Are you looking to reach a personal or professional goal sometime in the next few months?
Does the thought of working towards that looming goal send shivers up your spine?
Let’s face it: achieving a goal can be challenging, be it writing that short story, losing those last 10 pounds, landing that dream job, or presenting a well-received lecture.
Sure, there is a whole lot of work involved, but you may be making things more complicated than they need to be.
In this post, I offer three easy ways you can work towards your goals, each and every day.
Now, don’t let the simplicity of these tips fool you.
These are incredibly powerful pointers that can mean the difference between reaching a goal…or not.
Show up on a regular basis.
As Woody Allen once said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.”
You can’t write a novel if you don’t sit down at your desk and type on your computer.
You can’t practice figure skating if you don’t go to the ice rink.
You can’t sew curtains if you don’t go to your craft room to use your sewing machine.
Now, all of this may seem ridiculously simple (and it is) but the fact of the matter is this: you have to show up at a particular place, at a particular time, in order to get things done.
If you’ve been procrastinating when it comes to working on a goal, just try showing up to wherever it is you need to be. That translates to sitting at your desk, heading to the ice rink, and opening the door to the craft room.
You may find showing up helps to break down your resistance when it comes to doing your work. You’ve already put your body in motion and have even prepped your mind for the work to come.
Besides, once you’ve arrived at your destination, it would be extremely foolhardy not to work.
Do a little bit each day.
Do your goals seem to loom off in the distance? Does it seem as if you’ll never reach what you set out to do? After all, there’s so much work to be done, so many tasks, items, and issues to attend to.
Of course, things don’t just happen overnight. There is a surefire way, however, to ensure you’ll work reach your goal. And that is to simply do a little bit of work towards your goal, every single day.
Look at it this way: let’s say you find a slow leak in the faucet of your bathtub in your bathroom. A single drop of water falls every ten seconds. You put a stopper in the drain of the bathtub and leave the bathroom for several hours. Upon your return, you see that the bathtub is halfway filled. How did that happen? Well, that tiny drop of water combined with all those other tiny drops of water to fill up the bathtub.
The same thing applies to your work habits. Small bits of work can quickly accumulate, and can easily bring you closer to your goal. Spending just thirty minutes each day on a project for an entire month equals 900 minutes, or roughly 15 hours’ worth of work. That’s not bad for 30 minutes’ worth of daily work, now is it?
Recognize your accomplishments.
While celebrating the completion of a goal is good, recognizing your daily accomplishments is even better.
Don’t forget, those tiny steps you take, day-in and day-out, are what allow you to reach your goal in the end. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that this stuff doesn’t matter, or isn’t worthy of your recognition, these little steps are fully worth celebrating!
To recognize the work you’ve done, you could jot down your accomplishments in a notebook at the end of every day, or at the end of every week. You could make a calendar timeline of what you’ve done, along with landmark actions you’ve taken to get yourself closer to your goals.
For more important milestones, you could treat yourself to a special lunch or coffee date with a friend. You may even decide to purchase a little gift or present for yourself, be it a beautiful scarf, a day at the spa, or a ticket to see your favorite theater show.
In the end, it doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you acknowledge, appreciate, and celebrate your hard work.
How about you? What goal(s) are you working on right now? What simple steps are you taking to make sure you are one step closer towards achieving your goal(s)? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!
A version of this post appeared on the blog in 2015.