-Article By Kgobati Magome
I recently received this question in my inbox from a frustrated forum participant: ”Why is it that year after year, I have this one goal that I set, but I always give up on it by the first month of the year? I really want this, but I just don’t seem to have the steam to keep going at it. How can you help me?”
As a human being, I can relate to this. I too used to have many goals that I would set year after year and not achieve. As a result, I set out to find out the science of (optimal) achievement and how to translate that science into practical ways of thinking and being that can enable me to achieve my goals.
Here are the five key critical components I now know from my many years of working on helping myself and others to achieve their best selves and goals:
- Start with internal goals, focussing on your inner being
Anything we achieve externally- e.g. bigger house, bigger car, bigger job- all begins in our minds. If we have not done the necessary internal mind-work, such as who we need to BE to achieve the goal, we do not achieve our goals. We lose steam, as there is not enough clarity of mind, and therefore not enough energy to keep going. It is from our BEING– who we are, that our achievements flow.
- Visualise the goal you want to achieve as clearly as you can.
What does it look like, and sound like? What body sensations do you have as a result of achieving it? As human beings, we cannot outperform our thoughts. We are only able to go as far as our minds take us. So, if we can’t see it, we simply can’t achieve it! There is lots of research to support this.
- Determine your “Big Why” for achieving that goal
Friedrich Nietzsche says “A man or a woman with a BIG ENOUGH WHY, can stand almost any HOW”. You determine your big WHY by answering the following question: “what is it about this goal that is SO important to me?”. List as many BiG WHYs that come to mind and see which of these have deep meaning and really energise you. Knowing why a goal is important to you, gives you a hierarchy of values that help you to keep going when the going gets tough. Many of us give superficial “WHYs” for wanting to achieve our goals. Examples such as “wanting to look like Jennifer Lopez the actress; or “keeping up with all my friends”; or fitting into a size 10 pair of jeans” are all superficial. These little “whys” will not sustain you in achieving your goals.
- Develop a plan with clear steps to follow in order to achieve the goal
This involves breaking down the project into smaller pieces and thinking through the internal resources that you need from inside you that will drive you to act on the goal. What beliefs will support you? How do you need to think to keep going? Which self-talk is going to support you? Which self-talk is sabotaging you and therefore needs to stop? Etc.
- Develop a mind-body ritual that will help you to be consistent in taking the necessary steps to deliver the goal.
Consistency is the mother of success. This means that every night as you plan your next morning, you would deliberately bring to mind your intentions, your values, your supporting beliefs for your goals, the person you want to be- which will enable you to take the steps that you need to take for the next day.
Let’s face it. Achieving your goals requires deliberate practice, and taking the time to do the work. If you need more detailed support on this, we run an annual full-day workshop to enable others to develop achievable goals using the five components above and more. Click here to find out more