If not now, then when?
Do you have dreams and goals that you want to achieve but have been putting them off?
Why do we procrastinate doing the things that we desire? There are a multitude of reasons. See if any of these reasons apply to you.
· You fear failing
· Lack of confidence
· You lack belief that they are attainable
· Deep down you feel that you don't deserve it
· You feel that now is just not the right time to try
· You lack a passionate desire
· You don't have a support system to help you achieve it
· Your life is out of balance
· You're just too disorganized
· You're not clear about what it is you want
Food for Thought-Do it NOW!
I've written extensively about goal achievement and why some people seem to have an easier time achieving their goals while others struggle. The list above is a great place to start. If two or three items on the list apply to you, it's time to do some introspection.
Over the years I have been very fortunate to work with many wonderful clients in my individual, group and management team coaching practice. They have each taken the risk to reach out to achieve more. And they made great progress. Sometimes it came in flash, other times it took a little longer.
Why were they able to achieve at higher levels? What traits did they have in common? If I could identify the experiences of my clients that made significant differences in their personal lives, businesses, and ultimate success, it would include be the following 6 key factors.
What woke you up this morning? Was it an alarm clock or an inspiring and compelling vision of the future you are creating for yourself and/or your organization? Wishing for success won’t bring it about. Working harder at strategies that aren’t working just leads to frustration.
Knowing what you want your life and career to be about is perhaps the most significant factor in the fulfillment of your dreams and achieving the success that you have envisioned for yourself. You would be surprised how many people I talk to that have their lives governed by too many should do’s and ought to do's. Some have long forgotten why they are on the path they are on. Being clear about your life’s purpose also means not putting up with toleration’s, lack of goals, and not getting your needs met.
Write down what it is you want to accomplish, don’t just think about it. The very act of writing it down will help you to clarify what you want. Be able to articulate what you want to accomplish clearly. Vividly imagine what it feels like to have already achieved it. Share your vision with others and celebrate the milestones that you have achieved along the way. By celebrating those "smaller" achievements along the way, you get positive reinforcement that you are on the right track and can achieve more. As you come close to accomplishing each goal, write out new ones to help pull you forward towards the future you desire.
2. Goal Clarity
Once you know what you want your, it’s time to develop a strategy and a plan to achieve it. What is required next is to write down what your short and long-term goals need to be to accomplish your purpose. Be very, very, clear on what your goals are. Don’t include what others have suggested for you. Goals are very personal. They can be big and small. They can and should be comprised of both business and personal goals. Whatever you decide your goals should be, go after them with passion and a burning desire to achieve them. Anything less will yield unsatisfying results. Be very specific and precise in how you describe your goals, wishes, and desires. Include measurable and objective benchmarks to gauge your progress and timeframes to shoot for to achieve each one. From time to time take stock in your progress. Sometimes progress can only be measured by looking backwards to see how far we have come. Make course corrections whenever necessary. Many smaller course corrections along the way are much preferred over one or two big changes that may come too late to make a difference. No one expects perfection without practice, fine tuning, patience, and perseverance.
3. Focus & Consistent Commitment to Action
Now that you have defined your mission, purpose, and goals, it is time to focus on achieving them. Don’t be led astray with distractions. Checking email incessantly, solving every problem ourselves, and multi-tasking at the expense of accuracy, among others; drains our energy and causes us to lose our focus and sometimes even our direction. Create and review your key focus areas each day and ask yourself, “What is the highest and best use of my time today to accomplish my goals or focus areas?” It’s easy to get caught up with checking off a multitude of items from our "to do" lists, however, unless those items directly relate to our primary goals (which should support your larger purpose); our progress towards our primary goals will slow down to a crawl. Here’s the sequence of events: State goal, create an action plan, execute the plan, review results, make course adjustments, revise the plan, execute the plan, etc.
Consistent commitment to taking the required actions to achieve your goals is a crucial element in the achievement of these goals and in your ultimate success. Create systems to track the actions you must take each day and make the necessary course corrections to ensure your success. Busy work might make you feel good, but only by taking the appropriate actions each day will you move closer to reaching your goals and dreams.
4. Belief and Positive Outlook
Believe in yourself and in your ability to achieve your dreams and to overcome obstacles and adversities that stand in your way. How can you build belief in yourself?
You must possess a deep belief that you can achieve what you want to achieve and that you are worthy of it. Belief in yourself will help you to bounce back during the hard times and will help propel you forward during the good times. Have the unwavering belief in yourself that you have the courage to persevere in your quest to achieve.
Don’t be fooled by thinking just because something is taking longer than you think it should, that you can’t achieve it. Belief in your goals and your ability to achieve them is very powerful. Belief helps you to overcome all obstacles in your path to success. We are surrounded by an invisible belief boundary. We can achieve right up to the edge of that boundary with ease and confidence. But if we set a goal beyond that imaginary boundary, we sometimes freeze or begin to question our ability to go beyond. You are not alone if you feel this emotion. Everyone reaches their own belief boundary.
To go beyond that boundary, take one step at a time. Break large goals into small bit-sized action steps. Secure the help and support of others. Celebrate your victories. Develop the capacity to relive your successes. Keep a Success Journal and be proud of your accomplishments whether they are big or small. Don’t be afraid to give yourself credit for what you have already achieved and accomplished in your personal and business life.
Don’t dismiss the small accomplishments along the way. They are all important and their accomplishment and your acknowledgment of them will expand your belief boundary of what you can and will be able to accomplish today and in the future.
We become the sum total of our thoughts and we attract into our lives the manifestations of those thoughts. If you hold a positive outlook about your future, your goals, and your circumstances, you will attract more positive results into your life. What “tapes” do you have playing inside your head? Are they positive ones or negative ones? Every now and then, stop and listen in. You may be surprised as to what you hear.
5. Support Systems
One of the best ways to accelerate your forward progress in achieving your goals is to be around others who you respect and who are performing and achieving at the level that you are aspiring to achieve. Surround yourself with nutritious people. Form a master-mind group. Get a coach. Create an environment around you that fosters a positive outlook and hold near to you the people who believe in you and your vision for the future. Ask for help from others who have achieved what you desire to achieve. Do inspirational reading and apply success concepts and principles from others. Have an attitude of gratitude for those who have supported you in the past or who are supporting and believing in you today.
6. Take Action
Here is the good news, you have it in your power to change.
Dr. Napoleon Hill is quoted as saying, “Nothing ever just happens. You have to make things happen, including individual success. Success is the direct result of definite action, carefully planned and persistently carried out by the person who has conditioned his mind for success and believes he will attain it.”
We program ourselves for success of failure by our internal and repeated self-talk. Earl Nightingale, the founder of the audio self-help genre said that, “We become what we think about most of the time.” Unfortunately, we are sometimes unaware of just how many negative and self-defeating thoughts we have floating around in our head.
Any form of negativity that you engage in will have a detrimental impact on your results and success. Perhaps you question your abilities or belief about what is possible for you to achieve. Perhaps you had a bad experience in the past with something you tried to achieve and now blindly just assume that any similar attempt will always turn out that same way now and in the future. This type of negative programming may not be as obvious to detect as you may think. Often, it is very subtle, yet pervasive. Oddly enough, we seem very well equipped to notice it most often in others.
Will just changing your thoughts be enough to get the results you desire? No! But it’s a great start. You must take positive action. According to Dr. Hill the subconscious mind does not take orders from the conscious mind. It acts and responds only to your emotions. The stronger the emotion the stronger the impact it has on you. The subconscious mind will carry out the instructions of negative emotions just as quickly as it will respond to positive emotions.
To Sum Up
Don't put it off any longer. Now is the time to make it happen.
- Begin by clearly and vividly imagining the results you desire. To do this you must be very precise and very clear about what you want to have happen or achieve.
- Next, create very specific and measurable action steps to achieve it. Set target dates for the completion of each step. Begin to implement each step. Review your progress often, adjust where necessary, but always keep your end goal firmly planted and vividly imagined in your mind.
- Decide to act. The worst thing you can do is to do nothing. By acting, you keep moving toward the accomplishment of your goals. It’s much better to make many small course corrections or adjustments to your game plan than to keep going down a path of action that is not working for you.
- To help keep you on track, find someone you can periodically talk to who will act as your sounding board and keep you accountable to implementing the action plan you created to reach your goal(s).
The formula is simple, yet powerful; life purpose, goal clarity, focus, belief, and consistent commitment to action. Following this formula will guarantee your current and future success and will create the life and business you both desire and will proud to claim as your own.
Good luck on your journey to success.