Many of us keep waiting for the right moment to act. From my decades of experience, I recognize that there is no right time to act and once can start today. Taking the first step is the most difficult and important. Maintaining consistency and going all out are the keys to the doors of achievement. Being impatient with your actions towards the goals, helps maintain that consistency, while ensuring the desired focus. While being patient towards results, helps you evaluate the right direction. It will help you tremendously in creating something of value, which will be cherished for the long term.
1. Identify you goals
Before going all out to achieve anything, the goal should be identified after careful thought. There is no point in chasing every single thing as one would end up wasting precious energy. Goal achievement should matter and make a difference to your lives. Smart people have very few goals and the achievement of these turn around their lives. Make your Goals SMART.
Whenever deciding on a goal, always list down the pros and cons. Pros would include your interest as well. Going after something, which does not interest you, will simply drain your energy and you will keep shifting goalposts. Avoid this costly mistake.
If you are unclear about your interests and goals then make it a point to try many things and also to fail in those faster, which don’t interest you. That way you will end up eliminating goals that you don’t have an interest or perhaps the aptitude. What remains is worth going after.
2. Know the real reason of pursuing a goal
Intrinsic motivation will emerge, when one is clear about the real reason of pursuing a goal. It should not be revenge goal, which was decided due to a previous humiliation, but something one can resonate with at a deeper level. That humiliation can be a trigger but never make it the primary reason , it would be difficult to sustain. Reasons can be very diverse. For example, clearing an exam may be tied us with a reason that it will help you realize you full potential and dreams. Pursuing is business is closer to your heart as you are passionate about it and feel that it can help you and your family achieve their overall dreams, while contributing meaningfully to the society.
Spend some time on identifying the core reason and it will keep you going for a long time. You will be more consistent in the activities you choose to perform, inorder to achieve the goals. It will also help your to prioritize. Write this reason down and go through it everyday.
3. Create an action plan and routine
Setting an intention is very powerful and helps tremendously in achievement. The intention can be made more effective by creating an action plan around your goals and having a routine for all the activities. Remember, consistency is the key here. Practice and be consistent at it. This is one thing that athletes swear by and they try their best to never miss a practice session.
You goal is like your girlfriend/boyfriend, which needs to be pursued with all the passion. Goal achievement demands the same passions, wherein you can’t sleep and have dreams related to it only. Cricketers often mention that the eat, drink, sleep cricket. This passion then seeps into the subconscious mind, which then helps to consistently practice.
4. Have stretch targets and strive to achieve them
There is a school of thought, which feels that targets should be reasonable and achievable. However, I feel that one should be able to go towards the target with full steam. It serves the purpose of keeping you engaged and holding your attention much longer.
Where the targets are reasonable and relaxed, your mind would get distracted most of the times. This will lead to further wastage of time and thereafter a gradual loss of interest, which is very does not let motivation inside.
5. Be Self-motivated
One should have the ability to self-motivate. One should be capable of affirming that the person is successful and that he is going places. Identify the triggers of motivation. For few it may be as simple as a music track. In method acting, actors train themselves by experiencing an emotion from their own life. It is very powerful, where they can change their state of mind within a sort period. Similarly, when motivation is low, just close the eyes and go back to a time where you felt confident of achieving something. Feel the emotions for sometime and the motivation would be there to serve you and help you move ahead. See motivation as a service to you and that you can summon it as per your will. It does not augur well for us to wait for motivation to come. With this approach, one would probably need to wait for days and by that time the action flow would have already ebbed. You may have forgotten stuff by that time if it involves study.
Giving up not an option. If the targeted goal was identified correctly and the underlying reason gave adequate strength, then one should be able to achieve desired results. Challenges will keep rearing their heads but the goal should be clearly visible at all times. Giving up should not be an option. One cannot fail, unless s/he quits. Remember, when you quit, a temporary pain becomes permanent.
Thus always strive to keep going and taking small baby steps towards the goal. You will be surprised, that soon enough the efforts pay off and you are on your to success.
6. Focus on incremental results
Now, you have done your part of taking focused action and were able to complete all the stretched targets. This is excellent. However, don’t expect results to appear overnight. Give it adequate time. For example, customers will not flock to a newly set up shop suddenly. They will test out the store by doing small purchases first or simply engage in window shopping only. Quality of the experience and the products would be tested. If we take the example of writing a blog and creating a YouTube channel, the results take time to appear.
After the first shoots of results are visible in the form of sales or visitors, implement incremental targets. This is where one needs to advertise and seek customer feedback to improve on the offerings. One should double the efforts at this stage inorder to keep the momentum going.
Q. What is a good goal?
Ans. A good goal is SMART i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. This acronym was shared by George Doran in an article in 1981.
Q. What is self-motivation?
Ans. Self- motivation is the ability to motivate oneself in the absence of any external motivation. This is commonly seen in entrepreneurs, armed forces and sportsmen, who despite several odds are able to achieve pre-decided goals. It is an internal drive to take action towards once’s goals. For example, a fast runner practices on a day when he is not well. Self-motivation pushes you forward without any external stimulus.
Q. How to stay self motivated?
Ans. Staying self-motivated involves taking small steps and making the process a habit. You should also be able to track your progress find inspiration that keeps you going. Another article can give more insights. It is titled ‘Motivation never lasts but inspiration does‘.