How many times have you set a goal for yourself and succeeded?
Yay! Big win!
But then you reverted back to your old behavior and lost all your gains.
Boo. Big Loss 🙁
There’s a reason this happens. And if nothing changes, it’s going to get worse.
If you don’t stop doing this right now, it could kill you. But chances are, it will destroy your life before that even happens.
Are you’re tired of taking one step forward and two steps back? Are you sick of failing before you even start?
If you are, I’ve got good news. I have a simple strategy to shatter your goals and never look back. All you have to do is finish this article.
Are you ready?
It starts with the finish line
Your end goal is killing your chances to succeed before you even get started. I know from experience.
When I was a kid, I had big and specific goals. I did all the right things. I followed all the rules. I just made one fatal mistake.
I had a finish line.
I had a big dream to become a weatherman and move to Hawaii. Many people in my neighborhood laughed at me. People I knew told me it was a pipe dream.
Sheer motivation pushed me forward. I can tell you I was fortunate to graduate early and move to Hawaii. I’ve lived here now for over twenty-three years.
I had a few effective routines and habits that helped. But I didn’t understand the complete recipe to sustain that success. Do you?
That ignorance nearly destroyed my life.
Ask yourself this
What’s your finish line? It could be graduation, a job, marriage, a house, kids, losing ten pounds, retirement, a book, or any other specific thing you’ve set your sights on.
First, image your finish line. Reflect on your big goal. Feel the anticipation leading up to the event. What does it feel like, smell like, taste like, sound like? See it in your mind like it was actually happening. Let your imagination revel in the moment as if you were right there.
Now imagine it’s the next day. You’ve already reached your goal. What do you do next?
Let’s say, you went on a diet so you could lose ten pounds. What would happen after you lost the weight?
Most people would quit the diet.
Within a few weeks, they would’ve regained the weight and then some.
Identify what’s stopping you
If your goal involves improving something about yourself, there’s usually some habit that’s pushed you in the wrong direction.
What are the actions keeping you from your desired outcome? Don’t hold back. Be ruthless with yourself.
Is it that extra glass of wine?
Is it all the time and money you “deserve” to spend on yourself at your favorite outlet because you’ve worked so hard?
Is it the two hours of TV you tell everyone you need to relax at the end of the day that’s actually four hours?
Is it the friend from high school or college you still hang out with that keeps dragging you down?
Or is it the simple fact you keep saying “I’m going to do that someday” but never act to make it happen?
Before you can set up an effective plan to achieve your goal, identify what’s tripped you up in the past, and then…
Repeal and replace
“The fastest way to success is to replace bad habits with good habits.” Tom Ziglar
Once you’ve identified your bad habits, murder them. Nail them in a coffin with better ones.
It’s been said you become what you think about most of the time, so don’t focus on the bad habits. If you imagine what you can’t have, that’s all you’ll think about.
Instead, visualize the positive behaviors and outcomes of your new habits.
Identify the actions you need to complete. Schedule them on your daily calendar, and do them.
Never give up on your quest, but don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re only human. If you trip, get back up and begin again where you left off.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe you should set big goals. I’m a huge fan of Gary Vaynerchuk and Grant Cardone, but most people don’t 10X their lives by jumping in and immediately 10Xing all their actions. There’s a process, and part of that process usually involves help from a team.
If your plan includes anything you couldn’t keep doing for the rest of your life, you’ll backslide.
Lay your foundation first before you begin adding support pillars.
What have you tried in the past that you knew wasn’t sustainable? Was it two hours at the gym five days a week, one week of juicing, or something else?
I never go to the gym. I don’t diet. But I still managed to lose 44 pounds in 44 weeks and kept off the weight.
Here’s how I did it.
Start small, very small. Take mini actions to create Mini Habits.
The action should be tiny and take no longer than a few minutes to complete. You could do one push up, read one minute, or write one sentence of an outline for that book you’ve always wanted to complete.
If you do that small thing, tell yourself it’s a win. Do it again the next day, and then the next day after that.
It’s effective because the mental effort required to do a small thing is tiny. Once you get the ball rolling you’ll often keep going and exceed the daily goal.
The trick is to count it as a win as long as you finish the mini goal. Don’t fake yourself out with two separate goals, the mini goal, and your real goal.
If you get in the flow and write ten pages instead of one paragraph, great! But the goal is to develop the habit, so allow yourself the mental victory when you achieve it.
It takes 66 days on average to create new habits. On day 66, start Habit Stacking. Add one more habit. Keeping going until you’ve added all the habits you believe you need to win.
And keep doing them…
The only time you want to stop is when you realize your habit is no longer serving you.
Anchor your actions
Embed your new habits in your existing routine.
Anchor them in time or place next to something you already do daily. It could be waking up in the morning, brushing your teeth, or coming home from work. Tack on your first habit to that routine in a way that serves you.
This adds extra stickiness and increases the odds your habit will become a permanent fixture of your life.
Break it down
A goal without a plan is just a dream. Dreams are great, but they don’t come true unless you act to make them happen.
Research what others have done to achieve your goal. Seek mentorship from those who’ve succeeded. Create an action plan, and supercharge your chance of success with weekly reflections.
As you put together your action plan, don’t forget to do this.
Track your way to success
Hold yourself accountable. Find an accountability partner, whether real or virtual, to review your daily or weekly progress.
Your accountability partner is just a start. You’ll need something to report, so keep a log of your relevant numbers.
Scoring relays your progress and allows you to see growth. It also improves awareness. This subconsciously supports better choices related to your goal. It’s the same reason you suddenly see people driving the same make of car the day you bought your own.
The trick is not to compare yourself to others. There will always be someone more advanced than you, so don’t focus on that. Worrying about what other people think and how you stack up to them is a fast track to a miserable life.
Instead, compare yourself today to yourself yesterday. Your numbers are the only ones that matter.
As you make progress, reward yourself. Just make sure your reward is something that supports your goal not detracts from it.
Turn your finish line into a milestone
The secret to blowing up your finish line is to turn your goal into a milestone before you reach it.
Make lifestyle changes instead of temporary behaviors you’ll eventually quit. That’s why your habits are so critical. Otherwise, once you reach your finish line you’ll revert back to your destructive behaviors.
If you want to be a writer, write. And before you finish that book, set up your next milestone around it.
If you want a healthy body, live healthily. That requires consistent action, not fad diets that lasts ten days or gym memberships you’ll never use.
If you want to be wealthy, behave like wealthy people. Invest in yourself, save and invest your money, and learn how to assess risk.
Your journey is never over. Your end goal is just the starting point of your next big thing.
Originally posted on Medium
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