might be what you need to get unstuck or quiet the ANTs.
14. Go easy on yourself
Life happens and you will meet failure as you work on your goals. Maybe you won’t meet your daily, weekly or monthly sub-goals, or you fall totally short in another way. Take it in stride and learn from the experience.
Don’t spend too much time worrying about the failure because you will lose motivation. Learn and move on as fast as you can. Keep focus on your Vision, read your success lists and remind yourself that you can do this.
15. Use your intuition
OK, this may sound a bit woo woo, but it works perfectly. The subconscious mind has amazing resources if you allow it to work with you and for you. Unfortunately, most people don’t know that they can guide their subconscious mind to give them exactly what they want.
Consider this: Have you ever had an AHA or inspired thought that led to an amazing opportunity or opened up doors to more opportunities?
Or maybe you were thinking of taking a shortcut and something tells you that you shouldn’t. You go the long way round and later learn that someone was mugged in the shortcut at exactly the same time you’d have been there.
These are examples of the intuition working for you. The good thing is that you can guide your intuition to do this as you work on your goals.
Jack Canfield’s article on how to strengthen your intuition gives you step-by-step guidelines to develop your intuition and use its power deliberately.
16. Have accountability
This is by far the most important investment you will make. You will get more motivation to work on your goals when you have an accountability structure in place.
Even if you don’t take action on any of the strategies outlined above, make sure you have someone who holds you accountable to your goals. Meet or talk to this person weekly or fortnightly.
You can also join a class, join a group or mastermind, work with a personal trainer, hire a coach, or work with a mentor.
I’ve had clients who have sat on the fence over a goal 3 months into their coaching program, they make more progress than they have for years. I’ve also had the same kind of results when I worked with a coach or participated in a mastermind group.
One more thing
Setting goals is easier than working on them. The initial motivation you get when starting on a goal wanes off. You need to find ways to stay motivated each day.
Of the 16 strategies mentioned in this article, the following will give you a 75% chance of achieving your goals when used together:
- writing down your goals,
- having regular accountability,
- and publicly committing to achieving your goals (this is taken care of when you’re accountable to someone or a group).
(Ref: Dr. Gail Mattews’ study at Dominican University).
Try this combination and increase your ability to achieve your goals.
Over to you now…
This list is by no means exhaustive. What other motivation strategies have worked for you?
Let me know in the Comments below.
(Images courtesy of Free Digital Photos)
Earl Nightingale was brought up in a poor family and there was no way for him to become rich (or so people thought). He also grew up believing that rich people weren’t happy.
This belief worked until he was seven years old when he observed rich people having a great time. Until that time, it had never occurred to him that grownups could be wrong.
Observing rich people having fun shifted his thinking. In the process, he realized that another family belief – that one day his ship would sail in and bring them a better life – was not physically possible.
That was his AHA moment! And so he made a lifelong quest to find out what makes people succeed. He implemented what he learnt and changed his thoughts and actions to suit what he wanted to achieve.
By taking action on his dreams, Earl become a very successful motivational speaker, bestselling author, and entrepreneur. He won awards from the Napoleon Hill Foundation and the International Speakers Hall of Fame among others.
His audio The Strangest Secret became the first non-music audio to sell a million LPs (that was before CDs and MP3s).
Earl later teamed up with Lloyd Conant and formed Nightingale-Conant Corporation, the world’s greatest collection of personal development materials.
The foundation of Earl’s work is two-found: you become what you think about and taking action on your goals and dreams.
Are you taking action on your dreams?
Many people today wait for their ‘ships’ to sail in. They have desires and maybe even goals, but never work on them.
One thing I’ve discovered in my personal life and when working with clients, is that it’s not easy to take consistent action on the things you want.
You may be very motivated and even have a clear action plan, but life always seems to get in the way of what we want.
How then do you stay motivated and keep moving forward?
1. Before you start…
The first thing you need to do is make sure that you set the stage right. So before you start, take time to write all the things you want to achieve within a certain period (e.g. a year).
Next, prioritize your list with #1 being what you want the most. This is also something that will have the biggest positive impact on your life when you achieve it.
Finally, take the #1 desire and make it into a SMART goal.
2. Break your goal into small steps
Having a SMART goal is not the end. In fact, the goal may seem so huge that you give up on it even before you start.
The next step is to break this goal down into actionable steps. Think through and write down all the steps you need to complete to achieve this goal.
Again, prioritize these steps in terms of sequence and time.
3. Commit to taking action daily
The first thing to do here is to create space in your calendar for working on your goals. Ideally, you should work on your #1 goal every day – for at least an hour a day if possible.
So pull out your calendar and plug-in your top 3 action steps as identified previously. Make these into appointments and commit to keeping these commitments daily.
When you schedule your goals as appointments, it’s easy to say No to other commitments by saying, “I’m sorry, I have an appointment at that time.” You don’t have to tell the person what this appointment is…you simply let them know that the time is taken.
4. Grow and learn
In the process of working on your goals, you will identify areas where you need to improve. Find ways of becoming better by:
- taking classes,
- reading books,
- getting e-courses,
- attending seminars and workshops,
- working with a mentor,
- participating in online or offline masterminds, or
- working with a coach.
The internet has opened up the world and provided free and low-cost learning and growth opportunities. Take advantage of them and become a master goal-achiever.
5. Review constantly
When a ship sets off, it has a specific destination. When it’s sailing, it goes off-course many times. However, the captain is always aware of this and uses navigational instruments to keep the ship moving towards its destination.
You need to do something similar with your goals.
Review your progress each day, week, month, quarter and year so that you know whether you are on-course or off-course. When your quarterly or half-yearly reviews show that you need to shift your direction, take time to evaluate that information and make the necessary changes.
My mid-year review this year helped me get crystal clear focus on what is working for my business. By dropping what was not working, I’ve saved time and reduced the amount of work I’m doing.
Create a system for reviewing your goals so that you don’t get off track or lose motivation. Use your reviews to guide your ship safely to its destination.
Over to you now…
Are you taking action on your goals or waiting for your ship to sail in?
Share your experience in the Comments below and let me know what’s working or not working for you
(Image credit: Caroline Gikonyo)
I believe in setting big and audacious goals. I do that, teach people how to do it, and write a lot about it. In the past, my goal setting was based on a 12-month system.
This year, I tried out a new 90 day goal setting process and it’s worked out perfectly.
Why 90 Days?
While I’m able to work on my goals diligently for the year, I’ve come to discover that most achievements come from actions taken in the last quarter of the year.
This made me explore what other personal development experts say about 90 day goal setting and there was a lot of information supporting it (to my surprise).
90 days is good enough time for you to create momentum while maintaining focus. This means that you won’t be tempted to procrastinate on your goals. It’s also easier to break your main goals for the year into 90 day chunks that you work on each quarter.
The best thing about using the 90 day goal setting system is that it gives you clarity about what you need to do and when.
For example, I had set a goal of completing a coach training program this year but hadn’t taken any action by the end of January. By breaking down the goal into 90 day chunks, I realized that I had to sign up for the training by March and not May as I had earlier thought.
This in turn pushed me to get one new client by February so that the extra income would pay for the training. I try as much as possible not to add new expenses without first getting a way of paying for them.
I signed up for the training program in March and completed it in August. Had I waited for May, chances are high that I wouldn’t have taken it up at all.
How the 90 day goal setting system works
Step 1: Select your goals
This process works best when you focus on 1-3 yearly goals at a time.
Looking at your goals for the year, identify the top 3 goals that will have the biggest impact on your life, career, or business when you achieve them.
If you’re doing this in the last quarter of the year, then focus on your top yearly goal only.
Step 2: Identify your 90 day goals
Break down each of your yearly goals into all the steps that you need to complete in order to achieve the goal.
Prioritize the steps and pick the top 3 that will have the biggest impact on your goals within the next 90 days. These steps become your 90 day goals.
Always ensure that your goals fit the SMART criteria, and 90 day goals are no exception. SMART is an acronym for:
- Specific: Every goal should be clear and well-defined.
- Measurable: You should be able to evaluate your success at the end of the 90 days.
- Achievable: The goals will stretch you a bit, but still be possible to achieve.
- Realistic: Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting goals that are way beyond your realm of achievement.
- Time-bound: All goals should have a deadline. In this case, the time limit is 90 days – give each of your goals a specific deadline.
If you’re new to goal setting, have a look at this article I wrote about making your goals SMART.
Step 3: Take action
The first action is to plug your goals into your schedule. Make these goals a priority each day so that they stay at the top of your mind.
Ideally, you should work on your core goals within the first hour of the day. If this is not possible, then make sure that you do something related to these goals each day.
I normally have my clients create appointments in their calendar for their top goals and work everything else around these appointments.
When you do this, you’re able to say ‘No’ to other things because you ‘…have an appointment scheduled at that time…’ No one needs to know what your appointment is, but you know how critical it is for you to have it.
Step 4: Review constantly
Each evening, review what you have done that day to move towards your goals.
After the review, ask yourself, “What needs to be done next?” Identify one thing you can do the next day and schedule it in your calendar.
Repeat this review at the end of the week and plan for the next week.
Do the same at the end of each month.
Finally, at the end of 90 days, evaluate what you’ve achieved by then. Chances are high that you’ll have achieved the 90 day goals or you’ll have made good progress towards their achievement.
Step 5: Rinse and repeat
At the end of this period, measure your progress in relation to your yearly goal(s) and repeat the 90 day goal setting and achievement process:
- Identify the top 3 steps you need to take within the next 90 days.
- Make these your SMART 90 day goals.
- Schedule your goals as daily appointments in your calendar.
- Evaluate your progress daily, weekly and monthly.
- Complete the process and set new 90 day goals.
- Rinse and repeat.
In this way, you’ll get used to working on your goals each day, week, and month.
You’ll also be able to make changes in your goals in time instead of working on something for a whole year and then realizing that it wasn’t important or that you could have done it differently.
Your next step
Achieving your goals gets easier when you’re focused and have a step-by-step action plan.
When you use this 90-day goal setting and achievement system, you will make massive progress on your goals, reduce chances of procrastination, and keep yourself motivated all through.
It can be quite confusing to do all this on your own, which is why I’ve created a low-cost teleclass to help you figure it all out.
Sign Up for the next class through this link:
Goal Setting for Peak Performance
…and move your life, career or business to the next level.
(Image credit: Stuart Miles at Free Digital Photos)
“The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we hit it.”
How easy is it for you to achieve all the goals you’ve set?
If you’re like many people, achieving goals is not easy and by the end of the year, you have a list of goals not achieved or New Year resolutions that are still pending.
One or more of the following goal setting mistakes are to blame if you haven’t been able to set and achieve goals easily.
7 Common Goal Setting Mistakes
#1: Setting unclear and vague goals
The first rule of goal setting is to make your goals SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound). This will help you have a clear idea of the end-result you’re seeking.
For example, “Lose weight this year” is not a clear goal, but “I will slim down to 60kg by 31st December 2016” is a SMARTer goal.
Goals that are not SMART are simply dreams; and dreams that are SMART are goals.
#2: Having unrealistic expectations
Sometimes we set goals that are too ambitious for our current situation. We aim too high, or set too many goals at once. While a goal should stretch you out of your comfort zone, it should not push you right off the cliff.
Going back to the weight loss example above, wanting to shed 50kg in one year may be difficult unless you’ve signed up for a program like Slimpossible where your weight loss will be closely monitored and controlled by experts.
A more realistic goal would be “I will slim down by 24kg by 31st December 2016” because shedding off 2kg a month is possible, even on your own.
Also remember to work on one main goal at a time until you become an expert goal achiever, after which you can start working on multiple goals at the same time.
#3: Not writing your goals down
If you’ve thought out your goal and even made it SMART, but it’s all in your brain, then your chances of achieving it are almost nil.
Follow the advice of Brian Tracy, a leading goal setting expert, and always think on paper. Take time to prioritize your goals and then put them in writing.
#4: Being too rigid
While it’s OK to have SMART goals, you need to be flexible when working on them. When you work on your goals rigidly, you miss out on opportunities that come your way – opportunities you hadn’t thought of.
For example, one of my clients set a goal to open a workshop for her interior design business. In the course of the year, she found someone making one of the core products she was going to produce in the workshop.
This supplier does a great job so my client opted to use the supplier instead of opening a workshop. It saved her money, time and the headache of managing staff.
#5: Lack of action
You’ve set your goal, created a plan to achieve it, and then done nothing about it. Without action, nothing will happen.
And sometimes, we get too focused on creating the perfect plan that we end up with ‘analysis paralysis’ which leads to lack of action.
As the saying goes, a half-baked plan that’s implemented has a bigger impact than a well-baked plan that’s not implemented. Take action on your goals and don’t wait for the perfect time.
#6: Focusing on the wrong things
A lot of people spend their time working on goals that either belong to someone else, or will not make a difference in their lives in the long-term.
Women are especially good at working on things that their husbands or families think would be great for them.
A good question to ask yourself before you set your goals is, “What would make the most positive difference in my life if I were to achieve it within the next 12 months?”
Ask yourself this question over and over again until you have a list of 10-20 items. Prioritize the list, make goal #1 your main focus for the next year, and start working on it now instead of waiting for January 1st.
#7: Not keeping track of your goals
Setting your goals doesn’t mean that you will achieve them fast. It takes time and the larger the goal, the more time it will take to achieve.
Just as organisations conduct yearly employee performance reviews, you too should take time to review your goals regularly.
Do the review yearly for mid and long-term goals (2-5 year goals) and monthly for your yearly goals. Take time at the middle of each year to conduct a mid-year review. This review can produce surprising results as mine did.
To make the reviews easier, break your main goal into monthly and weekly goals. Then use the weekly goals to create your daily tasks so that you’re able to keep track and make changes fast if need be.
How can you get unstuck and make progress on your goals?
Goal achievement experts recommend that you set your goals and work on them diligently from the beginning of the year. Unfortunately this is not possible for most people who lose momentum as the year progresses…and they give up on their goals.
A great way of maintaining focus on your goals is to work on them in 90-day chunks. This means that you set your main goal for the year and then break it down into quarterly sub-goals.
When you use this 90-day process, you will make massive progress on your goal, reduce chances of procrastination, and keep yourself motivated all through.
It can be quite confusing to do all this on your own, which is why I’ve created a low-cost teleclass to help you figure it all out.
To sign up for the next class, click this link:
Goal Setting for Peak Performance
It’s time for you to move to the next level.
(Image credit: zirconicusso via www.freedigitalphotos.net)
This article was first published on another blog.