We live in a “work hard, play hard” society where we think that our day has to feel like a challenge, an arduous battle. Otherwise, we’re just not trying hard enough. Push yourself harder, right? Isn’t that what we keep hearing?
You should dream big, take massive action and do all of this by the end of this month. Sleep less, run around like a madman, don’t have a social life. You need to be a high achiever. If not, then you are a slacker!
There are a few people who can seem to pull off accomplishing massive goals quickly. I haven’t met very many of them. The high-achievers I have met often sacrificed their physical and emotional health from periods of months to years to achieve their goals. Often, they are not very grounded either.
There must be a better way to go after our goals.
Be a Turtle or a Rabbit?
Which route works for most of us? How can we reach our goals and keep achieving milestones month-after-month, instead of losing all motivation after just a few short weeks?
I highly recommend the “slow, but steady” approach to accomplish your goals faster. Yes, that’s right. Take it easy to get there sooner.
Most of us don’t do well taking massive, intense action. It challenges our routines too much. It challenges our comfort level too much. It challenges our ego and our identities too much. To put it simply, we feel stress when we have to change habits, routines and ways of being and thinking.
We’ve developed our current habits for a reason. We like our habits. They provide us with a sense of stability and give us emotional payoff (even our unhealthy or counter-productive habits).
If your current habit is to come home after work and watch TV or internet videos for an hour or two, it’s going to be very challenging for you to change your routine quickly and dramatically. You’re not going to want to suddenly be doing one-hour exercise workouts, 5 days a week. But could we get you to go for a 15-minute walk, 5 days a week, for the next month? I bet we could!
We all want to reach our goals. It doesn’t serve us to take on several big goals only to drop them a few weeks later because our over-achieving goals cause us stress. We also feel that sting of failure when we say we’re going to do something but then can’t reach our goal or just give up completely.
Keep Your Target Close to You
Make your goals attainable. Start out small. Keep reaching slightly past your comfort zone. Once a new habit or routine becomes a stable part of your day, it’s then safe to make your goal a bit bigger. Spend a bit more time exercising, a bit more time on your side business project, increase your sales goals slightly.
Take it easy and you just might reach your goals faster.
Try the “slow but steady” approach and let me know how it works for you. Leave a comment below or email me personally.
I know that I have to keep this perspective in mind or I start to get stressed out that I haven’t accomplished all my goals….yesterday. I find giving a realistic time frame is also helpful as it allows the projects or goals time to breathe and develop and mature organically. The origin of the Five-Year Plan I suppose. Good stuff!
Yep, totally agree. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the age of information overload, plus we live in a fairly egotistical society that creates a pushy attitude of “succeed or you’re a loser”. A realistic time frame allows for aliveness (giving goals time to breathe), like you mentioned.