Look at your goals EVERY DAY – without daily reminders, you are likely to be distracted by the more mundane concerns of daily life and your goals will fade into the background. Print out your goals and put them up where you will see them several times a day around your home and office
Create visualizations – Your brain is not as attuned to text as it is to pictures. If you want to lose weight, put up pictures of yourself when you were at the weight you are trying to achieve. If you want to travel toJapan, use pictures ofJapan. Stick the images up on a bulletin board – they are more likely to evoke emotion and action than words on a page.
Create a system of support – find people who have the same goals as you do and brainstorm together. Use your community to strategize and hold each other accountable. I promise you, you are the first person you will break a promise to. This group of people is critical to your success. Don’t choose people who have radically different goals than you have. If you are all having the same experiences, you are more likely to hear the support that the others are offering.
Create an action plan – Stand in the future of your goal fulfilled and work backwards in time to create milestones that will let you know you are on track and use those milestones to create daily or weekly actions that you can take to fulfill on the milestones or goal. If I want to be in Japan in March of next year, I’d create the milestone of having purchased airline tickets by 2/1. I’d make another milestone that I have applied for my passport by 12/1. Look at what the accomplished goal looks like and then walk backwards, step by step, asking yourself “what would have to happen before this to make sure that it happens?” Keep working backwards to today. Once you have that framework in place you can easily create concrete actions (promises, requests, conversations). Make your actions as clear and unambiguous as your goal – “ask David to watch Spot while I’m away by January 1st,” “talk with my coach about my food log on Tuesday.”
Revisit these on a weekly basis. See what you did and what you didn’t do. Don’t harp on what you missed. Just recommit and formulate the plan for next week. Try and get what stopped you from completing the promises you made yourself – and be honest with yourself. There are all sorts of things like fear, discomfort, and upset that have us not take action. Telling yourself it was time, money, or work that stopped you won’t have you taking action and responsibility next week. Acknowledge where you let those things get in your way and set up a plan to tackle them next week. Ask your people to hold you accountable and be willing to be called out.