Imagine this: it’s the end of 2019 and you’ve accomplished EVERY goal you’ve set out to achieve this year.
Now, wouldn’t that be something?
Just writing that made me feel all giddy and excited.
But you know what it also made me feel?
A little pang of discomfort.
The thing is: I know what it feels like to set those big, amazing goals—it feels good.
And it feels so good because I know it means that I will be working to achieve goals I’ve wanted to accomplish for a long while but haven’t gotten to do just yet, like say, writing a book (which I’m still excited to say that I‘ve done!) or launching a new product.
But I also know what can come with goal-setting: zero goal achievement.
Sometimes after setting a goal, I’ll get burnt out before making significant headway. Or I’ll procrastinate. Or I’ll just avoid taking action altogether because I’m afraid or because I’m just overthinking it way too much.
Can you relate?
If so, then I dedicate this post to you because I don’t want you to fail at achieving big wins toward your dreams any longer.
Today’s a new day, and you are ready to get moving.
I’ll shout it from the rooftops a million and one times—you’ve already got the arsenal you need to just start moving toward your goals.
All I’m here for is to help you realize that.
You’re the hero of your own story, and I believe that you can grasp at those big goals and dreams and achieve them.
You’re ready today, right now at this very moment, to spring into the goals and dreams you’re holding onto and get started.
So let’s dive right in with how to achieve your goals using three simple steps that will help you get moving ASAP.
Step #1: Focus on What Can Go Right
We spend a crazy amount of time thinking about what can go wrong.
It’s insane, really, how we worry about how this or that thing will fail. Or how we will be red with embarrassment. Or how we will be laughed at. Or how people will stop liking us, or loving us even.
Now, all this fretting about what can go wrong is really just fear and some perfectionism sloshing around making you unsettled.
I know that fear and perfectionism can feel like powerful forces—they’ve stopped me from doing one too many things in my own life.
But I also know that they are just flimsily constructed notions that we can break down and push past.
To stop focusing on what could go wrong, we need to rewrite the stories in our brain by paying more attention to what can go right.
I firmly believe that you have what it takes to achieve your goals because we have the power each and every day to rewrite our own stories about what we choose to believe about ourselves and our dreams.
Sure, you might find there are people who will critique you along your goal/dream journey, but your harshest critic will most often be yourself as you let self-doubt rear its ugly head.
Let go of the I-can’t-do-this-because list and make an I-need-to-do-this-because list instead.
Make it a mental list. Make it a written list. Make it an audio reminder list. Whatever works for you.
But make your I-need-to-do-this-because list now and make it for every goal you’ve set for yourself this year so that you can come back to it when you feel that pesky self-doubt creeping up again.
Use your list to reflect on why you set your goals in the first place and to give yourself a boost to keep moving forward because good things will happen as long as you keep trying.
As Brene Brown says, “It feels dangerous to show up. But it’s not as terrifying as thinking, at the end of our lives, ‘What if I had shown up? What would have been different?”
Step #2: Adjust Your View
In addition to focusing on the negative possibilities of our dreams, we often spend too much time comparing our lives with others.
Considering the amount of time we now spend living our lives online, comparison is almost impossible to avoid thanks to social media.
But even though social media can be entertaining, it can also distract us from our goalkeeper s and dreams because we tend to overfocus on others’ lives rather than on our own.
Someone’s social media highlight reels can seem way brighter, fancier, and more fulfilling in comparison to our own lives.
But if you peel back those highlights, you can uncover some not-so-great life situations underneath, which is why it’s really important to NOT play the comparison game that online life seems constructed to pull us into.
For example, I was listening to a podcast recently and the speakers were talking about an Instagram Influencer who seemed to have such a perfect life—the life anyone would want, traveling the world and looking so happy doing it.
But, in fact, this Influencer was going into significant debt living this lavish, awe-worthy lifestyle.
So, the lesson here is this: comparing yourself to someone else is lethal to goal achievement because (1) you’re not always getting a full view of their life, and (2) you’re narrowing your own view to focus specifically on them rather than on you.
You need to adjust your view and use others as inspiration instead of as the golden standard that seems impossible to achieve.
Just because someone else has, say, published a book, for example, and you haven’t doesn’t mean that you can’t write a book if you really, really want to.
When someone else achieves something that is your own goal or dream, it means that you can do it too in your own way (which hopefully doesn’t involve going into crippling debt like the aforementioned Influencer).
So you need to get out of the habit of constantly short-changing yourself as you compare yourself to someone else.
Choose to adjust your view instead and focus on using others to inspire your goals and to inform your dreams.
Because if they can do it, you can achieve your goals too.
Step #3: Document Your Progress
Once you’ve got a good foundation to work from for achieving your goals (i.e. focusing on what can go right and on what you can, in fact, accomplish), you need to keep yourself honest.
You may have the most amazing list of goals, but you can’t do everything all at once.
You may want to do it all in the next 10 seconds, but going down that path can easily lead to burnout, procrastination, and overwhelm—all things we want to avoid in the first place!
Rather than sprinting toward your goals and running out of energy in the process, use what energy you have right now to make a small step in the direction of your dreams and keep those small steps steady and consistent.
This consistency is what can help you achieve goals you’ve set out for yourself.
In order to keep yourself moving forward, document what you can start right now and what you can get to later. Yes, you need to prioritize!
A great way to stay on track with your dreams and regularly prioritize your small steps toward them is a planner that you can turn to each day to check-in with yourself.
I’m going to use my planner to not only track my regular meetings and to-do’s but also what my monthly and weekly goals are (i.e. what goals feed into my larger dreams for the year).
No matter how you choose to document your goal progress, the important thing is that you do it and that you keep holding yourself accountable regardless of how slow you go.
Remember: progress toward your goals is better than no progress at all!
P.S. If you need a little extra help with your goals, join the Leader List today to get more tips and tools you can use to keep moving forward.