I had a conversation with someone the other day, and it goes something like this:
"If only I had this, I would be happier; I know that things are like this, but if only they were like that, things would be better; I would change this, but I'm stopped by that."
We hear so many variations of this in our every day life. Whether it is through the stories we tell ourselves of what is getting in the way of achieving our goals, or the people we surround ourselves with who make excuses for why they are not where they want to be. People are always looking backwards, at what has happened and cannot be changed, instead of looking forwards, accepting what is, and trying to change what is within their control now.
Everybody wants to be a lot of things. They want to be richer, faster, stronger, healthier and smarter. Those same people sit in their chair, doing nothing, wishing, hoping and wanting. It's like sitting in a chair, hoping a unicorn will appear in your lap, and then being sad when it doesn't. When put like that, it sounds a bit silly. But we all have the tendency to fall into that kind of excuse-making mentality. We make up stories of why we can't have something, instead of trying to figure out what is within our control to change our situation.
The reality is that there is a huge delta between wishing and wanting, and getting up and taking action. The doing part is the hard part. But it doesn't have to be big steps. You don't need to accomplish all your goals in one day. The marathon is not going to be run straight away. You need to train for it, and that starts with breaking it down into small, bite-sized, manageable goals first. Start small, but make sure that you're taking steps forward. If you start by just running an extra minute every day, you'll find yourself pacing through a marathon eventually.
"Don't join an easy crowd; you won't grow. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform are high."
- Jim Rohn
1. It's great to have goals, but we also need to take immediate action to achieve them
Immediate action starts with doing little things every day, that go towards cracking the big goal. It's important to have a great dream to strive and aim towards because this is what pushes us when the chips are down. It is what makes you wake up day after day, when it seems like all your efforts are not pushing the goalpost much further. It is what makes you love the process and the journey and make it all worth it. However, by breaking it up into small weekly, monthly and yearly goals, it helps to keep you on task and on track to attacking the big stuff.
2. Start every morning with a small win
By starting the day with a win, it sets you up to tackle the harder stuff. For me, I try to start the morning with exercise. This helps me to tackle several things straight away. Firstly, since I am not a morning person, it fosters discipline and gets me comfortable with doing the uncomfortable. Achieving goals are never easy so it is important to get well acquainted with the difficult. Secondly, it helps me to push boundaries first thing in the morning. This sets me up for a day of accomplishments and puts me in a driven mentality.
3. Be kind to yourself
It is often easy for us to offer compassion to others, but it is very easy to forget to be kind to yourself. If you didn't achieve the task you wanted to today, forgive yourself, accept the present moment, and try to be better tomorrow. Self love is so important and helps you to realign towards what is truly important. Listen to your body. If you need a day of rest, take it, and be ready to attack the next day with even more fervour. Ensuring that you look after your mind and body gives you a greater ability to accomplish even more in the long run.
4. Be Patient
Most importantly, be patient. The tough stuff takes time. Keep working at it, taking the consistent steps forward, and learn to get comfortable with rumbling through the tough and the difficult for a while.
Greatness won't be easy. It never is. But I promise that the pursuit of it is always worth it. On the other side of every seemingly insurmountable hurdle, are small steady steps of action that will get you there, and one giant leap across into someone you always wanted to be, and now are.