Let’s be honest. A lot of us have the tendency to backslide and flake out on our goals. We’ve got tons of great ideas…but they never seem to actually happen.

Where am I getting this opinion from? Just observe and pay attention to the people around you. How many of them are really achieving their goals consistently? How many start something, make a few limp efforts for a couple of weeks and then stop taking action? They’re on to a different project or they just lose motivation. I’ve done this as well and still need to make continual efforts to stave off laziness.

Even worse…How many people don’t bother going for their goals and dreams at all? How many of us just keep doing what we’ve always done, eating too much “food” that makes us sick (sugar, fatty foods, chemicals), wasting time in jobs we hate, spending way too much time seeking out entertainment (aka: distraction) and basically just coasting along.

The Excuse Machine

Our excuses are rampant (and quite creative too).

We don’t have enough time. We’re too tired. I don’t know where to start. I’m just a lazy person. I can’t learn this. [Insert name of person] doesn’t think my goal is worth doing. I don’t have enough education. It’s too hard. This stresses me out. My dog ate my motivation. (Ok, maybe not that one…unless you’re really delusional.)

These are all just stories. And they’re not even real. Don’t believe the perpetual lie-making machine in your mind. Use your mind to your advantage and create positive stories that motivate you to take action on the things in life you care about.

The norm is that people back out on their goals or simply don’t reach them. I’d like to see things change. Everyone deserves to win. How awesome would it be if everyone were consistently reaching their goals?

Imagine a world where people ate healthy, exercised, took care of their health issues, saved money each month, opened thriving businesses that helped people and the environment, wrote that novel in their head or became a touring musician like they had always dreamed of. That would be cool, no?

In a world like this, where people felt fulfilled each day, were positively focused and supporting each other, you would see crime and poverty rates drop or potentially be non-existent.

A Simple System to Making Goals Happen

Simplicity is key. We don’t need complex systems to keep us on track. It just gets in the way and becomes another barrier to taking action. The main thing to take action.

Here’s a proven system to reaching your goals:

1. Choose Your Goal.

Write down what you want to do. Be specific about what your outcome will look like. You won’t need to write more than 4 or 5 sentences.

2. Set a Deadline.

Don’t leave your goal open-ended! You need to set a deadline so that it forces you to take action faster. You can adjust your deadline later on, if needed, but try to avoid changing it. You always need to feel a bit of heat by knowing you have to finish something before a set date.

3. Set Specific Actions for Each Week.

Choose and focus on actions that will have the most impact. Which actions will bring you closer to your goal the fastest? Choose weekly actions steps that lead you to your goal in a way that’s manageable for you and keeps you motivated.

If your goal is, “Write a novel, find a publisher and sell it at major bookstores”, this is going to seem too difficult and out of reach. However, if you break your major goal into weekly action-steps like, “Write 1 page every day, spend 15 minutes researching potential publishers”, this is much easier to do.

4. Be Accountable.

Hold yourself accountable. That means that you check off the action steps that you took each week. If you didn’t finish something important, it stays on that list until it gets done! Don’t put it off. Being accountable means you’re always tracking your progress to make sure that you keep taking action.

You can also have someone else keep you accountable, like a friend, business partner or a coach. It is very effective to have someone support you when you’re going after your goals.

Goal-Setting 101

Achieving your goals can be easy. Make it a simple step-by-step process for yourself. Reach slightly past your “edge” (your comfort zone), as self-development author David Deida suggests. Engage in positive self-talk. Hold yourself accountable. Reward yourself when you take action towards your goals.

What goals are you currently working on? Leave a comment below.

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