Quote Of The Week – 47 – 2016
How To Stay Motivated To Reach Your Personal Goals
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.“- Jim Rohn
About The Quote
We all have great ideas and personal goals for our future but only few people are actually ready to take the necessary action steps. The problem many people have is their unwillingness to get out of their comfort zone and to change their habits.
Habits can be very powerful if used wisely. Once you are acting out of habit you no longer need your limited willpower and motivation. So by changing your habits you can give your life a turnaround and literally reach your goals on autopilot.
But here comes the problem:
It is not us controlling our habits, but our habits controlling us. And we are not even aware of them most of the time! We have all kinds of habits that keep us from reaching our goals but instead define our comfort zone and keep us within its boundaries.
We wonder how some successful people have been able to achieve the unthinkable and how much they have invested to get there. But once you make it a habit to work on your goals it is much easier to actually get there. Having beneficial habits makes you not only achieve your biggest goals, but it makes you become a greater version of yourself! You literally grow into your goal by following your new routines, no matter how big it is. All it takes is a relatively small daily commitment that becomes a habit after a while.
Goal Setting Series: Step 3 to Step 5
This is the third part of the Holistic Life Transformation goal setting series. If you haven’t done so already, please read Introduction To Goal Setting – 8 Steps To Achieve Your Goals and subsequently How To Set Goals And How To Achieve Them before continuing with this post.
In this post I walk you through #3, #4, and #5 of the 8 steps to achieve your goals.
In the last post we covered the first two steps that are necessary in the process of reaching your goals. By now you should have:
- 5 goals that are most important for you and a reason why you want to achieve them over the next five years in different areas of your life
- very achievable, and time-bound milestones or mini-goals over the course of the next 12 months that will lead you to your big goals
- milestones or mini-goals that are represent a measurable outcome by the end of each month
- one source or person that can help you in achieving your big goal.
- a fixed time and place for each week when you are going to conduct your weekly planning.
- a fixed time and place when you are going to work on your goal each day (re-evaluated on a weekly basis but ideally in the morning before all other tasks)
Now it is time to move on and becoming an “action hero” by getting into action the right now and in the right way. In this post we cover the next steps which are all about staying motivated on your journey to accomplish your goals:
- Step #3: Track your time and action
- Step #4: See the big picture
- Step #5: Build habits to automate the process. Reach your goals on autopilot.
Step #3: Track your time and action
Stop being busy. Prioritize and focus. Achieve more that matters by doing less that distracts.
An easy way to put it is this:
The more time and effort you invest in your goals the bigger will be your progress. So in order to measure your progress you have to either record your effort, your time, or both.
How to track your performance
A way to measure the time is of course relatively easy. You simply need to measure the time you spent on doing something. If you want to work out 30 minutes a day or work on hour on your goal then measure the time you actually do that but make sure to exclude the breaks.
But time alone is not the best indicator if you cannot generate some results. So you could also use a performance based system to measure your progress like writing 1000 words per day for your book. By the end of the week or month you can sum up all the words you have written and compare them to your total goal of let’s say 50,000 words for your new book. So if you stick to your plan you will see that by writing 1,000 words every day you basically add 2% every day to your big goal.
You can apply this to other areas as well like the amount of push-ups you make, the miles you want to run, the number of videos you want to upload for your new channel, or the money you want to save or earn. Be creative here.
What are the benefits of measuring your progress?
The biggest advantage that I can see is that you actually stop comparing yourself to other people. Instead you compare yourself against your own performance. With your goal in sight you can use it as an internal yardstick when you struggle somehow. Then you will see what you have achieved already and are much more willing to continue.
It doesn’t help to compare you to others because each one is different and has his own path to go. You never know the whole story and what appears to be shiny on the surface might not be what it seems to be. In either way it is a fool’s game that you cannot win. You externalize your power and waste your precious time and energy thinking about others and what they have done better or worse than you.
And why does it actually matter? Don’t get distracted by other people and rather focus on your own goals. This is not about being selfish but about channeling your energy to what matters most in your life. When you focus on reaching your goals you will see anything else as a distraction. Get rid off negative thinking that is no longer serving you and make new priorities.
The only one who has enough in common with you to make it worth comparing is you. So it makes only sense to look at your own performance. Anything else should be out of your focus once and for all. It can be a huge relief to focus on your own track record and stop caring about anyone who could be “better” than you. This is not about letting yourself go but rather to not worry about stuff that you cannot change and that should be not your business anyway.
Task 7: Look at your goals, milestones, and checkpoints. They all should consist of measurable outcomes. Think of what could be your minimum daily or weekly performance or time requirement. Then go ahead and start to actually measure your performance or time every time you are working on your goal.
Explanation: This will help you to prioritize and focus instead of just being busy. You can set daily or weekly minimum goals and a minimum of time that you want to work on it. Everything you do more is fine for your big goal and keeps you ahead of schedule. Achieve more what matters by doing less that distracts.
Step #4: See the big picture
Visualize your goal clearly, on a daily basis. Seeing is believing, believing is doing, and doing is success.
Also remind yourself always why you started in the first place
Do you know of the story of Jim Carry who wrote himself a check? It is a very good example for seeing the big picture.
Task 8: Create a vision board and place it somewhere where you can see it every day. Search for images or other ways to illustrate how your achieved goal looks like. Besides just seeing it you should really imagine how you spend your ideal day after you have achieved your goal. The vision board should serve as a daily reminder for you to envision and “experience” your achieved goal in your mind.
Explanation: You already have written down a precise description of your goals and you should know why you want to achieve them. Now it is time to actually visualize your goals and remind yourself what it is that you want to get or become. Pictures are apparently the best way to put it but you could also use phrases or a big list.
Step #5: Build habits to automate the process. Reach your goals on autopilot.
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
In the last post I already mentioned how you can change habits that annoy you or hold you back of some sort and replace them with new more beneficial ones.
You can apply the same principle for generating new habits that are actually helping you to achieve your goals.
Identifying your old habits
We have all kinds of habits whether we are aware of them or not. Most of them are most likely not serving you very well on your pursuit to “fame and fortune”, otherwise we would not have to sit together here and work on a solution. 🙂
But don’t worry, you are far ahead of the majority of people because not only got you aware of the situation you are in but you actually started to do something about it. This is a massive accomplishment! And I pull my hat off to you for your efforts. Don’t think that any of this is nonsense or wasted time. In fact, you could hardly spend (or rather invest) your time more wisely than setting your goals and working towards their accomplishment!
Task 9: Write down the normal sequence of events on a workday and also on the weekend or what you normally do when you don’t work. Identify 10 habits for each day and think about whether this habit is serving you well in reaching your goals or not. Think about 3-5 habits that you want to change and how you can replace them with new habits that are in alignment with your goals.
Explanation: Each one of us is driven by all sorts of habits and routines. Those habits determine where we are in life and what we are getting out of it. Your actual circumstances are a reflection of your actions and beliefs. Most of what we think and do happens out of habit and thus, creates the exact same reflection in our life. Once you observe and analyze your habits you can actually learn a lot about yourself. Analyze your day and think about how you start it, what you are eating, how you go to work, how much coffee you need, and so on. How do you spend your time at work? What are you doing after you come back home? How much TV do you watch and how is this going to help you with your goals?
- You should have 10 habits of what you do on a normal working day.
- You should have 10 habits of what you do on a normal day off.
- You have compared your goals and habits and identified which habits are no longer serving you.
- You have started to change one habit right now and you are replacing it with a new one over the course of the next month.
Type of habits
Habits are not just things that you do but also thoughts you think, the mindset you have and the way you behave in certain circumstances. Here are some examples:
- Self-talk: What is the voice in your head telling you in certain situations? Do you have the habit to think mostly negative about your life and the world in general?
- Beliefs: Talking to ourselves forms various beliefs that most often than not are based on false assumptions or pure speculation. Nevertheless, we end up believing them and make our decisions accordingly. We tend to have all kinds of negative beliefs in our subconscious mind unless we start reprogramming them.
- Mindset: What is your mindset about certain people, companies, politicians, countries, sport clubs, or about men or women? Do you have a habit to complain or gossip about others? This is also a habit that is not serving you in reaching your goals. Instead it keeps you drained, distracted, and pessimistic. If you want to learn more about how you can change your mindset then I can recommend you to check out the 10 best mind changing books for 2017.
- Morning Routine: How do you wake up an spend your morning? Do you need 3 cups of coffee, 2 donuts and a cigarette to get started or do you workout for 30 minutes and write down what you want to achieve today and how you want to feel today? Do you have healthy or rather unhealthy habits?
- Communication: How do you behave when talking to different people? Did you ever realize that you use another role depending on who you talk to? You automatically change your behavior depending on who you deal with because we tend to live up to other people’s expectations.
Go ahead and have a look at your 10 habits again. Can you categorize them according to what was mentioned above? Or do you realize that there are even more things that you haven’t been aware of before. Maybe you realize that you tend to have negative beliefs about money?
This might sound overwhelming. But don’t worry; just go ahead one step at a time. You can actually set the goal to change the most distressing habits you have. Remove limiting beliefs about your goal and enhance your mind power, boost your confidence, and make it a habit to work weekly or better daily on your goals!
Change one habit at a time
This was basically already mentioned in the previous post.
Give yourself the time that you need to change ONE habit at a time. Getting over ambitious here can be counter-productive. If you don’t have a life changing event or any other rock solid reason why you want to start over completely then you may not be able to make it through the first seven weeks and changing all at once.
Take small steps but make them rock solid.
Do you want to get up earlier? Start with 15 minutes per week and work yourself towards your goal.
Implementing a new habit is like having a daily mini goal that you have to accomplish over and over again. Notice that all goal setting principles apply likewise! Make sure you know what you want to do when, where, and why!
Frequency of repetition
If your new habit is nothing that you want or can do on a daily basis then it might become much harder to actually make it a habit.
This has been a major struggle for me for years. The less frequent my new habit occurs the more likely I am going to fail to implement it. Imagine that you want to work out three times per week and have to convince yourself every two or three days that it is now time again. You most likely tend to do too much and suffer from the consequences for the next day. The next time you have to convince yourself again and use a lot of willpower. In my case I tended to look forward to the days I wouldn’t have to work out rather than being excited about the actual training days.
Whereas when you do a bit less per day but more frequently then you get into the habit of working out much easier. It is better to make each day 20 push-ups than doing 140 one time per week.
If you cannot do it daily then set fixed times and places for your task! Make time for it in your schedule and make it a priority over other things.
Achieve your goals faster with more habits
Imagine having various big goals that you would have to approach one by one according to our goal planning procedure. This can take a long time and you may not feel satisfied about the progress you make. The solution would be to work on several goals at the same time. Ideally these goals are not within the same category.
If you have a passion, health, and wealth goal then you may work on them at different times per week. So if you can manage to keep an overview of all these goals and make it a habit to work on them regularly, then you don’t need to wait until you have reached one of them.
You could implement a morning routine that enables you to work on all of your goals one by one before you actually get started with your other duties. You could write 500 words right after waking up for your blog or book (passion), then you go to make sport because you want to lose weight (health), and after that you write down all the things you are grateful for (wealth). These are three habits that you do in a row and that help you for your goals.
Check out my favorite goal setting application.
Stay ahead of your schedule with this innovative and easy to use goal setting software. It allows you to set SMART goals and helps you to measure your progress.
How To Stay Motivated To Reach Your Personal Goals
In this post I gave you the right tools that you need to stay motivated on your journey to actually reach your goals. Now, you do not only have set your personal goals and made a plan about how to achieve them, but you actually made sure that you stay motivated once you get right into the work.
By now you should be able to compare your own performance to yourself and not get distracted by other people’s success (getting inspired is much better though), you have the big picture which enforces your “why” and makes it much more enjoyable for you to actually get started every single day, and last but not least, you know how you create new habits that will set you on autopilot on your way to success. This way you will need much less willpower to bring your goals into reality.
Well, this is a bunch of work for you at this time. But you will have one week to go through these three steps. When you are done, there will be the next post waiting for you to follow along with the next steps. Until then have a nice week.
What did you today to bring you one step closer to your goal?
Leave a comment below and tell us what is working for you. Have a great week and share this post with your friend if you found it to be helpful.
Start your holistic life transformation. Change your life today and become your greatest version!
Who Said It
Emanuel James “Jim” Rohn (1930-2009) was an American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker.
For more than 40 years he helped people around the world to become their greatest version and achieve the success in life that they wanted.
On his website it is summarized like this:
Jim Rohn focused on the fundamentals of human behavior that most affect personal and business performance. His is the standard to which those who seek to teach and inspire others are compared. He possessed the unique ability to bring extraordinary insights to ordinary principles and events, and the combination of his substance and style captures the imagination of those who hear or read his words.
Jim is known as one of the great wordsmiths of our time. Here is a sampling from Jim’s Treasury of Quotes that reflect on his philosophy on life and business:
Skills: Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems; wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges; wish for more wisdom.
Growth: Don’t join an easy crowd. You won’t grow. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform and achieve are high.
Change: We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons: inspiration or desperation.
Activity: The few who do are the envy of the many who watch.
Success: Success is what you attract by the person you become.