When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
I had made up my mind. I was going to write a book. There was no turning back.
I had heard the same story over and over again: “I’d like to buy a Mac, but it’s too expensive, so I’m gonna get a PC”. I knew of a way people could get a Mac, without spending more. I decided I would write a book about it.
I set time aside and I focused on this one goal: write a book, then self-publishing it. I hit many obstacles along the way.
Two stuck out. First, I hadn’t anticipated I would have a hard time designing the cover. Then, converting the text to the ebook formats (iBook and Kindle) turned out to be a lot of headaches.
But, through persistence and focus on that one goal, I finished the book and published it. It became Buying a Mac Without Breaking the Bank . If you want to learn my method to get your Mac without spending more, you will have to check it out.
I reached my goal of publishing the book. But its commercial success turned out to be limited. I learned afterwards that I had to create a launch campaign before hand and focus on promoting like hell.
Which I hadn’t done. Then I moved on to other endeavors… My motivation was not there anymore.
The thing is, I had another secret goal. I wanted to use the book as the start of a business. I didn’t achieve this goal.
Let’s put it straight:
You should stop working on your goals. You won’t achieve them. Be honest with yourself and accept it.
If you want to achieve your goals, there is a key component that you are missing. This secret ingredient will give you the motivation you need to create your success. Let’s dig deeper.
The secret ingredient
Think about one important goal you want to achieve. Just one. A life goal is ideal.
Then, ask yourself: “Why do I want to achieve that goal?”.
To illustrate, I’ll use my example of writing a book.
Why did I want to write a book? Because I had a solution which I thought was valuable and could be the start of a business.
Next question: Why did I want to start a business? Because I wanted freedom to set my agenda.
Again: Why did I want freedom? Because life is too short to spend time following someone else’s agenda. Also I don’t want to die regretting not having lived my life fully.
I got to the bottom of it. By asking why questions, I dug out a real reason that would motivate me to achieve my goal. Except… I failed to do the exercise at the time.
I achieved my goal of publishing the book, but I didn’t push harder to make it a business. I didn’t have a reason to keep me motivated and on track to achieve my secret goal.
Don’t be like me. Use the why questions and find your reason for wanting to achieve your goal. You will know you have reached your core reason when it resonates with you at your core, when it becomes a matter of life and death to you.
Your reason is the secret ingredient you need to create your success.
Once you have your reason, write it down next to your goal. This is the secret ingredient. Armed with it, you can build discipline.
Your main quest
Your reason will fuel your motivation and drive you to achieve your goal. Because you have a reason that affects you at your core, you will cut out the option of giving up. This will give you the necessary discipline to stay on track to achieve your goals.
It is a simple concept, but an important shift in your mind, a shift that will give you the focus you need.
Let’s use a game to illustrate the concept. If you are not a gamer, don’t worry, you can translate the concept to films or books.
In many modern games, in particular role-playing or sandbox games, you have a main quest that you follow and then a lot of side quests. Your main quest is what drives the character you play. It can be his mission or a drama-filled story that drives him forward.
The main quest touches the character at his core. In Mass Effect, you are saving the universe (is that good enough as a reason for you?). In Skyrim, you are fighting a dragon that threatens to consume the world (not a half-assed reason).
You might do side quests and explore the game. But the will be dragged back to the main story. Because your have reasons to do so.
It’s the same in life. You need reasons that drag you back to follow your main quest. You might err and procrastinate, but you will get back to your life goals.
Once you have your goal and reason, make a plan to reach that goal. Setup milestones and start on your journey today.
To learn how to setup your milestones, please check Achieve Your Goals Consistently Following These 5 Steps.
Step-by-step, build your success. Be ruthless if you have to. Each milestone you achieve will boost your confidence.
Pick up steam and build momentum. Once you go over the tipping point, you will become unstoppable.
The experience of writing a book taught me lessons that I have applied to my current life. I now always look for my reason before committing to a goal.
Are you willing to do the same?