“I’m going nowhere in life”
Achievement and accomplishing goals is fulfilling. Progress makes us feel good. Progress gives us a sense of inner joy and excitement, because we are moving in life. We are in motion, which is what it means to be human; to be in motion.
We find ourselves in process. We can also get lost, stuck, and frustrated with the process. When we’re not making progress it’s frustrating. When not making progress we can make ourselves and others miserable. We may be exhausting all our efforts, but still not seeing a return.
Sometimes we must take a step back, think, reflect, to then keep moving forward. We must take a detached 3rd person view of ourselves, as best we can.
Here’s the framework I’ve used to achieve goals and make progress:
1. Write them down
Writing down goals puts them into existence, they are written intentions. Intentions are the blueprint for actions.
Set SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based.
Use a daily goal journal to write down goals, immediately when waking up.
- This consciously primes your brain to keep those goals in both your conscious and subconscious mind throughout the day.
2. Set a deadline:
- Added pressure from deadlines can help some accomplish their goals faster. Setting an unrealistic deadline can actually help you perform at an even faster pace! Give yourself LESS TIME to get something done, even though you might not make that deadline.
Time yourself: use a stopwatch, timer, or clock.
The goal: produce, produce, produce. You’ll be surprised at how you rise to the occasion when adding a time factor. Success loves speed.
Learn how to use the Pomodoro time management technique…
Set an unrealistic deadline for a task: see how you perform and respond.
Perform better by rising to the occasion.
3. Speak them into existence
- Affirmations are powerful. Say your goals and intentions out loud after you wake up.
- Speech connects thoughts, words, and intentions into a tangible form. An expression.
Repeat your goals and intentions, say them with conviction and belief.
4. Set alerts/reminders
- Alerts and reminders keep you organized. Hold yourself accountable and/or have others remind you too. Stick with your reminders as much as possible. If you miss a time, do that task as soon as you can.
Set reminders on your calendar and/or phone.
5. Measure progress
Write things down, check things off, reflect on events. Make a change if needed.
My blog post on ‘How to know when change is needed…’
What went well/could’ve gone better? Are you doing more/less? How’s the response you’re getting/not getting?
Quality and Quantity are indicators of progress.
Visualize the process before, during, and after.
Yourself already having accomplished those goals.
The person you are when you’ve accomplished the goal(s).
The actions, decisions, and steps needed in order for YOU to be successful.
The end result.
“What qualities do I need to embody to accomplish my goals?”
Play mental movies.
7. Focus on the little things
The big picture can be overwhelming.
Prioritize the top actions that will get you the most results, focus on those, one by one.
“Does doing __________ help me with __________?”
Break things down.
8. Embrace constructive criticism
Part of achieving goals and making progress is hearing what you’re doing well and not doing well.
Listen to criticism, but don’t absorb ALL you hear. Take comments for what they are, do your own reflecting & reasoning, and change if needed.
“Is this really true?”
“If I listen to what is said, will it help me become a better person, or help me achieve my goals?”
Ultimately, you have to filter the essential from the inessential.
9. Delay gratification
Delay gratification NOW for massive reward LATER.
“Will this ________, or doing __________ help me towards my goals and progress?”
Think big picture. Eyes on the prize.
10. Mental framing
BOLD statement: You ALREADY have your goal accomplished.
Shift your mindset by changing the way you frame things so you’re not overwhelmed:
“I have so much to do”
“I’m never going to______.”
“I can’t ______.”
“I never _________.”
“I have one thing to do.”
“I am able.”
Turn negative language into positive language.
Break things down into bite sized pieces.
11. Ask yourself questions
What do I have planned for later, or tomorrow?
Is there a more efficient way I could be doing _______?
What is occupying most of my time?
Is there a better way to do_______?
What is helping/hurting my progress?
How can I get the most progress and still achieve balance?
How can I progress in a shorter amount of time?
What are the ways/tools that I can use to speed up my goal?
- Stay true to the process. Focus on what you can control, and let go of what you can’t. Put in the work.
13. Get rid of distractions
You only have so much energy in the day, you need to let go of anything draining your battery.
“I got enemies, got a lotta enemies
Got a lotta people tryna drain me of my energy” — Drake
Your own thoughts
Avoid distractions by planning and keeping yourself occupied.
Listen to music that matches the goal(s) you’re trying to achieve. Whether it’s: working hard, trying to earn money, trying to get into a relationship, trying to get out of a tough time, trying to be creative, trying to learn, etc.
Pair your music with your goals.
Just as one would take a daily vitamin, we need to take a daily dose of inspiration and motivation.
Find both your INTERNAL and EXTERNAL motivators.
Get your daily dose of inspiration & motivation.
What’s “Your WHY?”
Reasons why we don’t make progress or achieve goals…
- We get in our own way
- We cheat ourselves or the process
- We QUIT.
- Miscalculation or Planning
- We think too much
- Internal barriers: health, mindset, character traits, conflicting attitudes.
- External barriers: other people, environment, opportunities, resources.
- We may have the wrong goals for us.
- We are resistant to change: we may be holding onto a story we’ve been telling ourselves, or others have told us.
- TALKING but not DOING (Talk Less, Work More #TLWM)
- We don’t know how to accomplish our goals.
- We don’t have any goals.
- We don’t fully believe in the goal and our ability to achieve it.
- We’re too comfortable.
- We’re not willing to sacrifice to succeed.
Some of What I’ve Accomplished Through Goal Setting & Making/Tracking Progress
- Completed a Nuclear Engineering program
- Became more fit
- Started a Blog & Instagram page
- Received academic scholarships
- Played a sport
- Recovered from injuries
- Received job offers
- Read over 20 books in one year
- Earned multiple leadership positions
- Become an RA
- Become a Tutor-Counselor
- Made the Dean’s List
- Met new people
- Logged in my daily goals for years
- Logged fitness & nutrition metrics for years
Progress and achieving goals comes from:
ASKING yourself the right questions
MAKING sound decisions
MAKING right choices
CHANGING your self-talk
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The PersonalDevelopmentBuddha is a Student of Life. Helping you with discovery and self-awareness through ideas, experiences, insights, and knowledge.