6 things to keep in mind to reach your goals
January 2015 was the month where I started getting my requirements for my plan to study in Canada and living in a third world country didn’t make that an easy task. To make it even more challenging I was working at a fast-paced environment where it can be demanding quite often. But I had to juggle every requirement, red tape and work at the same time ’cause my plans studying abroad was a huge risk and looking at where I am at at that time, I’m more than willing to take some risk and struggle to reach my goal. So how far did I go? It went as far as me going to reached my goal and learning a few lessons along the way. Before you read the rest of this, try to think of one goal that you’re trying to reach. Hopefully, this will help you along the way.
1. Be open and accept that you have to struggle usually more than what you expect.
When we set our goals we often underestimate the task and effort needed to attain it. So when we fail to get to that level of effort, we become anxious, frustrated or demotivated to reach it. I think the first step to reaching our goals is accepting the unknown amount of struggle, effort, occasional failure and probably some sleepless nights that goes with it. When we have accepted that, we become open to challenges that come on our way and see mistakes and failure as a learning curve.
and Yes, I italicized challenges so you would notice that I don’t see them as barricades of struggles or problems. Instead I see them as a hurdle to attain something.
2. Break down the things you have to do and write a to-do list.
When I started this journey two years ago I didn’t really know what kind of stress and struggle I was up against. For starters, I was overwhelmed with the number and level of requirements I had to get. Getting requirements may sound easy but I didn’t realize how many requirements it take to get a single requirement not to mention that those requirements also had their own requirements and the amount of money I had to pay and of course the processing time for each. At some point it felt like I was stuck in a rabbit hole, So to avoid being overwhelmed. Take it one day at a time. piece by piece. chunk by chunk until you are able to finish everything and while you’re at it, keep a daily to do list to keep track of your errands. I read this book 52 small changes for the mind where it says to make sure that you only write down the things you can actually accomplish within a period of time. I understand that we always wanna finish asap, but being realistic with what you can achieve at a given time will help you avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed with everything.
If you’re goal involves becoming better at a skill. You can create a list of the things or lessons you need to learn and practice each day. just try to practice everyday. Make time for it. you can’t be an instant ninja at something in your first day.
3. Focus and see the bigger picture.
It took me a year to finish every requirement. One year is a lot of time to be stressed, demotivated, and be swayed to your goals. There was I point in my life where I wanted to give up and stay where I am at. Positive and negative noise around us are factors to lose our focus. So how do we avoid it? just keep your focus. But exactly how do we do that? I learned that being self-aware with my actions helped me focus on my goals. It can be very easy to be demotivated to give up or be swayed from a different opportunity because of our day to day activities. So it’s very important to understand why we are doing something. Are we doing it for ourselves? or are we doing it for someone else? Once you feel a task makes you demotivated or swayed ask yourself these questions:
- Is this [task] aligned with my current goal?
- Will this[feeling/task/opportunity] help me achieve my goal?
- Will doing this be worth it?
- Am I willing to do this struggle to reach my goal?
Now, It’s important that you stay truthful and realistic to yourself each time you reflect and answer these questions. becoming bias can be very easy when we want something but that does not benefit us from reaching our goals.
Struggling with a task may give you an illusion that you are failing to achieve your goal. For every task you do check if it helps you in your main goal. Again, being self aware is important. Find the reason why you are doing that and what can you get by doing that. In return, you will be aware of the level of importance of each task you do. The four questions above can also help you see the bigger picture of your main goal.
5. Learn when to say “yes” and “no”.
Struggles are not the only thing that comes in the way of our goals. Distractions too. Distraction comes in many forms. It can come in opportunities or it can simply come in a fun night out.
Opportunities: This one is a bit tricky ’cause this can sway you to giving up your goal. As I was working on my visa requirements, there were other opportunities that sprouted and I could just easily forget my goal. I had to say no to most of them because I know that it was not align with my goals. When declining opportunities, try to weigh if it will benefit you from the long term.
Some opportunities where also tempting because the effort it takes is not as much effort as the other. but the easy way can be a trap OR the easy way can simply be less rewarding. More effort can mean it is more rewarding.
FUN!!!: I’m not saying that you should become a loner and and skip all the fun in your life but just remember that time is an investment. We all have 24 hours a day and what we make out of it really speeds or slows us down to our goals.
so remember Distraction can be in the form of Opportunities or FUN.
6. Never Compare yourself to the struggle and opportunity of others. Just. Don’t.
Struggling with the day to day hassles is a usual thing but comparing yourself to other people is just plain poison. poison that kills you with envy, sadness and self pity. I did not really feel that I already reached my goal until I had my visa approved where as I have mentioned took me a year to finish all my requirements. So for the past 11 months, while the people around me where having the ups of their lives I was feeling down and trying my best not to feel sorry for myself.
but I learned that there’s a reason why we call it “my goal” by calling it my goal it also means that we have our own resources, skills to attain it. Let me repeat that for you, Each of us have our own set of skills and resources to attain our goal. In the first place, we have different goals in our lives, it can be similar at some aspects but we usually have different life goals so why compare your situation to someone who has a different goal? Aside from that, you’ll never know if the person your comparing yourself with is at the same range as you are. When you compare your skills from someone whose been practicing for months or years and it’s your first day learning it, would that be fair?
If the time comes that you notice you compare yourself to someone “better” than you. Make them an inspiration to pursue your goals rather than feeling sorry for yourself for the skills and things you do not have.
7. Surround yourself with supportive people
Surround yourself with people who support your goals and dreams not people who are just interested with what your dreams are. Being in a supportive environment will help you be motivated with your goals as you talk about dreams, to-do’s, and not gossip. Having supportive people around you may also help you solve your problems or see a situation in a different way — like when you overthink one or it can be as simple as having someone around to listen. At the same time, support them in their journey as well.
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Bonus: Keep a positive and realistic mindset all throughout the process and When the time comes that you’ve reach your goal. Create another one and Never stop learning.
Each of us have our own goals. goals that lead us to success or happiness. Every one wants success but not everyone is willing to struggle for their goals. So how much struggle are you willing to take?