2020 marks the beginning of a new year and a new decade – a perfect time to start fresh with big ambitious goals. It is easy to get inspired to begin working on a new habit or resolution. No matter how motivated we feel, about 80% of us will give up on pursuing our new year resolution goals as soon as in six weeks. As life gets in the way, we tend to go back to old habits and helplessly hope to “maybe try it next year”. The good news is that some will not give up and eventually succeed on their goals. How do they achieve sustainable, long-lasting results? They found the way to show up day after day until they attained success. Here are three strategies that will help you do the same.
Thinking big and thinking long-term are two of the most important principles for achieving lasting results. Be it a fitness, financial or relationship goal, understanding how actions taken today will impact our lives in the future is vital. How far ahead do you need to think? It depends on your unique goals, but a three-year term is a good start.
If you feel like it is a long time to wait and hustle, remember the wise words by Earl Nightingale “The time will pass anyway”. In three years, we will all be older but those who persist will also be healthier, wealthier and happier.
Learn from the world’s great visionaries who built nations, products and companies. They envisioned an idea and worked persistently on bringing it to life knowing well that they will not see the results until years will pass. Yet, when the efforts yielded results, they were big and lasting.
Motivation plays an important role in helping us get started on our goals. However, it often does not last for long. We can easily ignite a single spark of motivation by reading an article, listening to a podcast or attending a seminar. No matter how strong it feels at the moment, the inspirational effect will fade away with time.
To achieve sustainable results, we need our spirits to be lifted every single day. Find a new reason to show up daily. Create an inspirational routine that works for you and incorporate it into your life. It can be as simple as listening to a book during your commute, looking at your family photos to remind yourself why you are doing it or posting on social media to share your inspirational mood with others. Meditation and prayer can also provide focus and inspiration.
“Sustainable” by definition means an “ability to maintain at a certain rate or level”. An ability to continue our positive goal-achieving activities every day for a long period of time is nothing short of mastery that is achieved through deliberate practice. Constant mindful repetition reinforces good practices and makes them more effortless with time. The less mental energy and resolve you need, the easier it is to achieve the goal.
We should think of our deliberate practice the same way great athletes perfect their skills through daily repetition. ““Practice makes perfect. After a long time of practicing, our work will become natural, skillful, swift, and steady.” – Bruce Lee.
This year choose deliberate practice over quantity. Instead of reading 20 self-help books a year, limit them to 5 but commit to study and implement them until principles taught in books become a second nature. If your goal is to expand a professional network, do not simply attend every event you can join, but commit to becoming the best prepared participant who follows-up and keeps in touch. Whatever you want to achieve, think how you can bring more deliberate practice in your life for desired sustainable results.
Wishing you a happy 2020 filled with sustainable results for years to come.