Five Ways to Persist with your Goals (Part 1)
- February 25, 2018
When it comes to excuses and distractions I am as susceptible as they come!
Mindless TV cop shows? They drag me in every time.
Facebook? Of course I have to know what’s going on with my friends, and friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends…
The temptations are endless for me, and probably for you too!
What’s even worse, is that distractions don’t arise only when I face a boring task. I can get distracted from the important, meaningful tasks too!! I do! ALL. THE. TIME!!!
You know, to be honest I really struggled to meet one of my goals this year and since I failed to make progress I was tempted to just give up and write off the whole year! But hang on – it is only February!!
Do I really want to give up on my goals and settle back for the rest of the year? I hope that you agree that would be mighty pathetic.
So I want to encourage you that it is possible to persist with your goals even if you feel like you’re failing. I did some quick research and here’s something I learned that might help me and you. According to U.S. News, approximately 80% of New Year resolutions fail by the second week of February! Excellent (I say that with sarcasm in my voice)!
Our dilemma is the same one faced by 80% of people who set goals in January each year and find that they are struggling to accomplish them only a few weeks later.
You may think that if 80% of resolutions fail by week 6 of 52 weeks, what is the point? Shouldn’t you just face reality and give up?
No way, I say!
How can you stick with your goals, even when it feels like you already failed?
As this is a question we all struggle with I put together a list of 10 points that will help you to stay on track – and be part of the 20% who stick with their goals. Here are the first 5 tips and the next 5 tips in this post!
Five tips to help you persist to accomplish your goals, even if you feel like you already failed:
1. THINK SMALL!
Well of course you want to think BIG, but what is important right now is to break your goal into a small, manageable pieces so that you can succeed!
My goal was to ‘write a post a week’ (something too vague and big). I wasn’t making progress so I set a smaller, clearer goal – ‘to write for 10 minutes a day’. By doing that everyday I have a better chance to get my bigger goal done.
Instead of setting a goal to ‘keep a journal’, you might set a goal to ‘write 5 sentences a day’, or to ‘write for 10 minutes every morning’ – you decide what works best for you.
You need to play around with the goal to find the sweet spot between something ‘too hard’ and ‘too easy’.
2. CHALLENGE YOURSELF!
Challenges can be fun and satisfying in themselves and when you build in a reward they are even more motivating for you. The best thing I found is to set a challenge that tricks me into getting started.
When I set a ‘race with time’ I find myself getting stuff done. For example, I set the timer on my phone for 10 minutes and then write without stopping until the timer rings! Ten minutes doesn’t seem so hard, and before I know it, it’s done!
Of course I give myself a big fist pump and do a little victory dance to celebrate and enjoy the buzz of success every time I do the stuff!
3. KEEP THE CHAIN!
This is a tip from Jerry Seinfeld. Apparently he crossed off a day on a calendar whenever he wrote new content. The principle is that once the chain of crosses starts to build up on the calendar, you don’t want to break it!
Similarly with your goal or resolution, you can set up a calendar in a visible place and cross off the days every time you do what you set out to do. Once you get a run of days on your calendar you won’t want to break the chain.
Set yourself some small rewards also to keep it fun every time you cross off a complete week or a month.
4. KNOW YOURSELF!
In this case, self-awareness means not only knowing your strengths and skills, it’s also about knowing where you might stumble.
If you didn’t keep your goal yesterday, what was it that prevented you? Analyse where you fell short. Awareness of the distractions, traps or fears will help you know and understand yourself better.
5. PROBLEM SOLVE!
Once you know the obstacle you can fix it! Problem solve so that you can do better today and tomorrow! Solve the problem by being smarter! Outwit the obstacle! Don’t let it own you or hold you back! If social media has the power to suck you in, or games distract you from meaningful tasks, use an app that closes off those distractions for a time, or set your smart phone onto ‘flight mode’ so that no emails can distract you.
So there you go. Now you have five simple, practical tips that you can use to help you to stick to your goals.
Know yourself and your weaknesses, and out smart them by setting a smaller, more specific goal, incorporating a reward into the challenge and marking your success on a calendar so that you can see the progress you are making.
Look out for 5 more tips on how to persist and accomplish your goals in my next post which you can read here!
Comment below to tell me what holds you back from persisting with your goals?
- The best New Year’s Resolution
- Business Ideas are not Random
- Ten Lessons from 30 African entrepreneurs
- Six (more) Reasons to keep a Journal
- Start your Entrepreneurial Journey as an Employee
- Tips to Conduct your Personal Inventory
- How to make Smart Decisions about Important Things
- How to Figure out what Matters to You
- Start with what Matters to You
- How your Attitude Impacts your Business