We all have goals, whether they be financial goals, career goals, weight-loss goals or personal goals. Everyone one has their individual goal that they strive to achieve. The journey isn’t always easy and can often be a challenge simply because there’s always a chance for failure. Nevertheless, there are “hacks” that we can use to increase our chances of achieving better goals faster!
Here are five life and productivity hacks to keep in mind while embarking on your goals.
1. Write yourself a letter, date it, sign it and grab a witness!
The first step in achieving your goal is to identify what you want. We all have those epiphanies where we suddenly decide we really want to be a Hollywood Movie Star or a Singer on X-Factor… Ten minutes later we find ourselves lying on the couch and continuing on with our lives. If these thoughts come to mind regularly, chances are that these goals are what you really want to accomplish in life and it’s time to take action! I find the best way is to hand write your goal down starting with “I want to be/do/have… within X weeks/months/years”, and sign/date a letter to yourself (almost like a promise letter). For example, “I want to move to a higher position within the next 6 months.” Next, grab a friend or family member to sign the letter as a witness. This bounds a sense of responsibility to your promise by making you feel obliged towards achieving your goals for yourself and your witness – you don’t want to let anyone down. This is a great kick starter if you don’t how to start your journey!
2. Challenge yourself – don’t cheat yourself!
Sure, you’ve decided to take on a weight loss journey and wish to shed 3kg but how long will you give yourself to achieve this goal? Three days? A week? Or a year? Set milestone goals that will lead up to the bigger picture in the long run. Maybe you want to start by introducing one healthy meal a day and set a milestone goal of 0.5kg by a week. Be realistic and give yourself enough time to achieve your goals so you won’t stress to meet the deadline. Never cheat yourself, give yourself challenging tasks to layoff the guilt feeling of doing the minimal amount of work. Let yourself feel the luxury of successfully achieving a goal and pride yourself in your work – you deserve it!
3. Distractions, distractions… Forget ’em and focus only on ONE!
Having unlimited wants is innate in all of us but we are all limited by our time and resources. There will always be a point in life where our wants have conflicting interests. When the time comes you will need to make a decision of what you want most and minus everything else from the equation. No, I don’t mean quit your job and pursue your dream career right this instant. The main point here is to be rational and make a decision. For instance, if you want to find a new job, before you hand in your notice prepare first. Give your resume and online profiles some TLC (Tender, loving, care), put some extra money aside and get back in touch with people in your network that may be able to connect you to a job opportunity.
4. Procrastination is a big no, no!
Many people believe that procrastination derives from pure laziness, however this is not always the case. A recent article I read explained that procrastination is an act performed out of fear – fear of not being able to achieve desired results, fear of not performing well enough and fear of letting others down. For example, you’re afraid of not scoring a high enough mark in a maths test, so you choose to procrastinate by watching TV and laying off the studies. This gives yourself an excuse and reason to back up your poor results when you get your results back. “Oh well, I barely studied and still did alright.” Sound familiar? Many people fear work or are easily overwhelmed by workload and not knowing where to begin. They generally resort to other activities that are more enjoyable to temporarily remove this stress and tend to find themselves piling on more work for themselves later on.
In order to overcome procrastination, we need to understand where and how it is initiated. Only then are we able to identify the problem and overcome it. And as we all know, the only way to overcome fear is to FACE IT! High achievers don’t procrastinate, not because they’re less lazy than procrastinators but because they’re not afraid. These people aren’t afraid of giving their 110% and failing because they understand that the lesson learnt is still a gain. Once you’ve adapted this mentality, you can free yourself from procrastination for good!
5. Assess yourself, reward/punish and re-evaluate!
Finally, you’ve done all the work and now it’s time for the moment of truth and self judgement! Go over everything you’ve accomplished in your own set time frame and ask yourself “How did I go?”. Be truthful and judge yourself as if you were Simon Cowell assessing a contestant on X-Factor – honest, fair and harsh. No one knows better than yourself how hard you’ve tried and whether you believe you deserve the results you’ve achieved. Always reward yourself if you tried your best and those that have helped you along the way. If you believe you hadn’t given your all and could’ve done better don’t sweat, just give yourself a second chance. The results are nowhere near as important as the journey itself. Tackle the challenge again if you failed the first time. If you succeeded, set bigger goals for your next journey.
By the end of accomplishing each goal you would’ve changed in some way – whether it be additional knowledge, having a new skill or growing a tad wiser. Learn from your journey and urge yourself to learn more about yourself – your habits, your strengths and your weaknesses.
Remember to stay positive and enjoy the experience!