Are you having difficulty reaching goals? Around this time of year, New Year’s Resolutions usually fall by the wayside. The average New Year’s Resolution only lasts 17 days, so what makes reaching goals so hard? It doesn’t make a difference if it’s a New Year’s Resolution or the goals we set the rest of the year. They’re all hard work, often too hard!Experts debate over the precise wording of goals, as if that would make it easier to quit smoking, lose weight or spend more time with your kids. No, the secret to reaching goals has nothing to do with the wording of your goals, or even which goals you choose.
The Secret to Reaching Goals is…
Commitment vs. Striving
First, you must decide, once and for all, if you are committed, or if you are striving. Striving, of course, is hard work. If you are fully committed, however, you no longer need to strive. Striving requires that you push yourself. Commitment doesn’t require nearly the effort once you’ve made the decision. Most smokers will tell you that “trying to quit” doesn’t work. The day you commit, however, reaching goals becomes much easier. The day you become a non-smoker, success becomes inevitable.
Vision vs. Pipe-Dream
Second, you need to distinguish between a vision and a pipe-dream. Your vision is an inevitable result based on facts. A pipe-dream is a hope or a wish based mostly on desire. My husband, who has ADHD, was seriously overweight and warned by his doctor to lose weight or suffer serious health consequences. Diets had never worked. He only lost the weight, and kept it off, when he was able to transform his own vision of himself and his life. When he saw himself, not as a fat person struggling to lose weight, but as a thin person, behaving as a thin person would, the pounds melted away. After all, if he behaved as a thin person, because that was the way he saw himself, it was inevitable that he would lose the weight.
Present vs. Future
Third, you must live in the present, not in the future. Live your life right today and reaching goals will happen automatically. Do you live in the future? Do you say things like, “Once this project is delivered, I’ll take a few days off to spend with the kids”? Of course, the next project follows right on the heels of this one, and before you know it, your kids couldn’t pick you out of a police lineup. Want to spend more time with your kids? Start today. Cut your meeting short. Go home and spend that 15 minutes talking with your kids about their day. They don’t need a few days at some fictitious time in the future. They need a few minutes today, and tomorrow, and every day.
It’s really that simple. Get clear on those three things and reaching goals becomes inevitable. Stop trying, and make a real commitment. Clarify your vision until you can really see yourself succeeding. And finally, make it happen today. Don’t wait for the planets to align or a miracle to happen. Take one small step today, then another tomorrow. Before you know it, you’ll be setting and reaching goals with hardly a struggle.