It’s a known fact that for all the well-intended goals people set at the beginning of the year only about 8% make it to the finish line and achieve their goal. An overwhelming 80% of those that start out strong are quickly terminated by mid-February. Well I, for one, don’t want that to happen to you. Not this year. Not ever.
People create New Year’s resolutions or goals in general because they want a better life for themselves. When we create goals in our brain, we hand them over to our subconscious mind, which plans and seeks out ways to accomplish the goal. The subconscious mind is a very powerful force, but it’s only as powerful as the thoughts we think and the habits we create. Sometimes, the very techniques we are currently using aren’t the ones we should be using for new goals. And maybe, for the past month, you’ve been using some techniques that are wearing you out or just aren’t working for you to help move you closer to your goal. Well, I don’t want you to give up. And your future self doesn’t want you to give up either.
So, I thought I would jot down a few techniques to help keep you in the game towards achieving your goal. Here are five great techniques that keep me achieving my goals each year:
1. Hire a coach – A coach or accountability partner is someone that can help ensure you believe in yourself and your goal. Many times self-limiting beliefs get in the way of people living into their full potential and reaching their goals. A coach can help you get rid of negative beliefs and replace them with positive ones. They will also ensure the goal is meaningful and will be a fulfilling achievement once completed. Every goal should align with a purpose in your life. If you’re not sure about your purpose or how to align goals with your purpose, a coach can be very helpful. They can also help you develop healthy habits to maintain a work-life balance while pursuing your goal. Very often, people get off balance, having the pursuit of the goal take priority over everything else in their life. Ultimately, this can lead to lost relationships and poor health. Instead, an accountability partner can help ensure balance is maintained throughout the achievement of the goal.
2. Eat that Elephant – I’m sure you’ve heard that saying, ‘How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.’ Well that saying applies to your goal as well. That elephant is your goal, and I’m sure it’s something you really want as part of your life. And in order for it to actually become part of your life you have to eat that elephant one bite at a time. This means that you’ve got to break the goal down into smaller goals or milestones. With smaller goals you won’t be overwhelmed by the big goal and you have something to look forward to in a shorter amount of time. When you achieve the smaller goals, be sure to take a time-out to celebrate the victory and then keep going.
3. Time-Block – If you’re having a hard time getting around to working on your goal then it’s time to implement time-blocking. Time-blocking is a high productivity tool used to keep a person focused, uninterrupted and on task for a certain amount of time. Determine how much time each day or each week you need to work towards your goal. Then plan out your day or week to have a block of time carved out just to work on the goal. It may not always work out perfect but at least you are being deliberate about making time to reach the goal that’s important to you – and that will build your intrinsic motivation to keep time-blocking it into your schedule.
4. Fail Forward – As mid-February is next week, some of you may already be close to getting off track, if it hasn’t already happened. That’s ok. The key is to not give up at the first sign of failure. Instead, take a time out and reassess why you got off track or why it’s not going as planned. Failure is not a bad thing as long as we get back up, learn why we failed, adjust accordingly, and keep moving forward. It’s called failing forward. Elon Musk says, “If you’re not failing, you’re not trying.” Don’t be afraid of failure. Use it to focus on what does work and move forward.
5. Be Gentle – I want to stress that achieving goals is a wonderful and powerful thing. It motivates you to strive for even higher achievements. But in the midst of this goal that you want to achieve, be sure to be gentle with yourself during the process. You have set out to reach this goal for a reason and you’re pursuing it with your mind, body, and soul. Find little moments within your day to sit quietly and listen to your inner voice. Ensure that you are talking to yourself in a positive manner; no negative self-talk allowed. Positive affirmations about who you are and where you want to be, by pursuing this goal, are ways to gently reassure yourself that you are headed in the right direction and will achieve the results you are looking for.
With these five techniques I’m confident you can achieve not only your New Year’s resolution or goals you might have, but any task or challenge that comes your way. You CAN be a part of the 8% that reaches their goals this year. Be sure to hire a coach, eat that elephant, time-block, fail forward, and be gentle on yourself. You’ll be glad you did.
If you have other techniques that work well for you, please fill free to add them in the comment section below. I’d love to hear what works for you.