As you probably know, the difference between wishing, wanting or hoping for something and a real goal is the action you take to get it.
However, you may have taken steps and still not gotten to your destination. How many times have you:
· said, this time I’m going to do “it”? It might be to: enroll in a class, quit smoking, lose weight, take a trip, get in better shape, find a new job, get a degree, find the love of your life, get a dog…
· worked at it for a day, two days, a week or a month and then relegated the goal back to wishdom?
· told friends and family about the plan only to have them support you in your reasons for abandoning it, because they love you?
· come up with 210 convincing reasons why now is not the time?
· set some arbitrary date in the future when you will do it based on something you think will be happening at that time that will make doing it more, well, doable, like travelling more when you retire?
· brainwashed yourself to believe you can’t do it and created a compelling argument why it’s true?
· told yourself you’re good with the life you have right now and you don’t need to achieve your goal?
But you still think about it! You do still want to achieve it.
You haven’t been able to completely let it go. This means you must find a way to do it, achieve it, conquer it. Whatever “it” is for you. It may be one thing or many.
Here’s the deal. The future is uncertain. If you’ve already been thinking about this goal, wishing for it, hoping for it and wanting it…now is the time. Be like Nike, just do it. You have no idea what the future holds for you or anyone else. Be happy today. Get what you want. It’s simpler than you think.
Here are 5 steps of targeted action that will significantly increase the odds of achieving your goal:
1. Give yourself a hard deadline and, if possible, pay in advance. Sign up for the class, fill out the application, join the gym, send out the resume, and do it right now while you’re feeling motivated. Lock yourself in financially, or with as much of a commitment as possible for the task, while you’re inspired. If you pay money, hire a coach, trainer, recruiter, resume specialist, enroll in the class, and otherwise commit yourself in a way that will be difficult, painful or embarrassing to get out of, you are more likely to keep going. Paying for something in advance is one of the best motivators in the long run.
2. Use self-imposed peer pressure. Tell people what you’re going to do and not just your family and friends who will love and accept you if you don’t do it. Tell coworkers, church congregation, pastor, teachers, the wine expert at your favorite wine store, and anyone else whom you will feel awkward or uncomfortable owning up to falling short of the goal. Write a blog or social media post about and let followers know you will be documenting your journey to achieving your goal. Post pictures of yourself taking steps. You never know who you will inspire!
3. Do something that scares you. Doing something that scares you is like giving your mojo a B-12 injection. You get an immediate boost in your personal power. You feel like you can accomplish more than you gave yourself credit for and the feeling generalizes to other areas of your life such as goal achievement.
4. Surround yourself with motivation, inspiration and invigoration. Have people, places, quotes, books, audiobooks, YouTube videos, blog posts, and sticky notes easily available in your immediate environment. The more you have around you to keep you moving forward, the less likely it is you will lose your momentum. Keep company, any way you can, with those doing what you want to do and kicking butt at it.
5. Choose a reward. A small one. The achievement of the goal is intrinsically rewarding and, in itself, enough. However, you may also choose to celebrate with a small reward, acknowledging your own bad-assness for crossing the finish line!
6. Immediately decide on the next goal while the momentum is high and you’ve realized you can do more than you think! Then repeat 1–5 above before the goal achievement honeymoon phase fades.
I’ve personally used all these motivators. I use them for small goals and large. For example, I told Jim, the guy at the desk at the yoga studio, I’d be back for a second class last Friday. Peer pressure. I mean, I knew Jim wouldn’t call me out if I didn’t show up again for a few days, but I felt more compelled to go back for a second class (first one was a challenging barre class so a good stretchy yoga class is rewarding to my hardworking muscles), which is what was good for me- body, mind and spirit. I always announce on social media when I’m working on a new book. The more I talk about it, the more likely I am to continue writing it. I use number four more than all the others. I have several motivational audiobooks on my phone at all times, many go-to people on YouTube and for blog posts, a vision board by my bed, index cards with affirmations (in the book I’m reading, in my purse and laying around the house) and inspirational signs (even in the bathroom!). I can’t forget where I’m going because I have reminders everywhere!
If you’re able to, hire a coach. If you’re working at it on your own, try the steps above. Let me know how it’s going. I’m right here with you. And for you.
Originally published at medium.com