By George W Nyabadza
ISN’T it amazing how time just seems to go nowhere? We are already into the second month of the year and for m
ost people I have been in contact with the usual New Year excitement seems to be rapidly fading.
Already many are feeling that their New Year resolutions will not be achieved and ever so slowly the feeling of despondency is beginning to creep in, as goals appear unattainable. One of the reasons people do not achieve their goals is because they make the process unnecessarily complex. I am not qualified to challenge the size of your goals, what I want to challenge you on is the process of achieving that goal by presenting you with a few simple rules that you can begin to apply.
The first rule in goal achievement is to write it down. Whatever it is you desire to achieve, download it from your head onto a piece of paper. As long as it remains in your head it’s just a passing fancy that captures your attention when the right wishing environment presents itself.
A written down goal is there for you to review everyday irrespective of the obtaining environment. In writing your goals down please keep it simple. No thick volumes here, half a page per goal, if that, is more than sufficient. Use bullet points if necessary. It makes it easier to read and to absorb.
Secondly make it a habit to review your written down goals everyday without fail. That way you begin to imprint them onto your subconscious mind which will ultimately give you the relentless drive to achieve them. Another powerful tool to use to imprint your goals on your subconscious mind is to visualise each of them, or the ones you are currently working on, on a daily basis.
I am currently on an intense body-building programme (it’s a male ego thing) and I find that my most effective training sessions are the ones that I precede with a 10-minute visualisation of the day’s routines as well as the image of what I desire to look like at the end of the 14-week programme; visualising the short-term goals (the day’s training session) as well as the long-term goal (the desired physique at the end of the whole programme) releases such an intense burst of energy and personal motivation that gains made thereafter are far superior to those I made when I would just saunter into the gym and hit the weights, even though the training duration remains the same.
Visualisation is not complex, all it entails is your being able to see your end goal in your mind, utilising all the senses (sight, feel, touch, hear, taste), in concentrated bursts of mental energy not exceeding 10 minutes at a time.
Another key principle to bear in mind is taking small steps, that ancient Chinese proverb is so true when it comes to goal achievement “a journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step”. Break your ultimate goal into small measurable steps. If you find that in doing so the small steps are still too much for you to work towards then by all means scale down your initial goal. Rather pursue and achieve a smaller end goal that being daunted into no action by a huge goal.
Here comes an oxymoron, goal achievement is simple but not easy. If it was everyone would be happily achieving their life desires and living happily ever after. The major stumbling block I have found is a lack of willpower, energy and drive. It takes a certain mindset to become obsessed about the pursuit of one’s goals, an “I will not be denied!” attitude which is self -rewarding in that the obsession becomes a passion and ultimately a way of life.
Finally and I love this principle the most, track yourself. Everyday that I enter the gym the first thing that I do is weigh myself, record it and compare to the previous day’s recording and the same day on the previous week. It is hard to capture the level of personal motivation that surges through me when I notice the incremental gains. This would not be possible without meticulous tracking. So track yourself and celebrate your daily advancement towards your goals.