January: the month where millions of people are hitting the sales and when millions of people decide they're going to change, achieve something, improve themselves or become better at whatever it may be.
February: the sales have finished, the prices are hiked back up and it's the month where only 8% of these people looking to better themselves continue with their goals. By this time next year only 5% will have achieved them!
Many jokes fly around in January, the ‘New year, new me’ gags. Despite these gags, it's a brilliant time of year where many are full to the brim of confidence, enthusiasm and inspiration (although, change can happen at anytime in your life, it is not exclusive to the beginning of a new year, new month or new week).
Regardless, at this time of the year people have an abundance of motivation, it is a great place to start, keeping the motivation is the issue.
Below are nine ways that are going to help you become part of that 5%, to persevere and smash your goals. There is absolutely no point in getting motivated and inspired for it to dwindle off so quickly, it's such a familiar pattern, yet people keep making the same mistakes year after year.
Without desire, achieving your goal just isn't going to happen, simple as that, this is your rocket fuel.
To have desire you need to dig deep to find the reason that you want to achieve your goal. Just saying for example ‘I want to lose weight’, ‘I want to get a promotion’, ‘I want more money’, 'I want my business to be successful' isn’t enough. Dig deep and find the burning desire that will help you bounce out of bed in the morning, ready to take on the world no matter what it throws at you. What will achieving your goal do for you? How will it change your life? Could it help change the lives of others around you?
2. Unreasonably Ambitious
A goal needs to make you tingle with excitement. When setting your goal, put it out there, make it something that is just on the cusp of unreasonable, yet you know is possible. A goal that is going to take some serious work on your part. Something that you know achieving will blow your mind and change your world forever! Feel that buzz already?! Exactly, this is what you need, that is the feeling of desire!
3. Break it down
This is one of the main reasons that people fall off from their goals. They may set this lovely, juicy goal and yet it feels like it's a million miles away. Therefore, as you get stuck in to achieving your goal and reach the end of the first month, you can feel like you've hardly made a dent in it. In reality, making that step is important and it's a step closer than a month ago. As long as you keep it moving you will get there. Step by step. Patience.
Give your goal a timeline and work backwards. When are you aiming to achieve your goal by? One month, three months, six months, a year etc before that time what will you need to have achieved to know you are on the correct path to your unreasonable goal?
Be specific whilst breaking your goal down. As you progress along your timeline, checking off these short-term/mid-term goals will aid your motivation and build your momentum to keep going. Write these down and put it somewhere that you can see it, so that you know where you are going.
Improvement in performance happens in jumps from one to the next, by knowing what your next jump is will help you get there quicker.
How? How are you going to achieve your goal? What needs to be done? Now you're really starting to get into the nitty gritty of it. You’ve broken down your unreasonable goal into short-term/mid-term goals and how are you now going to achieve them?
Working this out and setting your plan is vital. Without a plan you are just hoping and dreaming that you will achieve your goal. Hopes and dreams are great but they're not enough. Plan for success, know what needs to be done to achieve it and take action. Action beats dreams everyday.
Schedule your month, weeks and days, each month in advance.
5. Do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got.
What will happen if you don't commit and you don't achieve your goal? This is just as important as knowing how your life will change if you do. If you do not commit and give it your best shot, you will end up exactly where you already are or even worse. It is good to remind yourself of this every once in a while as this will also act as inspiration to keep going.
Now, make the decision that you're going to commit with every fibre of your being to achieve your dream and focus on your prize.
6. Distractions/Time management
In this day and age where everything is available to us at the touch of a button or a swipe of a screen, stopping distractions and good time management can be tricky. Many of us set out with our best intentions to focus on our schedule, only to get sidetracked by social media, emails, a phone call etc. Set times for these, put your phone on mute and put it away, so that once you are ready to focus on what is at hand you can give it 100% of your focus.
Another is getting distracted by others, doing a favour for someone, taking a call from a friend (call them back at a convenient time for you). Spending your day sorting out someones issues; all to the detriment to your own goal. You have to learn to say no. To say yes to these people you have to say no to yourself. It isn't selfish focusing on you, as much as you are taking accountability for your own world and actions, help others to take accountability for theirs. You can still help others, just make sure it is on your terms where possible and not ruining your own performance.
7. Tell Your World
Let people close to you know your goals. This way they can help you when you may be off track and can also help to keep distractions from you. They become your team members, your cheerleaders. They may even share the same goal as you, which is great. It is nice to have someone on the same path as you, to share your struggles with and cheer each other on.
Making them aware of your goal will help you not have to explain yourself when you are off doing your thing and it wont come as a surprise to them. It also adds a little bit of healthy pressure on you to achieve your goal, now that people are watching you.
Hurdles, obstacles, times of difficulty are inevitable on your path. Be ready for them. A setback does not mean you can’t/won't achieve your goal, you may have wavered from your path, it may take longer than you initially thought but it is only a setback, a blip. You must have what I call 'Bouncebackability'. Be resilient. Except it for what it is, get back on your path and remember where you're headed. Eyes on the prize!
The best way to achieve your goal is to enjoy it. Whatever it is that will make it fun for you then do it, as long as its aiding your progress, then its all good.
When we enjoy things, it is our natural human instinct to want to do more of it. Yes, there will be times of difficulty, enjoy those too as when you smash through them the sense of achievement will be worth it.
Nathan Douglas - Peak Performance Coach, Double Olympian and International Medallist.
Feel good with sharing the love with others and helping them to achieve their dreams.