I’m happy to say that I had a very productive 2018 and have met or exceeded most of my goals including writing three new books and launching my ‘Your Dream Job’ online training programme, amongst others. No mean feat I can tell you, given my crazy schedule, and yet I hear time and time again from people about why they can’t/or haven’t achieved last year’s ‘goals’. The most common excuses include:
- being too tired/busy/stressed
- not having enough time/money
- feeling generally overwhelmed
- not knowing where to start
I’ve written about the reasons why goals fail previously, however, after much reflection and from my experience of working with thousands of clients and delegates, I think it boils down to two main things:
No 1 – FEAR
Fear can mean different things for different people:
- Fear of failure. What if you go all out to get your goal and still fail? At least while you’re pottering around and not really reaching it, there’s always the possibility of achieving it, but if you try and fail, that could mean ‘dream over’.
- Fear of success. If you actually succeed, your life may change, and that’s scary and uncertain.
- Fear of making a fool out of yourself.
- Fear of rejection. What if people won’t buy it/don’t like it/reject it or worse, reject you!?
- Fear of being judged. What will others say/think? What if they don’t like what you do?
Anything worthwhile is scary, especially when you come out of your comfort zone, you will undoubtedly experience some level of uncertainty, but here’s the thing:
- Yes, the thought of failure is scary
- Yes, people will judge you
- Yes, you will probably experience some rejection
- Yes, you possibly will make a fool out of yourself!
Most people who have achieved anything worthwhile have experienced some if not all of those things. However, they have refused to let it stop them; they ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’. I have, and continue to experience every one of those things with each new endeavour. However, I’d rather deal with those negative emotions than live life wondering, ‘What if…’
No 2 – Laziness/Procrastination
Many of us like the idea of having what we think we want; however, actually going out and getting it seems too much like hard work. Being successful and achieving your goals takes effort, and for many, it means more than they are willing to give. Incidentally, do you know the difference between those who succeed and those who don’t? ACTION! Achievers are prepared to do far more than those who don’t.
Top Tips for Goal Achievement
If you’ve been procrastinating over your goal, here are some simple steps to help you:
1. Write it down
- Clearly write your goal in the positive, i.e. what you want rather than what you don’t.
- Include why you want it and what it will give you (if the ‘why’ isn’t big enough, you’re unlikely to achieve it).
- Be specific, e.g. instead of writing ‘lose weight’, write ‘fit and healthy, weighing X by X date.’
- You must put an end date – ‘a goal without an end date is a dream’.
2. Create a plan of how you’re going to achieve it. Be prepared to be flexible, some things will work, some won’t; it’s likely that you will need to adjust your plan as you go along.
3. Take consistent action. Continually review what’s working and what’s not. Dump what’s not and do more of what is. Don’t give up. You may need to try different things to make it work, but that’s OK.
Incidentally, avoid getting stuck in the planning phase. A massive downfall for many people is that they over plan, trying to make it as perfect as possible before they start (typically out of all the ‘fear’ reasons I mention above). Obviously, planning is important; however, you will achieve nothing if you don’t take action.
Finally, my top tip is JFDI (Just Flippin’ Do It). At some point, you have to stop planning and talking about what you want and DO IT OR DITCH IT!