No matter what goals, dreams or personal changes you want to achieve in your life, the reality for you and everyone else, is that it requires commitment, focus, hard work, courage and the determination to succeed. There is no way that you can hope to create change in your life or achieve your goals and dreams without these key elements.
Even when we all know this, when it comes to us achieving our goals and dreams many of us will start and then stop, then start again and then stop and then finally give up because it is all too hard.
In 2015 I identified three short term goals that I wanted to achieve by the end of 2016. To date I have only completed one goal. The other two goals I have started, stopped, started and then stopped. Now this scares me because 2016 is flying by so fast that before I know it, it will be December 2016 and I haven’t achieved either goal.
What is also annoying me is that these two goals are realistic and totally achievable. I just can’t seem to get on top of them.
Recently I read this quote from Randy Pausch in The Last Lecture…
“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
When I read this I realised I needed to figure out how to get over or around the brick walls that were stopping me from achieving my two goals.
What I eventually discovered was, that when we set our goals and our dreams and begin our journey of transformation, we fail to consider these 7 factors. The result of this, is that many of us fail to achieve what we so badly wanted and we end up giving up on our goals and dreams in life.
When embarking on your journey of personal change avoid these 7 common mistakes and you will enhance your chances of achieving any dream and goal you set in life by 200 percent.
1. Expect Fast Results
This mistake can have a significant impact on your belief and motivation to succeed. If you expect fast results and you don’t get them, what happens is you lose your belief of your goal or your dream being possible to achieve. Never underestimate the power of patience when it comes to setting and working towards a goal or your dream.
It is your patience that will keep you on your journey to achieving success.
2. See Failure As A Sign To Give Up
I have failed many times in my life and it is tough but not impossible to pick yourself up and start all over again.
The point in life when you have most control of your life, is when you are facing failure or you have failed. It is only you that has the power to choose how you want failure to impact on your life. You can choose to see it as a sign (the easy option) to give up or you can choose to pick yourself up and start again. It is all down to you.
Here are 3 important questions that you could ask yourself to help you keep moving past your failures toward your goals or dreams.
- What was the reason for my failure – what can I learn from this and how can I improve?
- Why did I want to pursue this goal or dream to begin with – and has anything changed?
- What would I tell someone else if they were in my shoes?
3. Fail To Expect Or Plan For The Unexpected
With your life goals expect the unexpected – it will happen. When we are not prepared for the unexpected and it happens, we let these events bring our world to a crashing halt.
Preparing for the unexpected is the best we can manage when it comes to life goals and any other goals we set for ourselves.
The key steps to preparing for the unexpected are to:
1. Acknowledge the Unexpected
2. Prepare for the Unexpected by having an Action Plan that considers the following 2 questions
a. How would you deal with this obstacle when it comes up?
b. What steps would you put in action to overcome this hurdle?
3. Commit to keep moving forward toward your goal or your dream
4. Get Bored With The Daily Grind
To achieve what you want in life requires you have to change, to do things differently, to create new habits, new thoughts and new behaviours. All of these aspects do not appear over night. They come as a result of you repeating on a daily basis the actions that you need to do over and over again to take you closer to you achieving your goal or your dream.
Successful athletes will train and practice one technique or one drill for many hours just to get that one thing right. That is the difference between being great or being ordinary.
Be prepared for boredom as there will be times when you just have to keep going and keep doing the same thing day in and day out.
5. Never Visualise What Is Possible
If you want to increase your chances of achieving your goals and dreams then, visualisation is where it all begins.
It one of the most powerful mind exercises you can do to achieve specific goals and make important changes in your life. Visualisation works because your mind can’t tell the difference between visualisation and an actual event. It helps your brain to recognise what resources you will need to achieve your dreams and goals.
A vision board is a way for you to bring your thoughts, dreams and desires to life. When you are visualising you are doing two important things,
- You are creating a visual space of possibility which is your inner fuel (motivation) for you to draw from on your journey to achieving your goals and dreams.
- With possibility comes hope and optimism and it is these positive thoughts and feelings that help you stay on track to success.
Visualising what is possible helps you to keep your eye on the big picture. When you take your eye of the big picture you slowly lose your desire, your faith and your belief in you.
6. Easily Distracted By Others & Life Events
I have found that when I am feeling unhappy, have low self confidence or feel frustrated with myself it is usually as a result of me spending a lot of unnecessary time comparing myself to other people and their success in life.
This action of comparing my life to others does not serve me well. I have learnt to recognise when I am doing it and how to quickly shut that behaviour down.
One of these techniques I use to keep me on track is that I keep a Gratitude Journal. In here I write down all the the great things that have happened or are happening in my life that I am grateful for. Helps me to keep things in perspective.
When you start to use excuses such as “this not the right time,” or “I am not quite ready or too many of my friends think that it is not a great idea,” or “there are too many others have the same idea and they failed,” you are moving further away from achieving your dreams and goals in life.
Know that when you do this you are at risk of accepting the short term comforts of life over the long term benefits of achieving your goal or dream in life.
7. Set Unrealistic Steps To Achieving Your Goals
If you are setting goals that you have never achieved before then it is expected that part of you is not going to believe it is possible. Too often when we set our goals we focus on the future of achieving the goal – not the everyday steps we need to take to get us started and to keep us on track.
Losing weight is a goal many of us have tried to do but not always achieved. One of the reasons why we start, stop and then give up is because we focus on the total amount of 10kg or 20kg that we have to lose – not the 100 or 200 grams we could lose every week. It is much easier to focus on losing 100 to 200 grams than it is to focus on 10 or 20kg.
So take action and identify the obstacles that will block you from achieving your goals. Once you have identified these obstacles then:
- Look for proof that your goals are realistic and achievable
- Argue with Your Negative Self –tell it to take a hike!
- Find a supporter to share your feelings, your dreams
- Acknowledge your past successes – CELEBRATE YOU
By avoiding these 7 common mistakes you will find that focus, discipline, commitment, courage, self belief, and determination will flourish with in you and you can not help but succeed in all the things that you want to achieve in your life.
I have now taken up the challenge and I am on my way to achieving my two goals by the end of 2016 – to lose 8kg and to grow my coaching business by 30%. Watch this space.