Wow! I have been getting so caught up in my routine lately that it all seems like a blur. Once I got a moment to myself to sit down in silence I realized that I’ve started to forget what I’ve been working towards and have been running on autopilot for quite some time. Of course, life happens and I know each day isn’t going to magically unfold as planned. However, I’ve really been trying to push through last minute interruptions or unintentional plans to keep my streak going - and I know I’m not alone.
According to U.S. News & World Report,
80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February.
In the mist of reminding myself what my goals were, I realized that I wasn't so sure anymore. I realized that I was letting others influence what I thought I wanted. I was afraid that they were unattainable so I began to be more "realistic" in my expectations but I was really afraid of the failure and disappointment of not achieving what I set out to do.
And if I want to be even more honest, I wasn't putting in the work necessary to see the results I wanted. I was busy telling everyone what I was going to do and thinking about it but not putting action to my words. I know I can work harder to get outside my comfort zone and take the necessary risks to get where I want to be. So instead of asking what you want, I want to ask what are you willing to work for? Because that's the better question. The effort you put forth will dictate how far you get and I've realized that the work I have put in so far is not going to get me anywhere close to where I really want to be. I've learned that utilizing discipline is the only way I am going to make myself put out the energy that is necessary even when "I don't feel like it." So how do you build discipline?
. . . until you "feel" like it. If I lived my life according to what I felt like doing then nothing would get done, we all know that feeling. The trick is that if you keep waiting to feel like it you never will. There are no Excuses! The longer you wait the longer you are delaying your journey. Live by the five second rule (If you think it, act on it!) or give yourself tangible deadlines. Whatever it takes for you to get what you need done . . .
If you can't be honest with yourself then who can you be honest with? Ask yourself daily what do you want? How serious are you about achieving these goal(s)? How much work are you willing to put forth? We have all been those people who have said they were going to do something but our actions said otherwise. Respect yourself enough to keep the promises you make. Just focus on the outcome and how great it will feel to cross another accomplishment off your list and reward yourself along the way. This is call practicing discipline, not self-deprivation . . .
Set Goals the Smart Way
Now all of this is pointless if your goals are unrealistic or you set out with impossible expectations. You can't just say I want to be a millionaire next year but rather focus on what very real and specific actions can you take that will eventually get you there. So a better example would be saying that you want to increase your income by $5,000 by 2020. Each year you can adjust until you have completed your goal. Things take time. So make sure to keep in mind that you want to create goals that are specific (step by step actions), timely (what is your deadline?), attainable (are your expectations impossibly high?), and relevant (do these actions really hit at the heart of your goal?).
Of course, you will have setbacks. Sometimes you will fail and that is okay! Forgive yourself and move on. Trust me, I'm a perfectionist myself but I've learned that there is no use in beating myself up over impossible expectations. You have to learn to move past failure because that is where the magic is!