*Portions of this blog are excerpts from the new Mayfly Maven Goal Setting Journal. Focus on your big goals and achieve small steps towards them throughout the coming year.*
"The purpose of setting goals is to create a clear vision of what you want to achieve and to motivate yourself to take the necessary steps to achieve it." – Brian Tracy, Motivational Speaker
Even the most intelligent and self-aware individuals can benefit from setting goals and using tools and toolkits to help them achieve them.
But let’s face it, nothing ever goes according to plan.
At least not for me! You too?
This year, on my birthday, May 2023, I broke my ankle and could not walk most of the summer, which meant no travel, very little work (which was finally picking up) and putting a real damper on my new goal of hiking the Te Aroroa.
When we get interrupted by life, even everyday life, our dreams feel that much further away.
That’s why keeping our goals in mind is so important.
If we set personal and professional goals, we can maintain a vision of where we want to go and adjust our path when the plan doesn’t work because we still know where we are heading.
So, let’s explore what types of goals might help you succeed.
Habits in disguise
Once you set one big audacious goal based on the SMART methodology, but then what?
I suggest breaking each big goal into daily goals, so they become habits.
Setting goals helps us trigger new behaviours, create new habits, establish focus, and sustain momentum.
Our habits make us who we are and are the secret to achieving our goals.
For example, if you want to write a book, commit to 400 words a day and don’t skip a day, or at least don’t skip it twice!
Consistency is the determination and perseverance to persist in facing challenges and barriers.
When it gets tough, keep your mission and goals in sight by working towards them diligently and consistently; daily habits can lead you to success, step by step.
Ask the famous fiction writer Stephen King how daily habits and structure helped him succeed, and you will find he keeps to a consistent work routine.
His workspace stays the same as he sits down at the same time every day, with the same glass for water, papers arranged and the same music playing. This is how he creates consistency in his day to focus on his work.
Every athlete speaks to the commitment to consistency of training as the foundation of their success. They train every day, at the same time, and improve their skills so they consistently exceed expectations.
Coolio, the rapper, wrote lyrics every day for 17 years before having a hit.
J. K. Rowling worked on Harry Potter for seven years before releasing the first book.
If you can achieve consistency, you can create your own success story.
Consistency wins every time.
It is no different for the mind or the emotions. If we are consistent in our daily choices and tasks, the effect is compounding, and impossible tasks become possible.
Perfection stops progress
The most significant barrier to progress is the perfection myth.
We can’t launch the website because it is not perfect.
We can’t work out because we don’t have 30 minutes to go for a run.
We can’t ask someone to read a draft of our book because it needs another edit.
We can’t meditate perfectly so there's no point in trying.
Let’s stop this.
Commit to the mantra, “There is no such thing as perfect.”
Done is better than perfect.
80% complete is good enough for a website launch.
Five minutes of exercise is better than zero.
Feedback on a first rough draft is better than continuing on the wrong path.
Five minutes of sitting silently in meditation is better than no time.
Don’t aim for perfection. It is the enemy of progress.
Aiming for high standards is acceptable and likely will make you better at what you choose to do, but perfection is a myth.
To create a habit, we need to make a start.
And habits are a funny thing. Once you start and continue to be consistent, they naturally build in length over time.
Do the best you can, as much as you can, and keep going one step at a time.
Community and accountability help
Journeys are not taken in isolation. They are best when supported by a foundation of community.
Or at least an accountability partner.
Have you ever said you would go to yoga every day and not bother?
What about when you said you would meet someone at yoga? Did you go then?
We are more likely to do something because we commit to doing it with someone else than if we are not alone and responsible through willpower!
To create the habit, use this little “cheat” and commit with someone else to hold yourself accountable. Your success in doing the activity will increase tenfold.
Why else would I create a Mastermind for writing a book?
Because I know I will write every day if I commit to it.
Plus, in a mastermind, people inspire a synergy of energy, commitment, and excitement by raising the bar, challenging us to create and implement goals, brainstorm ideas, and support each other with total honesty and compassion.
That’s not too shabby.
Your network can be the difference between success and failure.
They are also the first to tell you that failure is just as important as success to learn and improve!
"Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. It is the foundation of creating a life that is truly worth living." - Tony Robbins, Author
Over to you to create a life that is truly worth living!
Set that goal.
Commit to it.
I’m with you. You can do it!