There is a reason so few people succeed—not just in becoming some huge worldwide superstar or billionaire tech entrepreneur.
It’s astounding how many people actually struggle to achieve even the simplest of goals: waking up on the first alarm, reading a book a month, or even maintaining a steady sleep or gym schedule. People have no problem setting goals, and yet so few actually follow through and achieve them.
So how can you avoid being one of those people? What are some ways to follow through with your goals?
1) Set Realistic Goals
Setting goals is fun. We all love to do it.
We sit down with our pad and paper, our calendar, our cup of coffee, and we feel inspired writing all the things we want to do or say we are going to do. But that’s the easy part, and frankly where a lot of people set themselves up for failure instead of success. They set themselves up for failure because they set unrealistic expectations for themselves. They think they will go from zero to 100, when in reality the process is a lot slower than that.
Set realistic goals for yourself. Start small and work your way up. That compounding feeling of success will make you feel much better than trying to move mountains overnight.
2) Hold Yourself Accountable
This is where close friends can play a key role in your development as a person.
Whether it’s your best friend, your co-worker, your boss, mentor, parent, sibling, whoever, it helps to share your goals with someone and let them know what you’re looking to achieve—and how they might be able to help you along the way.
Maybe all you need is a helpful reminder every now and then. Or, maybe you need someone to check in with you once a week to see how much you’ve gotten accomplished (to which you should probably be the one buying the coffee, because that’s rather nice of them). Whoever it is, find someone who can help you make tangible steps towards manifesting your dreams into reality.
3) Surround Yourself With People Better Than You
It’s uninspiring to work alongside people who don’t challenge you, no different than it is boring to play basketball against people who are less talented than you.
Guarding every goal is a gap that requires you to grow in order to move past. Nobody sets goals for where they are right now—they set goals for where they want to be. In order to grow into that person, that next “best version” of yourself, you need to surround yourself with people that embody the very traits you are looking to acquire.
4) Write It Down
There is something very intentional about writing your goals down—as well as the steps you need to take in order to accomplish them. The key here is to do nightly/weekly reviews of how you are spending your time, so that you can tangibly see where your time is being spent.
For example: If your goal is to build a piece of software, but all your time is spent watching Netflix, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to conclude that your software will never get built (because you have to invest the time!).
Don’t just arbitrarily make To Do lists, and don’t set goals without getting clear on what you actually need to do in order to walk across the finish line. The two go hand in hand, and it’s essential that you take the time to constantly review your progress—and if you fall off track, get yourself back on the train.
5) Discipline / Learn To Say “No”
Look at the world and how the masses spend their time.
Everywhere you look, everywhere you go, there is pleasure.
There is always another party to go to, nice restaurants, bars, shows, events, movies, etc. It’s not that any of these things are bad. It’s the fact that they are always available, and often times act as a source of inspiration for distraction.
The hard part about setting goals and achieving them is that you constantly have to say “No” to all these other fun things everybody else tells you are a better use of your time. Again, it’s not about shutting the world out or being rigid, by any means. It’s about honoring yourself and your goals and doing whatever you have to do to put your goals first, and everything else second. Unless it’s moving you closer towards your goal, learn how to say “No.”
6) Do What You Love
The truth of the matter is that you won’t achieve any goal that isn’t in line with what you love doing.
You just won’t.
You can grind it out, you can force yourself to do it, but the process will be grueling and by the end you will drained instead of inspired. Yes, there are times when we must all do tedious tasks for the greater good of the whole, but if those tedious tasks are aligned with a goal that resonates with what you love and who you are then you won’t mind doing it.
You will see the value and you will know how it contributes to your larger vision. So before you go off running to the races, setting goals based on the “end result,” think about all the things you will have to do to get there.
Do those things interest you?
If not, good luck, because that’s not going to be a very fulfilling journey.
You want to set goals that are more focused on the process, on all the little things you will have to do along the way that are aligned with what you love to do. Do what you love, and the end result will follow.