How often do you find yourself writing down a goal only to feel like you aren’t making progress, or worse see if fade away as life continues on its merry way. Personally I used to struggle with this and created routines that have helped me go from forgetting my goals, to seeing them achieved. How we set ourselves up, I have discovered, is the difference in doodling goals and achieving them.
So MANY goals …
I have goals on goals. Projects spawn new ideas and thus new projects. My mind races at night with visions and replays of me testing and trying out these ideas. It makes for some rough sleep I’ll give you that, but it also has revealed many alternative paths forward.
These I write down as vigorously as possible onto notepads and within drawings. I have hundreds of emails to myself with thoughts, ideas, research, pictures, and doodles. Not the best way of storing but it has proven a handy way of capturing those in the moment ideas.
Goals though are just goals … a dream a vision of what you want to achieve. I learned, and maybe you have too, that nothing happens good in life with just writing these goals down. We need to act, and here is where I learned some habits.
First goals first
Frequently I would write down goals, add details to them, and even sketch out how it would all happen. I’d write financial targets if that mattered. I would envision the conclusion of the goal and THEN what I would do on top of that result. I fell into this trap of not really seeing the first goal and the work involved, but instead on the goals that would be possible as a result of achieving that first goal.
Then I’d see the NEXT goal too… you see a pattern. How often do we project ourselves 100s if not 1,000s of hours into a future possibility?
This is where motivation dies.
You see this in Fitness, Influencer, Start-up, and Romance goals.
- Fitness — You want to move without pain and run a marathon, but your first goal was to run .5 mile two mornings a week.
- Influencer — you want to enjoy the spoils of success and massive audiences, but you won’t upload that first video (of 1,000s required to achieve that goal)
- Romance — you want to have a soulmate, but make no time for anyone and don’t do anything socially.
See the vision, but make sure the first goal is the first goal. Make a win at that step and then build.
Habit 1: First goals are first — break down work steps and goals to achieve within Day 1, Day 7, and then aim for stepping stones every fourteen days.
Habits achieve your goals
Once I began to see that I was really projecting myself too far into the future, I began to see success. Yet, I found it inconsistent. Some goals were very manageable and I made progress on them. Unfortunately I kept seeing some goals just drift away. I would revisit old journals and see the same damn thing written, over and over again. I clearly had / have the passion around it, yet I never got off first base. Then I got a bit clearer with this second activity.
Habit 2: Accountability Partner — find a friend or make others depend on your result.
Having someone depend on you or support you has been HUGE for me. It is the reason I have made it through tough times and accomplished big goals. Here are some ways to set yourself up:
- Make a declaration online broadly or to a small group of friends who respect your goal — then share progress REGULARLY
- Find someone on the same path — and then send them encouraging words. You will literally be speaking to yourself while encouraging to them.
- Set a public event where your goal must be achieved to enjoy it (think a Spartan race .. or a hike up Kilimanjaro, or standing on stage singing your songs)
We make things too damn complex. Sometimes the path to our goals is literally reducing the steps involved.
Habit 3: Reduce work steps to the goal
Literally evaluate what it takes to get to your goal. Then break down what is “hard” here. I did this for a few of my instruction videos, and discovered that in some cases simply going live was a massive shortcut for me. It removed the need for post recording production (which takes FOREVER) and allowed me to focus on just delivering value and ideas to my audience.
I so struggled to wake up at 5am for morning runs. Then discovered when I was fasting, I didn’t have to wake up early to run — I just wake at the same time but now run instead of make breakfast.
Keep your grand goals close to your heart
As much as we want to have the support of others, when pursuing our goals and dreams it is a solo adventure. The hard work you do is your own work. So, put it in.
When we share a goal — hey I am going to run a X, our friends and family congratulate us on it. Yet it hasn’t happened. Worse, our bodies release endorphins like we succeeded… except we haven’t even done the work!
So gather support but build to goal and you’ll elongate their support throughout the entire journey. A far sweeter journey.
I wish you great success on your journey. Remember no goal is to small or too big. The only differentiator is the patience you are willing to put toward it.
Write your goals down .. and use these habits to have success and let me know how I can help you.
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I am a father, study of human behavior, strategist, cybersecurity executive, and a coach and mentor on a journey to give more than I receive everyday. I lead teams globally, build products, and daily an executive for a leading company where I serve the largest companies in the world using the largest cloud deployments in the world impacting the financial services, healthcare, and fintech industries. I provide these publications and content through my media agency to deliver insights and advantages. Mindset, mental strength, mentorship, personal improvement, health, fitness, and humanist ideas are drawn from personal research and practice. Everything read and heard is my original works and my own perspective. All rights reserved for noted authors and sources. I produce research and strategy, as well as provide advisory services that include inquiries, briefings, consulting projects, and presentations on published findings as well as bespoke speaking engagements where I often keynote at conferences, seminars, and roundtables annually.