It’s a new year again, and with a new year comes new resolutions we desire to accomplish. Sometimes these resolutions are nothing more than small personal goals, sometimes they are significant goals that will take endless amount of work, but either way they are ‘ideas’ in our minds that we wish to make a reality this year.
As I think about 2014, I have a few goals I wish to accomplish – but none of them will ever be accomplished without three significant steps on my part… I’m reminded that having goals is great, but accomplishing them is something else altogether.
I’ve never met someone who made something a reality by just wishing it. Many people wish for better jobs, excellent physical fitness, or improved relationships – but none of these will happen without taking action to accomplish them.
Taking action is by far the foundation to accomplishing anything in life. There’s an old saying that “50% of success is just showing up.” I believe this is true. The biggest difference between the doers and the thinkers is that the doers show up for work and take action. The thinkers wish for it, but never take any action to make it a reality.
In this article, I want to discuss the three significant steps I’m referring to above. I have my own goals for 2014, but there are three things required to make them so. I say three things, not because it makes for a good blog post, but because I think accomplishment really does require these three ideas.
Keep It Simple (baby steps with smaller goals)
There’s an old comedy with Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss called ‘What about Bob?’, that depicts Bill Murray as an unstable psych patient who is utterly reliant on his doctor, played by Richard Dreyfuss, in order to survive normal everyday things in life. In this movie, Bill Murray uses a book by his doctor called ‘Baby Steps’ to make it through life. It is a very funny movie and one of my all-time comedy favorites.
Although the movie is a comedy and created to amuse the audience, there is a lot of truth involved in the book, ‘Baby Steps’. The first step I take in accomplishing any goal is to keep it simple – or in other words I take ‘baby steps’ with my progress.
A good example of this is my triathlon training. When I decided to do a small triathlon, I struggled in swimming long distances. When I first got into the pool to train, I could barely swim 2 laps before having to stop and catch my breath. This scared me, as I could easily run a few miles without a problem – so I was shocked to learn about my lack of physical fitness in this area of the race.
From this failure, I decided to create smaller goals to accomplish my larger goal. I first set a goal to swim 2 laps without stopping, then 4 laps, then 8 laps, etc., until I could swim a full mile and thus be ready for the triathlon swim.
The lesson I learned, was that sometimes in order to accomplish a goal – I have to create smaller goals that add up to the larger goal. This technique can be summarized as ‘keeping it simple’. I highly recommend using simple goals to accomplish your big goal. If your goal is weight loss, only focus on your next 2-3 lbs. If your goal is sales growth of your business, then only focus on growing your business by a fraction of your final goal.
This strategy can be applied throughout many objectives in life, and I’ve found it to be a very effective motivation tool.
Chart the course (plan)
My second step in accomplishing my resolutions is to chart my course, which is another way of saying ‘create a plan’. Taking my triathlon example above, I knew that I had a lot of work to do in order to complete the swim, bike, and run. All three of these areas needed training on my part, so I created a training plan in order to accomplish my goal.
In many ways, I’m stating the obvious on this one – but sometimes it is the obvious tasks that we seem to ignore. If you have your own ‘new years’ resolutions to accomplish, then be sure to have a plan to accomplish them.
Keep in mind; your plan doesn’t have to be a 100 page document – as even something simple can used. Remember, the goal of any plan is to keep you on target to meet your goals. Many times this can be accomplished with a very simple plan, written on a paper napkin.
Stay Motivated (persistence is key)
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going” ~ Billy Ocean
This step is where we have all experienced failure. Accomplishing our goals requires persistence. Persistence is the glue that keeps your plans together and allows you to accomplish your goals. Of all the resolutions this year, I’m betting the majority of them will fail because of a lack of persistence and motivation.
Sure, many people with start their ‘new years’ resolutions, they may even stick to them for a while – but for those that fail, it will be due to a loss in motivation. There is really not much more to say here… You have to be persistent to achieve success. It will not come easy and will take hard work combined with endless patience.
Maintain your motivation to keep your goals, and achievement will follow after. I’m confident that if you stay persistent with you 2014 resolutions, you will be successful.