We all want something.
If you’ve taken the time to paint a clear picture of what you want to achieve, you’re already ahead of 99% of the population who are wandering around, depending on serendipity to deal them a favorable hand.
Knowing what you want is a good start, but it’s simply not enough.
When I work with people chasing after the goals they’ve been putting off, we use a few tools that help them do things like this:
- Get clear about what they want
- Bring out honesty when assessing their current situation
- Keep their goals visible
- Discover their next right action
- Review their progress regularly
- Find ways to make the journey fun
- Coach them through the obstacles that lie ahead
- Help them realize what or who is holding them down
- Tell them about books or other tools that could help them
- Remind them to balance their hustle with taking time to rest
- Build a support system of people that can help
I give them the framework. Still, not everyone makes it.
Want to know why?
They quit when things get hard.
When we start going after something we want, it can feel great. Even the initial step of writing our goals down can give us a pretty sweet high. We start imagining what’s possible and how much happier we’ll be once we get what we want.
- That fit body and how people will start taking notice
- The money and what we’ll buy
- The person we’ve been daydreaming about and how awesome the first date will be
- That job that doesn’t make us want to waffle our face between the keyboard and screen
Then our brain gets to work by listing out everything we could do to solve our problems. What normally happens then is that we take action on a few things—it even starts feeling like we’re building momentum. But when we look in the mirror before stepping into the shower and don’t see a difference… or if no matter how frugal we’ve been, it still feels like there’s too much month at the end of the money, we begin to get discouraged.
At this point, a little voice inside our heads starts asking:
Was there even a point in trying?
That voice is ever-present, constantly tempting us with a more comfortable choice.
- Should I get my limp body out of bed or stay and check my Facebook news feed?
- Should I contribute in this meeting or should I pretend I’m listening while I clear my inbox?
- Should I talk straight with someone that’s hurting my team or should I let it go?
- Should I go to the gym or watch House of Cards?
- Should I play with my kid or finish up some work stuff?
- Should I go for a kiwi or that chocolate chip cookie?
When we look at the list above, the right action seems obvious. But when we find ourselves at the fork in the road, it’s much harder. To the left we see a path of discomfort and to the right we see instant gratification.
I know you’re having to make tough choices like these every day.
I’m not perfect either but I’ve found one thing that helps making the right choice easier.
For every goal, you must identify your reason for wanting it. The reward must be worth the hard work and sacrifice, otherwise it will be easy to lose motivation. When the whining voice in your head wants to quit, the voice of your “why” must be louder. Sometimes you’ll be busting your ass and you won’t see any result. This is when you’ll need it most. This emotional fuel allows you to have the mental toughness needed to adapt to the situation, to power through the dip. By having a clear goal and a compelling reason why you want to achieve it, you’ll be able to find a way to keep moving forward.
When shit gets hard, don’t back down.
What do you want and why? Find your emotional fuel, take the next right step, and love the struggle.