Most people think about goals in a far off in the future sense. Sure, goals are future-oriented but I believe it is better to look at them from both a forward-facing perspective and in the harsh light of “what did I accomplish” recently.
What if, on the first day of each month, you set an alarm on your smartphone that asked you to “write down the one goal that you accomplished last month…?”
Think back to your last four weeks. Did you accomplish one of your goals? I think many of us would say that we didn’t accomplish one of our goals — or make important steps toward a goal — but rather we just kept up with all the urgencies life throws on our plate. There is an immense difference between mission accomplished and mission started.
When we think about goals as a far off in the future concern, it becomes easy to let ourselves off the hook this week, or this month, and make no substantial progress for many months on end. No one else cares if we don’t accomplish our missions — in fact, some of the people secretly don’t want you to succeed — because it helps them feel better about their own lack of accomplishment. Most of us have no self-accountability feedback system… implementing this little alarm and reality-check on a monthly basis, while perhaps adding another reminder on a weekly basis, will change your goals momentum for the better.
The trick to momentum and accomplishment is to:
- have a plan for yourself,
- start first (contrary to popular belief, motivation come after you start),
- focus on one thing at a time with a specific plan in mind and full commitment now,
- write it down — the goal, the plan, and the progress log as it happens — and
- do not celebrate the announcement of intent but keep it to yourself until the mission is finished.
Finishing is everything. Completing three and a half years of college is not nearly as helpful as getting a diploma.
Build the habit of monthly progress on your goals. If you don’t, you will find that you are invariably making progress only on other people’s goals and not your own.
PS. If you don’t have a great list of goals defined, I have moved my free video goals workshop “GungHoLife” to youtube. You have a much better chance of accomplishing great things if you have specific targets and plans to do them.