We can all relate to having a goal, one we're passionate, motivated and driven to achieve. What a feeling it is…
But then life comes along, full of personal and professional obligations and distractions. Add to this the never ending ‘To Do’ lists we create for ourselves, and suddenly the path to achieving our most desired goal is longer and harder than expected. Feeling like you are unable to make any real inroads can be truly devastating. It’s what makes so many of us find an excuse to “start again on Monday” or just throw in the towel completely.
So how do we get past these excuses and overcome the bad habits that rule our lives?
One challenge I set clients is to break the mold by realising small, repeated doses of success. We have the ability to allow ourselves constant victories that keep the momentum rolling and the motivation high. This can come through a weekly achievement that encourages us and advances our journey, dissolving some of the fog obscuring our greater goal far out in the distance. To put it as simply as possible, we identify a tangible outcome that we allow ourselves seven days to complete, and then allocate a reward for achieving it..
When facing the battle of achieving goals while juggling a busy life, this change of approach is something almost everyone can benefit from. Why not give it a try yourself?
- Identify your biggest goal over the next three months and break it down into a number of smaller steps, anywhere from 6-12 is a solid number.
- Focus on step number one along the path you have now outlined.
- Choose one activity that you feel is achievable within in the next seven days that will lead to taking that first step. It can be work based or personal, and as simple or complex as you like.
- Set a time frame. If it requires a single focused session to get it done then dedicate a block of time in your calendar, or several smaller blocks if it calls for a little extra elbow grease.
- Allocate your reward. Don’t skip this step. A little reward goes a long way so be disciplined in your choice to ensure it will be appreciated.
Now just go back to normality - continue with your regular programming. Don’t make everything you do in a week about this activity, and don’t overthink the path to the greater goal you identified at the beginning.
From here we just rinse and repeat, claiming the rewards and then setting the next activity based on the next step along the path.
Remember, this series of small victories is always aimed at getting us to our greater goal. The bonus is that along the way we are learning, growing and realising the value in each activity we complete.
Have fun with this challenge. Enjoy the rewards at the end of each week, and the satisfaction of reaching that goal you set that once seemed so far off!