“I want to buy a new car.”
“One day, I want to be a CEO.”
“I want to start something of my own.”
“I want to be happy.”
“I want to stop binge-watching.”
These or anything else that you want to achieve in your personal or professional life, a target–reaching which will give you a feeling of happiness is a goal. An objective (health, weight loss, financial, career change, promotion, making new friends) – that you set for yourself, the completion of which will enhance the quality of your life, is a goal.
Interchangeably used with dream and desire, a goal can also be making or breaking a habit.
Whether a goal is big or small, whether it will take a week or 8 weeks, all of us face obstacles and hiccups on the way. Most of us very conveniently blame the existing circumstances for our lack of motivation and intentions. If we don’t feel like going to the gym, we blame the weather for being too hot. If we don’t sign up for driving lessons, we blame the weekends for being too hectic. Lack of time, I believe is a universal favourite.
Some of us are motivated too but don’t know how to start.
So, the question is, how do we get rid of these excuses? How do we ensure that we take the next step towards accomplishing the goal? How can you turn this phrase “One step more is one step closer to the goal.” into your reality?
1. Hire A Coach
Life Coaches, Career Coaches, Empowerment Coaches, etc are literally trained for this. Their job is to help clients move from point A to point B. They don’t judge. What they do, do is work with you as a partner to pave a path for moving closer to your goals, one step at a time. They follow a process, use tried and tested- tools and techniques to motivate you. The size of the gaol doesn’t matter. Coaches can support you with any goal, dream, desire you want to work on. So, if you find yourself not following an exercise routine after 5 days, a coach can help you figure out why and then find suitable solutions. The journey for every Coach- Client partnership is personalized and hence it has a tendency to work.
2. Find an Accountability Buddy
Who is an Accountability Buddy? Mom. Brother, friend, teacher, colleague, trainer, or your coach, any person who you trust to push you in spite of the obstacles that come in the way of your goal, can be your accountability buddy. This buddy believes in you and motivates you. The moment you set/write down a goal, say it out loud to this person. Tell this buddy in detail about the importance of the goal, what is your roadmap to achieve it, the timeline you’ve set for yourself and how are you working on it. Update the buddy with a progress report every few days. This will force you to follow through the action plan you have devised. Not doing so means letting yourself and your buddy down. In most cases, not completing the steps of the goals brings a sense of embarrassment.
3. Visualize the Feeling
Another way to motivate yourself is by using visualization techniques. Find yourself a quiet corner. It could be indoors, in your room, or maybe a spot somewhere in the open. Make sure no one can disturb you for the next 7-10 minutes. Start by closing your eyes and breathing for a minute to clear your mind. Then think of the goal you have set and imagine that you have already achieved it. Say your goal was to improve your communication skills, imagine yourself giving a talk to a group of 20. Think of what being up on the stage makes you feel. Try and visualize the setting, the people around you, and their reactions. Imagine your colleagues walking up to you and congratulating you on a wonderful presentation made. Imagine your boss appreciating you for all the thoughtfully and correctly made points. Make a mental note of your body language, your expressions, and your feelings at that moment.
Now open your eyes and write everything you saw and felt. This works as a great self-motivator. Your desire to feel good, to be a better version, to see yourself succeed enables you to take that next step.
4. Ask yourself Why?
Once you have set a goal and a timeline to achieve it ask yourself why is it important for you to achieve that goal. After every answer, keep asking yourself why till you reach a reason that you emotionally connect with.
“I want to become healthy.” Why?
“So, I do not feel lazy and lethargic.” Why?
“So, I can be more productive.” Why?
“So, I can finish office work on time.” Why?
“So, I can spend time with my kids in the evening.”
The moment you realize the actual reason behind the goal you have set, the motivation to work on it automatically becomes stronger.