We all know the value of achieving a goal, especially when it comes round to this time of year.
But all too often we begin that big project we love to do, decide this time we really are dedicated, put up pictures of slim models on the fridge and put the running trainers out ready by the door.
And then what happens? Ten days in and the resolve we had for New Year is as damp as the socks left on our radiators.
The problem with completing goals is that we meet one or two setbacks and something in us snaps. We think we can’t do it. Maybe we aren’t the fit person we imagined ourselves to be after all. Maybe that resolve was just a lofty other self that never could really exist.
Well, I’m here to reassure you, that fit person is real. You are capable of much more than you think right now. – It’s just the way you are going about getting your goal complete that is holding you back.
So here is some advice for how to keep that goal at the forefront of your mind, even when difficulties set in.
Breaking through your perceived threshold
As explained in the SEAL book, we all have a perceived threshold. But often we can push past this and achieve things we never believed were possible.
When asked how many push-ups Jesse Itzler, who spent time living with a navy SEAL could complete, he managed around eight. The navy SEAL told him that he believed he could do 100. He didn’t believe him, but after some encouragement Itzer began, doing them one by one, until he completed the 100 push-ups, something he never thought he could achieve.
I’m not saying all of us should be navy seals or even have to do 100 push-ups. It’s the principle, that we can make this year the best year of our lives if we just push our boundaries a little further, and accomplish more than we ever have before.
Achieving more than we ever dreamed and pushing through until a task is done can be a huge confidence boost. Most people, however, don’t realize their true potential. Or, they don’t find the focus to continue, and so miss out to doing things that in twenty years time, they will never remember doing.
Start by simply asking yourself: ‘what is the smallest possible way I can contribute to my goal right now?’ It could be as simple as standing up. As getting dressed. Once done, you can go from there. Whenever we complete a task, even the smallest one, we feel good. True happiness comes from doing something and doing it well. From your life’s work. And from achieving what you set out to achieve.
Know why you want it
Anyone who knows anything about motivation knows that we are fickle creatures who can be easily swayed by emotions and change. We know that. The list of failed New Years resolutions (ours and others!) tells us that. So you need something that will push you to feel positive about your new habit. This is particularly important because you need to be dedicated to something, even when pain and/or boredom inevitably sets in.
Know that pain is a part of the process
If you fail, or you hate doing it, don’t worry about it, and keep going. This is all a natural part of the process of working towards something. Even if you love something, there will always be hard days. These can be the most rewarding – they show how much you really care.
Most people these days find it hard to resist the temptations of life. This is a similar idea to the marshmallow test. Never before have we been so distracted; never before has it been so easy to do a million things all at once. The problem with this is that the quality of work goes down. And as this happens, it’s easy to fall into mediocrity. Those really doing well these days know how to shut their browser down, make a shake, and get to work. So try to shut off any distractions whilst you’re working towards your goal.
Don’t be realistic, dream big!
You don’t have to be realistic about your goals, but be realistic about the steps you take to get there. Most of us think small with dreams, but in order to get totally psyched about a dream of yours, it has to be something that inspires you.
Whatever it is you feel inspired to do, whether it be becoming an acrobatic at the Cirque du Soleil or learning three new languages this year. Go at 2017 with all the foolish optimism you can throw at it. Because the freer we are to believe in our dreams, the more wonderful a place the world will become, don’t you agree?
Featured photo credit: Picjumbo via picjumbo.com
|Living with a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet, amazon.com
|The Marshmallow Test, youtube.com