Most people understand the power of goal setting, and they have goals that they want to achieve in their lives. But does that mean that they are living the life that they desire and are accomplishing what they want? Far from it.
According to a study done by Scranton University, only 8% of people who set resolutions and goals managed to achieve them. The rest, the other 92% fail to reach their goals. And one of the main reason for this is that people fail to stick to their goals.
You see, goal setting is not just about identifying what you want to accomplish in your life; it is about knowing what you want and sticking to your plan until you get there. This is the part where most people fail.
Most people don’t have the perseverance and the drive to stick to their goals. They give up and quit halfway when they don’t get the results they want or when facing difficulties.
If this is describing you, I’m going to share with you three amazing ways how you can drive yourself to stick to your goals no matter what happens. Here’s what you can do:
1. Focus on the progress, not the result
One of the key reasons people fail to reach their goals is that they focus on the wrong thing. They put in too much energy in thinking about the result rather than the progress.
While it is true that your goal is the result that you want, what truly gets you the result is your progress. Thus, you need to focus and put your energy into the progress and not the result.
Let me give you an example. If your goal is to lose 10 pounds, losing weight is the result that you want. And if you focus on it, there is nothing much you can do. Therefore, you need to focus on the progress, which is to exercise or through a diet plan.
You need to put your thoughts on exercise. For instance, you may want to exercise 3 times a week. It doesn’t matter if you are reaching your goals, what you need to do is to make sure that you focus on the progress and work on it.
According to the best-selling book, The 4 Disciplines of Execution, the authors suggest us to focus on the lead measure, which is the measure that will directly influence the end result.
In this case, the lead measure is the hours of exercise you put in, and the end result is pounds lost.
Here’s what you can do. Identify one or two lead measures or the factors that will directly influence the result or the goal that you want. And then pour in all your focus and energy and act on the lead measure.
2. Time-block and set schedules
Now that you have identified your lead measures, what you need to do next is to create schedules and time-block your activity.
Time-blocking is one of the most powerful techniques that can help you produce the results that you want. Hence, schedule your lead measure activity into your days and weeks.
For example, you can schedule your exercise routine, say, “to exercise for in the gym from 8 AM to 9 AM every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday”. You make your schedule as specific as possible and then you block your time to make sure that these activities will progress through smoothly.
So every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 8AM to 9AM, you will do nothing else but hitting the gym and workout. Even if someone asks you for breakfast or a cup of coffee, reject them politely.
You have scheduled and time-blocked these hours for your goal, and you must honor it.
This was exactly how Maya Angelou, the successful writer got her writing work done. Each morning, she went to a hotel room where she paid for it by the month, and from 6:30AM, she would write until about 2PM.
She scheduled her writing work and time-blocked those hours solely for writing. And when she was in the hotel room, there were no distractions and so she could write with 100% focus.
If you want to achieve your goals, this is what you need to do too. First, create schedules for your lead measures. You then block out the hours so that you can concentrate on getting the work done.
Remember, once you have time-blocked your schedule, there will be no excuse and you must work on the task when the time comes no matter what. After all, your goal should be your number one priority.
3. Transform progress into habits
Most people fail to stick to their goals because they rely too much on their motivation. They do the work when they have the motivation, but when they don’t, they choose to do something else.
You should understand that successful people are successful because they put in the effort to do the work regardless of whether they feel like doing it or not. Unsuccessful people choose to do what is convenient and they are easily affected by their emotions.
So how can you overcome this? The answer is pretty simple, you transform your progress into habits.
When something becomes your habit, you will do it no matter whether you feel like it or not. Think about it, do you brush your teeth each morning? And how much motivation do you need to brush your teeth?
How about the way you eat or drink or wear your shoes? They are pretty much the same because you have developed these actions as your deeply rooted habits.
You don’t need too much motivation to perform a habit. You simply do it without much thinking. It has become automatic and you can do it on autopilot. Just like driving, you can drive while talking to the person next to you or while thinking about something else.
Therefore, the key is to transform your actions into habits. This will ensure that you stick to your goal and take consistent action every time.
The best way to turn an action into a habit is through repetition. You may need more willpower and conscious effort to do so in the beginning, but as you persist through, things will become easier.
If you want to develop the habit of writing, write at the same time and at the same place every day. You should repeat the process in the same pattern so that your brain can create the same neural pathway over and over again, which eventually, turn the action into a habit.
The best part is that you don’t have to start big. You just need to be consistent. Even if it is just a small step, you can turn it into a habit as long as you do it consistently, day-in and day-out, without much difference.
These are the 3 ways how you can motivate yourself to stick to your goals. Always remember that reaching your goals is all about taking consistent action. Without action, there will be no result. And the only way to get the result is to time-block your schedules and then transform them into your habits.
Want to discover the secrets to unleashing your potential and live a great and successful life? Follow Shawn Lim on his blog, StunningMotivation.com . You can also download his guidebook, Active Goal Setting and make your dreams a reality. Or simply follow him on Facebook.