Write down your goals on a piece of paper and take a moment to visualize the future you want . . . then ask yourself this one life-changing question:
Are you INTERESTED in reaching your goals, or are you COMMITTED to reaching your goals?
Because a person who is interested in reaching their goals and the vision they have for their future will do only what is convenient in order to get there . . . and then they will come up with reasons or excuses for why they can’t reach their goals. They may blame a lack of education, their parents, or any other number of things.
While people who achieve their goals have done so because they committed to reaching their goals… they upgraded their knowledge and skills and they became the person who was able to achieve their goals and dreams.
What has to happen for you to be committed to your goals vs interested? The act of simply identifying your goals, or goal-setting, isn’t enough to take you there . . . you need to commit to achieving your goals.
Three Reasons Goal Setting Doesn’t Work
1 – No Clear Strategies
Setting out the steps needed in order to achieve your goal is creating a strategy. Your strategy may require just a few steps, or many. It is critical to understand that learning how to do something is not necessarily completing a goal. Setting a strategy activates the “genius” part of your brain to follow through and take action.
Setting a goal is using imagination and deductive reasoning. But without taking action you will never reach your goals. You must set the goal and create the strategies that will take you all of the way to the final behavior needed to achieve the goal.
2 – No Clear Deadlines
The deadline that you set to complete your goal dictates when you will achieve your goal. Clarifying what you are going to do and when you are going to do it by will activate your brain to focus on taking action.
Two scientifically proven concepts confirm this logic:
The Pareto Principle says that 20% of the effort will get you 80% of the way there. So if you have the right strategies you are essentially 80% of the way to your goal.
Parkinson’s Law says that you will get done, within the constraints of your deadline, what you need to do. The focus of your brain will narrow with this urgency. The small bit of stress created by the deadline will force your brain to focus on completion, period.
By taking the time to plan your strategy and set a deadline you will eliminate the uncertainty and doubts that may otherwise hold you back.
3 – No Accountability
Layer 1 of Accountability – Tell yourself that you will achieve your goal, no matter what. Promise yourself that you will do it.
Layer 2 of Accountability – Determine what failure will cost you. Focus on the negative consequence that failure will have on your future. Come up with something that will stir your emotion and drive you to completion. If you don’t have an emotional reason why you MUST achieve your goal then you will not do whatever it takes to get there.
Find an accountability partner. Someone with whom you can share your mutual goals and keep you accountable to your deadline. We all have that “quit” muscle and learning new stuff isn’t easy. Create an environment that will help you to do what you need to do even when you don’t feel like doing it. An accountability partner will elevate your game . . . encouraging you to take action more often than you otherwise would. You will achieve more of your goals and you will develop the habit of being an action taker instead of a goal setter.
Those who achieve their goals have done so not because they set their goals, but because they have taken action until they’ve achieved their goal. They are committed to the outcome.
The Conscious Mind vs Subconscious Mind
The actions above – setting your goals, creating a strategy, deciding upon a deadline and becoming accountable all use the conscious part of your brain. You determine what you want and how you’ll get there using the conscious part of your brain.
But the subconscious mind is all the processing happening under the surface that we are oblivious to. It drives our thoughts, emotions and behaviors. The conscious acts of setting goals, creating strategies and deadlines can be interrupted by subconscious feelings of unworthiness and undeserving. We may have self esteem and self worth issues hiding within our minds that need to be reconditioned and replaced with feelings of confidence and worthiness in order to achieve success.
What actually happens when these subconscious thoughts get in the way? These subconscious thoughts deactivate the motivational circuit in the brain and doom us to failure. The Law of Attraction confirmed.
We have to learn how to recognize these unwanted and dis-empowering patterns and create new thought patterns confirming our worthiness and ability to achieve success.
When our conscious goals and intentions are in line with our subconscious thoughts taking action to achieve our goals becomes so much easier.