We have all had those days or weeks where we saying something like, “Wow, that week really flew by.” So often when we say these types of things, it is meant to be a positive thing. “Yay, the work week is over and now I can go spend the next couple of days in my real life.” However, with this mindset, we are destined to get stuck in the proverbial pit of quicksand and find it difficult to move, progress, and ever get better. This is why it’s so important to be setting goals and achieving them daily. Each day we need to be able to check something off of our list and continue working toward our ultimate goal. Don’t let your days be wasted. Use them to learn, grow, achieve, and set the groundwork for success.
What is Your Ultimate Goal?
Everybody has different goals, so this is something you’re going to have to determine on your own. To understand your goals, you first need to understand your “why.” Why are you willing to sacrifice some of your free time? Why are you going to make life more difficult for a stretch of time? What awaits you at the top of the mountain? First, determine what it is that you want to accomplish, write down the goal, and then begin the day by day journey to achieve it. If your goal is to take a long vacation, start by putting a few coins into a jar, or if your goal is to lose weight, start by getting a gym membership. Take the first step!
If you are truly determined to accomplish your ultimate objective, you’re going to have to dismiss the idea of the typical two day weekend. True success is nearly a full-time job. Put in the effort, the sweat, and the steps you need for six out of the seven days. Learn to live by a 24/6 philosophy. If you are truly dedicated to becoming the person you want to become, you will be happy to put in the work. You have to learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. Remember, too much idle time will do nothing but cause your motivation and drive to suffer. If you let the weeds to your garden go too long without pulling them, they will quickly take over your garden. Get in there and pull those weeds every day. Stay sharp, keep a strong mind, and continue moving forward.
Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development.
It Takes a Step to Run a Mile…and a Mile to Run a Marathon
Most people will fail. I hate to say it, but it is true. Chances are that most people that read this will fail. It is not because it is not in them to succeed and reach their goals, it is because they lack the motivation to stick with something. I understand that it can be very discouraging to work extremely hard day after day and see minimal results. However, this is not a one-hour television show where success miraculously happens overnight. There are many small steps that must be made, day after day, week after week, and month after month before results may become noticeable. Make up your mind today. You will not fail! I will not fail. I can and I will! You will not fail! I will not fail. I can and I will!
A Lesson From Darren Hardy
One of my favorite online mentors is Darren Hardy. He has a book called The Compound Effect. In this book, he tells a great story about three friends and how small steps, compounded over time have dramatic effects on the three men. In brief, the story goes a little something like this:
There were three friends who were all similar in age, build, income, marital status, health, etc. Friend number 1 seemed satisfied with his current life, but always complained that things never changed. Friend number 2 is fairly satisfied with his life and sees no problem with eating the occasional junk food and having a nice glass of scotch at the end of the day. Friend number 3 decided to just cut 125 calories from his diet and began going for a morning walk. No big deal, just a few calories and some very light exercise.
At the end of five months, we don’t see much of a difference in the three of them. At the end of 10 months, we still don’t see much of a difference. However, by the 18-month mark, we see huge changes between the three. Friend number 3 lost nearly 34 pounds. 31 months = 940 days 940 days x 125 calories/day = 117,500 calories saved 117,500 calories saved x 1 pound/3,500 calories = 33.5 pounds! Friend number 1, who did nothing is still about the same, and still complains all of the time. Friend number 2, who added some junk food and cocktails at the end of his day gained about 34 pounds. In the course of 18 months, friend number 2 and friend number 3 are now nearly 70 pounds apart from one another.
Fight Through the Discouragement
The moral of the story is that small steps may seem inconsequential at the moment, but if you continue to work the steps, your effort will pay off. Learn to fight through the discouragement and stay motivated. Don’t let others tell you otherwise or guide you away from what you truly believe is important. Strive to be better, but be fully aware that it is not something that will happen overnight. Dream big, but have realistic expectations. Once you do reach your goal, you will be able to look back and realize that in this very short chapter of your life, you were able to do something truly remarkable. While it may have seemed like a long and grueling time in your life, you will realize that it was just a very quick snapshot of your life, and something that completely transformed you. Keep working and stay motivated. Be sure to make those small steps each and every day and before you know it, your goals will no longer feel like an unreachable or impossible idea.