Following the previous article, I got queries about how it was possible for me to follow through on the goals I had set given the arduous challenges brought by COVID-19.
Some made comments about how they achieved just a fraction of what they had planned, and they threw the towel along the way. Another person inboxed me saying that he does not remember where he placed a list of the goals he had written.
He felt overwhelmed by the sheer size of what he wanted to achieve. He felt that he was inadequate to face the mammoth task that lay ahead.
Many people find themselves in this unenviable position and they give up on their goals before they see progress. This creates the vicious cycle of goals being delayed and pushed from one year to the next.
I know people who lose weight or stop drinking or smoking every year. They all start but quickly they go nowhere.
Why is this the case and what can you do to make sure that you stick to your goals until they come to fruition? This is how I have managed to follow through my goals and how I coach others to stay the course until their goals are achieved:
- Answer the question why!
It is easy to fall for a goal because it is fashionable, and everyone is talking about it. Most people list among their goals to attain financial freedom, lose weight, find life purpose or to work on their careers. There is nothing wrong about focusing on these areas of life. What makes a difference is the why behind the goal. The why adds the personal flavour and emotional resonance instead of following the fad out there. Ask yourself what should be different once you have achieved that goal. What will achieving that goal allow you to be and do? Emotional resonance with your goals become the catalyst towards their achievement.
“The starting point of all achievement is desire”Napoleon Hill
- Be specific.
If you take the example of financial freedom, try to be specific as possible. It does not help, motivate, or inspire to say I want to be financially free. However, it puts a different spin when you become crystal clear on what your financial freedom number is. If you look at your health, lose weight is also vague but saying I want to lose 10kg is clear and specific. Next time state your goals in concrete terms and more specificity so that you know what you are working towards and by when do you want to achieve your goal.
- Start small.
Goals can be challenging and daunting and trying to accomplish everything all at once is the reason why most people fall short of making remarkable progress. To start running 10 kilometres the first time might be the reason why most people will never strap their running shoes again. However, starting gradually by running a kilometre and increasing that to 3 kilometres and progressively getting to 10 kilometres may be a way of making the goal of running a marathon stick. Try to eat this elephant one bite at a time because it is scary and impossible to finish at ones.
- Empower yourself.
It is important to acknowledge that also with goal achievement, success and failure are two sides of the same coin. Anticipating only the smooth ride will dampen your spirits when the obstacles arise. In coaching sessions, I help clients to use the strategy of mental contrasting. This strategy entails having a vivid picture of both the positives and negatives of the impending reality and forming implementation plans to navigate the situation. Without this strategy, some people assume only success and at the emergence of the first obstacle they give up because they did not anticipate and plan for such eventuality.
It is never a smooth ride to attain your goals, at some point in the journey you will feel overwhelmed. You will be tempted to find reasons to give us. By using these strategies, you will find yourself on the right path towards the realisation of your goals.
If you are intrigued by the idea of achieving extraordinary results in your life, I invite you to explore coaching with one of our coaches. Drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tex Hlalele is a Life & Business Coach, Consultant, Speaker and Author of the book Face the person in the mirror. Book Tex for coaching and speaking engagements to help you and your team gain insights and possibilities for individual learning and organizational advancement. Get in touch by sending an email on email@example.com. If you found value in this article, please be so kind as to share with those close to you.