Setting goals is easy however achieving them is the challenging part. The unfortunate truth is that most people give up too soon which makes the attainment of their goals an impossibility. The reasons for this are many. Sometimes it’s simply taking the first step that is the hardest part while other times it is the fear of failure that holds people back. Another reason people may give up on their dreams is that they don’t see any measurable or perceptible progress towards their goals. Most people, especially those in modern times, operate with a short term mental focus seeking to instantly gratify anything that they desire. This can be very challenging since our world has programmed you to enjoy speed and convenience while also being saturated with information and media begging for your attention. I previously wrote on this topic in an article called the Five Perils of Technology in Modern Times.
Learning to delay gratification and switching your focus to long-term thinking is one of the best ways to conquer your goals. Did you know that there is actually a much easier way to win and achieve your goals then just simply sacrificing everything in your life to get there? Yes, in fact there is a way to succeed and it uses our modern conditioning to promote rather than detract from your success. To do this you must learn how to give yourself incentives or “small rewards” and to celebrate small victories along your journey towards success.
Set Milestones to See Progress
Setting observable milestones will enable you to see a world of possibility instead of an impossible dream. For example, most people who go on road trips rarely drive the entire journey without making any stops. Instead, people typically make frequent stops on the way to their destination both to refuel their bodies and their vehicles. Moreover, some of the best road trips I’ve ever been on have included stopping every few hours to eat a good meal and to enjoy the roadside attractions and nearby points of interest. Likewise, by making little stops along the way you can enable the journey to your destination to be less taxing on the mind and body while also creating a more enjoyable experience for all. According to a recent Forbes article, continual progress towards your goals is likely one of the most important things to experience if you want to truly succeed in life.
In the same fashion, setting milestones for your goal is a great way to make the journey more palatable while also satisfying your inherent desire for instant gratification. Measuring progress and celebrating the small things will do wonders for anyone who truly desires to achieve their goals. This tactic may just give you the reward you need to keep going when things get tough.
If your goal is weight loss then you can set weekly or monthly weight loss targets as well as an end goal of the weight that you want to be. Then when the scale says you’ve lost two pounds last week you can embrace the miniature success as a parallel for the overall success that you want to achieve. Some people also allow themselves a weekly “cheat day” to eat anything they want as a small reward or incentive to keep them going for another week. If your goal is to save money for a new car then you can first create a plan to start saving, even if it’s only a few dollars a week. When you’ve reached milestones such as $500, $1,000, or $2,000 you can celebrate the progress that you’ve made and see that small steps can create big wins.
More Tips for Achieving Goals
One thing that I use to help me accomplish goals is to write them down in a place that I will see them frequently. Sometimes I’ll even read and rewrite them again on occasion. This technique serves to place mental energy on the goal which focuses the mind on the specific objective you want to achieve. This forces you to think about what you really want which helps you to make progress.
By using this technique you can develop a growing drive to succeed. This will establish consistency and form new habits that will bring you closer to winning every day. If something takes you away from your goal then don’t do it; all of your efforts and actions should be assessed against your personal vision to determine if they will help you or hurt you. Remember, interest in a bank account compounds and increases over time; similarly goal achievement will often require steady progress over time as well.
Once the goal is in the forefront of your mind and you’ve developed a progressive plan to win, you will begin to develop a level of self-discipline that will multiply your progress. Soon, you will have such a relentless focus on achievement that you will become unstoppable. Developing the desire to win and stopping at nothing to do so will make any goal possible.
Learn to Say “No” to Quitting
No matter how tough things become or how impossible something may seem, you must work to develop a strong character. You character must become capable of totally enduring progress from today until you finally achieve your goals. Tell yourself daily affirmations and explain to yourself that what seems impossible is indeed possible. Do not allow yourself to give in to the temptation to quit or give up. Persistence is the key here; world famous inventor Thomas Edison is well known for inventing the incandescent light bulb. However, did you know that it took him more than 1,000 tries before he was finally able to make a working light bulb? Some sources even report that he made more than 10,000 attempts to perfect his invention! Edison believed in himself and eventually his persistent attitude led him to success. If Edison can do it then you can do it too! Start believing in yourself and never give up on your dreams.
You may have heard the question “How do you eat an elephant?” If so, then you have probably also heard the answer: “One bite at a time.” By taking a goal that you want to achieve and breaking it down into bite-size pieces you can effectively deconstruct impossible seeming goals making them achievable. Taking one bite of just about anything is not so difficult is it? No it’s not, especially when that something is as tasty as a desirable goal.
Another way to think about it is that no matter if you want to walk one mile or one-hundred miles they both require the same thing. To get to your destination you must walk one step at a time, putting one foot in front of the other, until the end is reached. Similarly, progress towards your goals can be made one milestone at a time. Stop thinking about how insurmountable your dreams are and instead start thinking about the small steps that you can do today to make progress towards greatness.