“The major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes of you to accomplish it. What it makes of you will always be the far greater value than what you get.”
Most of us realize the importance of setting goals. They give us something to work towards.
But that doesn’t mean we’ll always achieve them.
And when we don’t, it can be disheartening.
Unfortunately, this kind of thing is most prevalent at this time of year. We look back at the past 12 months and assess how well we did (or didn’t do).
If it’s apparent that you’re not going to reach the goals you set for 2018, please don’t give up! And don’t be too hard on yourself.
Here are two things you can do now, and in 2019, to stay motivated.
#1: Break Big Goals Into Smaller Goals
Setting a goal for the year, whether it’s income or some other measure, can be intimidating.
You look ahead and wonder whether you can actually reach it.
And that alone can take the wind out of your sails.
However, things start to look much more doable if you break your big goals into smaller goals.
Personally, I’ve broken many of my annual goals into 90-day milestones. With this shorter timeframe, I can see the steps in the path to get to my ultimate desired result.
This approach also allows me to adjust and course-correct sooner. That way, I’m not surprised at the end of the year with a goal that’s now well out of reach.
#2: Focus on What You Can Do TODAY
While setting goals is a good way to keep ourselves on track, it is possible to become too goal focused.
We set goals — and somehow feel “less than” until we reach them. We don’t feel whole or complete until we get there.
That’s a dangerous mindset!
Instead, shift your focus from the goal itself to the practice of working toward that goal. (An idea that’s championed in the book The Practicing Mind by Thomas M. Sterner.)
Focus on taking action. Ask yourself, “What can I do right now to bring this goal closer?”
Sure, you might be thinking about the future and what it will feel like to have reached your goal.
But life is happening today! Right now! Not tomorrow. And not yesterday.
So try to fall in love with the practice of working toward your goals … and the practice of taking daily action to move closer to them.
And enjoy the process along the way!
My Healthy Lifestyle Goals
I’ve been applying this practice to my own life, especially over the past year.
As some of you may know, I’ve struggled with my weight for most of my life.
In the past, I would set weight-loss goals and then try hard to meet them within a set timeframe.
But last year, I shifted my approach.
I still set weight-loss goals. But I also set my focus on what I could do right now to bring that goal closer.
I kept asking myself the question, “What can I do today to make this happen? What can I do this week?”
As a result, I started to change my eating habits. And I started going to the gym five days a week without fail.
Over time, those changes have had a major positive impact on my weight, my health and how I feel.
Getting these results wouldn’t have happened (or happened as easily) if I’d set a goal and then obsessed over it—without taking action every single day.
Don’t Let Your Goals Throw You Off Track
This combination of setting shorter term goals and shifting focus from the future to the present is a powerful combination.
Put them both in place, and things can happen very quickly.
Yes, continue to set goals for yourself and your business. But don’t become obsessed with them.
Because goals themselves aren’t the end game.
The end game is everything you do on the road to reaching them.
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