Happy New Year to you!! As we roll into the new year – 2014, chances are that you have set some mighty goals. So many of us, if not all of us, will have some new year resolutions and words such as – workout, earn a new degree, learn a new language, get fit, loose weight, drop a dress size and the likes – will be seen on our new year resolutions list. While this is a step in the right direction, the success of achieving each goal is highly dependent on how you prepare yourself to successfully achieve each one. It is often said that tiny drops of water make mighty ocean and that the journey of a thousand miles starts with a step, in the same light, I believe that mighty goals are achieved when several mini goals are accomplished and to that I say, “several mini goals make mighty goals.”
Something that seems so insignificant, yet so significant triggered this article. After one of my workouts, I was relaxing to my cup of green smoothie and camomile tea wondering how successful I would have been in achieving my goal if I had not prepared myself right. I started thinking of all the things I had to do earlier and during the period to make sure I meet this non-negotiable goal of mine. Immediately, my entrepreneurial mind kicked in and I began to pen down my chain of thoughts. I thought about why sometimes people achieve their goals and other times don’t and I realized that these same principles that I penned down can also be applied to achieving any other goals we set for ourselves in this new year and beyond.
Here was my thought on it, included are 13 principles you must apply to achieve your goals.
A little background here: For the past 4 years, I have been on a personal mission to take charge of my body and stay fit and healthier, this I did by learning the right foods to eat to nourish my body and exercising regularly. Having lost over 40 pounds, staying healthy has become more of a lifestyle. Details of my weight-loss journey can be found here: My Weight-loss Journey
In order to even begin this process, I needed to have a clearly defined goal and know exactly what I wanted to achieve. In this case, I wanted to lose 15 pounds. Knowing this will help me create the right plan of action that I can follow. It is said that success starts in the mind so you have to tell your brain that this goal is non-negotiable and decide that if you have to, you will go over, under, and around to meet your goal. Similarly, you cannot achieve a goal if you are overly realistic. Considering my resources and goal timeline, it will be an over shoot to say I want to loose 20 pounds in 20 days. Even though I am shooting for 15 pounds, I know that realistically, 10 pounds would be ideal and more realizable. Hence the need to be realistic with your goal setting.
You must set a goal timeline. The thought of losing at least 10 pounds in 20 days sure made me so sick to my stomach, as a result, I knew I had to set myself up for good success. In my years of growing my business, I have learned that a much needed ingredient to accomplish a goal, is to be accountable to someone, so I told 2 people that I knew would hold me accountable about it and logged in my workout time. Aware that there was not going to be any cooking in my kitchen, I needed to fill my fridge with the right vegetables and fruits, so I researched, found and invested in an eBook – 21 Day Detox with Young and Raw. I loved the motivation they provided as well and their online support and that leads me to another point, surround yourself with the right people and things that will help you meet your goal. I also had to do away with any thing in my refrigerator that could tempt me and cause me to loose my focus.
Another key pointer to consider in achieving a goal, is the need to be disciplined. Sometimes your goal will require you to be disciplined enough to make some sacrifices.You’ve got to ask yourself, “what am I willing to sacrifice in order to achieve this goal? In this instance, I had to sacrifice my extra morning hour sleep. I sacrificed “hanging out” and eating out, just so that I am not tempted to eat outside of my plan. I would wake up in the morning and after my devotion and dress up in my workout gear knowing that with my work out gear on, there was no turning back, I had to go work out.
Most days, I tried to get in both morning and evening workouts and to help me do that, I located my jump rope and bought a new resistance band along with my workout ball, with these, when I was not able to get to the gym for the second time in the evening, I would take to the workout helpers I have at home and still be able to help get in some good evening workout.
Most times, people become frustrated when they don’t meet their goal just because they did not put in as much work as is required to meet such goal. An athlete training for an Olympics game would certainly put in more days of hard work and persistence in order to increase their competitiveness and chance of winning the gold. Such a person will not be doing the regular gym exercise. So you must make sure that your level of activities match your goal. In the leadership workshop that I facilitate, I stress on the fact that to grow to the next level of success, you must increase your level of income producing activities. You cannot want to make a six figure income and not match that with the level of activities that is required for you to make that happen.
REPEAT: My ability to achieve a set goal is directly proportional to my level of activities.
Furthermore, I had to identify and resolve goal inhibitors, these are those things that if not tackled could deter you from fully executing your goal. In this instance, as much as I do not like braiding my hair, with the intensity of planned workout, I identified my hair as a possible inhibitor and had to braid my hair to combat that. Being tender-headed, I endured the pain of the braids,
knowing that it would make meeting this goal easier for me. So in spite of the pain – which almost stopped me – I kept my focus on the reason for the temporary discomfort and did it anyway.
In addition, you must identify your motivating factors – knowing that I needed something to trigger a sustainable motivational force to drive and fuel passion – I knew that getting some new workout gear would do just that for me so I went out and bought some really colorful and trendy new gears. Considering the rainiest, inconsistent and not so favorable recent weather condition in Atlanta, GA, these new workout gears were enough to keep my motivation up despite the weather.
You cannot be a successful in growing a business without mastering the art of setting and meeting goals. Like one of my friends would say, “it’s as serious as heart attack,” and cannot be ignored. Renowned Speaker and Coach, Tony Robbins says, and I quote, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into visible.” Jessica Savitch also once said that no matter how many goals you have achieved, you must set your sights on a higher one. I am glad to have lost 11 pounds total, while I did not meet my stretch target of 15 pounds, I am happy with the 11 that I lost and will continue the fight to stay fit and healthy.
There are times the unexpected happen in the middle of a goal attainment, by my 15th day or so, I came down with a very terrible and disarming flu which had me home bound for 5 days, I could not believe it. I never knew flu could be this serious, frankly, I have had colds in the past and had wondered difference with flu and cold, this was the answer to my subconscious question. This definitely threw my off tangent, I couldn’t even step out of my house much less go for a work out. With this “setback,” I re-evaluated my goal, celebrated my success so far and for losing my minimum realistic goal of at least 10 pounds, I rewarded myself with a brand new VitaMix blender. As a strategic reward, I am setting myself up for my 2014 goal of more green smoothies in my diet and my immediate January goal to do a 21 day detox program – here’s another accountability moment, can you tell?
So you should reward yourself for successfully meeting a goal and this will spur you to set and meet another one. The feeling that comes with it is undeniably a great feeling!
If for any reason you don’t meet a set goal, that has happened to me severally in the past and one thing I learned to do is to evaluate what had happened and carefully identify any hindrances but immediately reset the goal and try again! If you believe enough in that goal, do what it takes to accomplish that it, this time, you already know what worked and did not work.
So after all my thoughts, I realize that I came up with a total of 13 principles that aided me in successfully executing my goal of losing 15 pounds in 20 days. You bet that I will be taking my own advise and I believe that these same principles will help you meet your goals as you kick off the new year!
Here are the 13 principles you must apply to achieve your 2014 goals
- Clearly define your goals
- Create a plan of action
- Make your goal non-negotiable
- Be realistic with your goal
- Set a goal timeline
- Be Accountable
- Surround yourself with the right people and things
- Be disciplined
- Make some sacrifices
- Be sure your activities match your goal
- Identify and resolve your goal inhibitors
- Identify your motivating factors?
- Reward yourself
Again, I wish you a very Happy New Year to you and all your loved ones!! I pray that this new year will bring us all much joy and success as we set and meet our goals!!