Success is not always achieved by the fastest, the smartest, the richest or even to the most capable people out there. Life has taught me success goes to anyone that simply doesn't quit. Stay on the path made by others before you or make your own path, it doesn't matter. Action will help you achieve your goals. Inaction is a dream crusher.
Action moves you forward, and although it may seem obvious that doing something is better than doing nothing, many people choose the latter. And it's not because people are lazy. For many, getting out of the starting gate is a challenge. Maybe they have the belief that a dream is just that, a dream, and while it would be great to achieve it, it's not a realistic expectation. For some, quitting comes as a result of losing interest. For others, they halt in their tracks when the temporary pain of sacrifice outweighs the potential pleasure achieved by reaching their target.
In order to hit a target, you've got to have a target.
If success comes by simply not quitting, what is the reason for the disconnect and why is it that so many people give up on their goals and get out of the game? Looking back to countless projects that I've started over the years but not finished, businesses I've brought to life and seen consequently die, and plans I have built only to watch them crumble, the overwhelming majority of the time I have not achieved my goal was because I gave up, nothing more.
Here is a list of 10 ways to avoid quitting on your goals and dreams:
1. Rule one. In order to hit a target, you've got to have a target. If you are not big on goal setting, I can completely relate, but it's a critical step for a couple of reasons. First, setting goals will help you visualize where you want to be and second, if you don't set goals, how will you know when you get there? The only way for you to get what you want out of life is to set goals. Don't like writing lists? Draw a picture. One of my goals is to speak at a TED Talk conference. On my bathroom mirror is a stick figure drawing of me, delivering my 18 minute speech, wearing a little beige microphone, standing on a round, red carpet.
2. Set realistic expectations. If your goal is to run a marathon, but you have never run in your life, give yourself time to train. You've got to build up to 26.2 miles. Many people quit because they have an unrealistic expectation of how quickly they want to reach their goal. Keep in mind, while you are working on reaching your target, life is going on all around you. Give yourself time to reach the summit.
3. Big goals need to be made into bite size nuggets. Once you've set your goals, take it a step further and break them down into daily tasks. When I started writing my my book, the idea of writing 200 plus pages of a business book seemed way too challenging. However, writing 10 pages a week for twenty weeks didn't seem to scare me as much. For me, however, I wanted to make sure "book writing" got onto my daily to-do list, so the idea of writing 300 words a day was totally realistic.
4. Be prepared for the roadblocks. There will be traffic tickets, office projects, fights with your partner, visits to the ER, calls from school and a thousand one other obstacles that will get in your way. Don't fall prey to excusitis. Know that life is going to come down hard on you as soon as you set your goals. Be prepared, don't quit, keep moving.
5. Set a realistic date for your goals. Rome wasn't built in a day and it's the same with your goals. Many people give up on their goals and dreams when they don't achieve them overnight. Set a realistic date, be as specific as possible and look at it everyday. As you start to close in on the date, make a push to reach your goal. Get excited when you see the finish line and work hard to make it happen.
6. Make sure you can measure your progress. When I first started following my website analytics, I became very focused on the numbers. More traffic driven to my website equaled more inquiries, more shares on social media and more services sold. Instead of feeling like all of my website traffic goals were locked into just one overall number (total visits), I was instead able to measure things like unique visitors, shares on specific social media channels, comments made and more. Although I may not achieve my total visits goal every day, I am usually able to find a victory in one of the analytics I use. Measurable progress is a must.
7. Reward yourself along the way. I do like a good party. Small celebrations will prevent me from quitting. Even if I have a particularly rough setback, I will find a reason to celebrate. Keeping your head in the game is the cause for celebration and you must not allow yourself to get into a negative funk. Negativity will squash your dreams faster than the Grinch's run through Whoville.
8. Watch what happens along the way. As you move forward, great things will happen. As you stay the course and start to build momentum, you will receive much needed support that others could write off as luck. Speaker, author and successful businessman Brian Tracy says of luck, "I found luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active, show up more often."
9. Make yourself accountable to someone. Do not remain silent about your goals. If you want to achieve more and avoid quitting on your dreams, have someone close to you hold you accountable. One rule about accountability - No wimps! It is critical that you find someone that will not let you off the hook so easily when you falter.
10. Own it. Speak it into existence. When you talk about your goals and dreams, don't talk about what you are going to do, talk about what you are doing to make it happen. Less wishing, more doing. Want to be an author? First, start writing. Second, when someone asks you what you do, tell them proudly, you are a writer.
Life has taught me success goes to anyone that simply doesn't quit.
Make 2015 the year that you not only start to reach for all of your dreams, but also the year you decided not to give up on your dreams. It is never too late to get want you want out of life, never too late to be the best you can be, never too late to be successful and never too late to change.
Doug Sandler, owns a company called Nice Guys Finish First. His first book, published by Motivational Press is scheduled to be released first quarter 2015. Doug is available to speak to your company about how to build lifelong relationships with your customers. He is an expert in customer service. Visit his website at www.DougSandler.com