How to make sure you will reach your goal
The second week of February is the time to abandon your New Year’s goals.
This is at least what the U.S. News & World Report suggests, pointing out that on average 80% of resolutions fail by mid-February.
And there I am in the first week of the infamous month, looking at my freshly materialized goal for this year. I managed to create my new online course much quicker than I had thought, and apparently—before my enthusiasm was supposed to wear off.
Do you also want to stay on track and be in the lucky 20% that somehow manages to stick to the new habits and achieves new goals?
Make it non-negotiable
Whether it’s a new year’s resolution or a goal for the next few months, it won’t come true if you don’t make it your top priority. When your goal doesn’t truly matter to you, it will be hard to invest your resources to achieve it. When your goal is non-negotiable, you’ll go an extra mile and lean over backward to work on it every single day.
For example, if you decide that your goal is to get fit, trade mindless scrolling through your phone for a 15-minute training every day or wake up earlier to exercise before you head to work.
But to have an energy for these little sacrifices you’ll need to…
Make sure you really want it
Your goal or resolution won’t suddenly materialize, if you don’t desire it with your whole heart. If you don’t constantly think and dream about the end result, that’s probably not the best goal to work on. When you don’t feel the taste of your future victory every time you work out, write another chapter of your book or draft your new marketing strategy, it will be harder to reach the finish line.
With a little bit of imagination and visualization you can spice up every mundane task to focus on the whole picture, instead of on the hard work that you need to put in to reach your destination.
But to be ready for that you’ll probably need to…
Get rid of the analysis-paralysis
What if you really want to achieve your goal, but are still waiting for the perfect moment? More time, more money, better weather, better health, more stability, less fear? Well, chances are you’ll never have the perfect conditions to start turning your dream into reality. So, why not start right now?
With a perfectionist mindset, you might easily procrastinate or get stuck in the analysis-paralysis mode. Sometimes all you need is to take the first step and then let the momentum take you to the right direction.
For example, if you want to start your freelance business, but lack clarity to what exactly you could do, start from listing your strengths and passions to see how to convert them into a source of income. If you have no idea how to fill your website with catchy content, write down a couple of points that have to be there anyway, such as your contact data or working hours. You can begin with what you have and what you know now and correct, modify and upgrade along the way.
But to make this approach successful, you’ll probably need to…
Tweak your workflow to speed up
You can’t expect different results if you keep doing the same thing over and over again. For Einstein such a behavior was insane. Still, many of us get stuck with methods that fail, we dream of a better life but repeat the steps and processes that brought us to the life today.
For example, it always took me forever to create my online courses. I wanted my content to be perfect. To avoid criticism, I spent hours on researching and preparing the script, and was convinced that grouping my workflow into similar process will help me work smoother. Of course, the opposite was true. When I first focused only on preparations, then only on recording my voice, then only on capturing the screen, and then only on editing, I worked for months and months, disappointed by slow progress and my fading enthusiasm. When the course was ready to launch, I was so exhausted with the long process that I lacked energy to promote my work. So I stopped creating courses altogether. Until this year.
My goal for 2021 was to release a new course on website localization, but I knew I need to change my approach and work in a more agile way. Instead of working on all lectures simultaneously by only recording, only editing etc. I focused on one lecture at a time, making sure it’s complete before I move on. In this way I progressed faster, because I could see the little results when the lectures were ready one by one. After tweaking my approach, my course production time decreased from twelve to two months and I had enough energy to promote my content.
Of course, the lockdown helped me immensely to find more time to pursue my goal, but the main point is: if you come up with the right plan, adopt a new approach and make your goal non-negotiable, you’ll always find time and energy to work towards it.
So, are you ready to tweak your approach, fall in love with your goal and treat it as your top priority?