Did you make any goals or resolutions for the new year?
I always make and recommend having long-term and short-term goals. But making goals and staying on track require different strategies and skills.
Here are a few tips for sticking to your goals and achieving long-term success.
- Make a clear plan.
Break down your ultimate goal into smaller goals that have a due date and outline the steps you will take to achieve them.
Enjoy the present while keeping an eye toward the future.
If your mind is too consumed by your vision of the future, you won’t be able to focus on your present problems and challenges. Focus instead on the smaller goals you created one at a time.
- Check your progress.
As you take action toward your smaller goals, regularly check how effective your actions have been and make adjustments based on the evidence you find.
- Take joy in your small successes.
Give yourself encouragement along the way to motivate you to keep going. Before you know it, each step you take will add up to one beautiful journey.
- Check your ego.
We all have a part of ourselves that desires safety, security, and recognition. This part may not be so ready and willing to do the hard things we need to accomplish to achieve something outside of our comfort zone. But giving into these basic survival desires keeps us from growing. Watching and noticing when they come up in our minds can help us make the opposite choice.
- Make time for reflection.
Set aside time in your day in which you can quietly think about your behaviors and choices and evaluate whether they support what you really want to create. Writing your reflections in a journal can help this process because it forces you to articulate your thoughts clearly.
- Refresh your emotions before bed.
We may go through various ups and downs and face many stressors throughout our day. Taking time before bed to wash these away with mind-body exercises can help us sleep more peacefully and wake up with more hope for the new day.
- Think of your limitations as soft, plastic structures.
Rather than thick, solid walls, our limitations are almost as malleable as plastic. They can slow us down and even stop us for a while, but they can be infinitely pushed and stretched out until they are barely visible. How can we stretch our limitations? By being very honest and realistic about what they are, and trying to reach just a bit beyond them whenever we face them.
- Keep finding a way.
If one way of doing something doesn’t work for you, keep looking for other ways until you find something that resonates with your own brain. Demand that your brain think outside the box to find new, more effective solutions, and use it to form new, more effective priorities.
- Find a model.
Look for someone who has already achieved the goal you’re aiming for, if one exists. Use their experience and mindset as a jumping point for your own mini-goals and action steps.
As you move toward your goal, remember that success comes with perseverance and maintaining the energy and mindset that allow it to come into our lives. Through our diligent hard work, we continually refine our characters. This journey, in a way, is more important than achieving the goal itself.
* Editor’s Note: Learn more from Ilchi Lee’s book, Principles of Brain Management: A Practical Approach to Making the Most of Your Brain.
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