“You just wait. I’m going to be the biggest Chinese Star in the world.”
– Bruce Lee
You know the best part about this? As wild as his goal was, he actually did it.
Think back to a time where you failed to achieve what you set out to do and how you felt once you realized that it wasn’t going to happen. It sucked , didn’t it? Now, let’s think about why you failed. Was it a lack of knowledge? A lack of action? A lack of commitment? Maybe it was an amalgamation of them all. Regardless of what caused it, let’s talk about how you can prevent these from becoming road blocks on the way to having a beast of a year.
Problem: Lack of knowledge
Solution: Find it
In this day and age where we can acquire accurate information faster than ever before, this is no longer a valid reason. In the unlikely event that you can’t find what you’re looking for on your own, seek out people who you know have achieved what you want to do and contact them. Most of them will be more than happy to help you step your knowledge game up, and they can also point you in the direction of other helpful resources where you can continue your education if needed.
Problem: Lack of action
Solution: Create emotional content
If you’re not acting on your goal, then it’s not important enough to you….yet. Harsh, I know. If you consistently say that you want to lose weight but spend the free time that you have doing things that don’t bring you any closer to that goal, then you’ve just proven my point.
The good thing is this: you can change it; you can make it important to you.
Find your reason why. Why do you want to become a successful writer? Is it to prove to yourself that you’re capable enough? Is it to show your college professor who laughed at your creative work that you can do this? Is it simply a means to get out of your unsupportive environment and connect with people who support you rather than drag you down? That’s what I call emotional content.
Whatever your reason is, make sure that it puts some fire under your feet, because this is what will fuel you when your energy is low and it becomes easier and easier to give up. You should wake up every morning excited to do something that brings you closer and closer towards your prime objective.
Problem: Lack of focus
Solution: Create checkpoints
Ok, so you’ve created your emotional content and you’re raring to go, but there is another barrier in the way of your success – it’s a lot to bite off at once.
Totally understandable, but we’re not going to let this stop you. Not this year.
Think of your goal resting atop of a ladder and all that you have to do is go get it. Simple, right? Yep, it is simple, but it’s not easy. It would be nice if we could just jump right up to the top of the ladder, snatch it down, and be done with the whole process, but sadly that’s not how this works.
So you have your goal. Now, sit down and write all of the possible actions, no matter how small, that you can take on a daily basis that’ll bring you closer to it – I like to think of these checkpoints as the steps on that ladder.
If you’re prone to falling off the ladder and giving up, start with easy checkpoints that you know can easily be accomplished. By starting off with these small checkpoints, you are eliminating failure and false steps during that crucial time where you’re still trying to gain traction, and by doing so you’ll gain the confidence that you need in order to continue moving forward.
I can’t stress this point enough – make progress on these checkpoints daily. By doing so, especially in the beginning, you’ll not only form and solidify the habits that you’ll need in the future, but you’ll be able to objectively track your progress towards your goal, allowing yourself to celebrate these victories along the way.
Problem: Going it alone
Solution: Find a fellowship
I love Lord of the Rings, but let’s be honest – Frodo would have died within 5 minutes of leaving The Shire if his allies weren’t there by his side to help him in his quest.
Too often we go it alone because we think that it makes us weak if we reach out for help from others, or that it will somehow dilute the victory, but this couldn’t be further from the truth, especially if going it alone has only hurt you in the past.
This website almost ceased to exist after only 4 months back in early 2010, and if it weren’t for the urgings of a close friend to keep on writing, I would have never updated it again. I knew that I couldn’t do it alone, at least not then, and they helped hold me to my mission, which I haven’t wavered from since.
Put your goal and the steps that you intend to take in order to reach it out there. Tell a close friend or family member – anyone that you know won’t let you slack, even when you want to. Do the same for them and you’ll be surprised to find that this may motivate you even more because that person is leaning on you for strength as well.
One of my main goals for 2011 is to connect more with my readers, because you’re the reason why I do this. I get my energy from the comments and e-mails that I receive, from knowing that what I’m doing here is helping you in some way.
With that said, here is what I’m going to do. If you’ve ever left a comment on this site, I’m going to personally e-mail you this week and see how I can help you. Do you need advice on how to tackle your physique goal for this year? We can chat about how to get you going. Want to bounce some ideas that you have floating around in your head off someone? Let’s do it. Do you simply need a compassionate individual to hold you accountable to any other goals that you have? I’ll be that dude.
If you don’t want to wait and need to get the ball rolling NOW, then write down your goals + action steps and send them to me here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Even if you only have a goal with no idea how you’re going to reach it, send me an e-mail as well and we can work together to create some action steps.
The past is done with, but today, right now, we have the opportunity to disregard it completely and take steps towards creating the future that we crave with every fiber of our being. Are you going to let this year slip quietly into the night like so many others, or are you going to make it your best one ever?
“To hell with circumstances. I create opportunities.”
– Bruce Lee
Photo Credit: Negativz