We all have goals we want to accomplish and things we want to make happen. Maybe it’s your fitness you want to improve, maybe you’re looking to enhance your career, or perhaps you have always envisioned a life of travel for yourself that you want to make a reality.
But while we all have goals, many of us lack the necessary skills and expertise to make those goals happen. This renders us somewhat powerless when it comes to choosing the trajectory of our lives. We’re out of shape because we don’t know how to stick to a training program, we’re in jobs we aren’t excited about because we don’t know how to get out of our career ruts and we never seem to be able to get the money together to go travelling.
The worst part? When you tell someone how you’re going to quit smoking, write a book or get into shape they just kind of… roll their eyes. And say ‘sure’. And even we don’t quite believe it…
It’s time to change all that. Let’s look at how to actually make it happen.
The Power of Passion
Today, we discuss in detail how to come up with a fool-proof plan to accomplish any goal. We create a simple formula that can be applied to any kind of goal and pretty much any set of circumstances and then we go ahead and do just that: applying it to fitness goals, relationship plans, travel plans and more. There, you’ll learn how to word goals in such a way that you become more likely to stick at them like glue. You learn how to make plans that let you achieve things you never thought possible and you learn how to find what it is you want.
In this guide, we’re going to take a different strategy. Here, we’re going to talk about how you stick at those goals. We’re going to discuss how you keep going for the things you want, even when you’ve had an exhausting day in the office, even when you’ve got a serious migraine, even when things just don’t seem to be going your way…
It starts with passion…
Find Your Passion and it All Falls Into Place
Finding your passion is not only the secret to happiness but also the secret to success and to becoming the kind of inspiring, charismatic and magnetic person you’ve probably always wanted to be.
When I think about someone who is driven, passionate and motivated, my mind will often turn to Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. This is someone who has perhaps the best physique in Hollywood right now and looks like a real-life action hero. On top of that, he’s a guy who is one of the highest paid in the industry, who has already conquered the world of sports, who has become a social media mogul… who is even tipped to become president one day!
So that’s a lot of achievement for one guy and when you follow him on Instagram or watch him on YouTube, it’s easy to see how he’s gotten to where he is. The Rock is simply brimming with passion and excitement at all times. He clearly absolutely loves what he does and you can see it even in his smile.
The Rock is highly charismatic, which is what makes him such a successful actor and so great to watch. But this charisma is a result of him loving what he does – it makes him walk differently, talk differently and gives him a full, genuine smile. Studies show that we rate people as more charismatic if they gesticulate more. And guess what makes you gesticulate more? Passion. Passion makes us speak with our whole body because we truly believe what we’re saying and because we’re so excited to share that information.
And it’s undoubtedly that passion that also allows the Rock to wake up at 4am in the morning to work out. If you follow him on Instagram, this is what a huge number of his pictures are showing: his alarm going off at 4am before he hits the gym.
Can you imagine someone like the Rock coming home from a day at work and looking tired and defeated? He never does: because what he does is so intrinsically motivating to him.
The first thing you need to do then is to find that passion and find the thing that you really want to do. That’s what will give you the unstoppable iron determination to keep at your goals no matter what.
And finding your passion means being brutally honest with yourself. It means that you reject the things that other people want you to do. You forget the things that you believe you’re supposed to want to do and instead you focus on what you really want to do. Likewise, you need to think about what you’re going to enjoy working toward. It’s not enough to want the end result: you need to be happy putting in the work every day to get there too.
In other words, you can’t just want to get strong, you need to enjoy going to the gym. Don’t want to write a book, learn to love writing.
When you find the thing that really brings you to life, you’ll find it is MUCH easier to stick at it. In fact, you may well find that it is everything else that falls by the wayside!
How to Become a Doer
Once you find the thing that you’re really excited about, you need to devise a plan to make that happen and then stick with it. This is what will make you a doer and not a talker or a dreamer. We are not truly defined by our intentions, our aims, or our ideals. In reality, we are defined by our actions and these are what will make us successful or otherwise.
You want people to stop rolling their eyes when you tell them about your plans and instead to be a person who carries real weight and gravitas when you explain your plans. When you say you’re going to travel around the world, you want people to know that that is really going to happen.
But actually, one of the ways you do that is to stop telling people at all. Why? Because according to some studies, telling people your dreams and plans is actually one of the surest ways to ensure they don’t happen.
And why is that? Well for starters, it suggests that you’re looking for external validation. Remember what we said about your passion being intrinsically motivating? That means that simply engaging in that activity or working toward that goal should be enough. You shouldn’t need a reward and you certainly shouldn’t need accolades from others.
If you’re really fascinated with your book project, then you should be quite happy to work on that project in your spare time without ever needing to tell anyone about it! This is a much more powerful form of motivation and drive than anything you can get from people telling you that they think you’ve done a great job!
The other problem with telling people your plans is that it creates a ‘psychic release’ of sorts. That sounds crazy I know but what I mean by this, is that it gives you a sense of reward and relief. More to the point, telling someone your plans actually means that you can adopt those plans as part of your identity even before anything has happened.
So for instance, if your goal is to quit smoking, then you might feel a great sense of reward just by telling people that you’re planning on quitting smoking. That is to say, that you tell someone you’re going to stop smoking and then suddenly, you feel as though you’re already not a smoker anymore. People will praise you and tell you ‘well done’ even before you’ve actually quit and you’ll feel safe in the knowledge that other people now know that you don’t want to be a smoker. It sounds crazy but this can then remove the incentive to actually quit! You’ve already got the sense of reward, so you don’t need to put the effort…
But then again, there are scenarios where it does to pay people, or at least to tell some people.
And there are two reasons that this can be the case.
The first is that telling people can help you to feel as though you have stakes. When you tell someone you plan on losing weight for example, you then know that they’re watching you and waiting to see if you actually achieve your goals. This can create a social pressure that actually can be very helpful in motivating you along.
And you can actually make this even more the case by encouraging people to call you on your actions. Get a friend to watch you and make sure you are sticking to your goals and doing what you said. They can monitor your performance and if you don’t do what you said you’d do, you could even get them to somehow enact a form of punishment. Tim Ferriss recommends getting a friend to donate your money to a charity that you don’t like if you don’t achieve your goals. That’s some powerful motivation right there!
The other reason is that telling people can mean you have a partner in crime. This is sometimes actually a requirement, while in other cases, it will be a very useful asset.
The scenarios where it is actually necessary to tell someone about your plans tend to pertain to your relationships. That is to say, that if you’re in a relationship with someone and your hope is to go travelling or to spend money on the hoes, then you’re going to need to get them on board before you go ahead.
But even where you don’t need them to agree, it can help a great deal to have your partner along for the ride. This is particularly true when it comes to dieting. One of the hardest parts of sticking to a diet is often the social aspect and this comes from our relationships a lot. If you’re married or in a long-term relationships, then no doubt you will spend evenings eating pizza in front of the TV, you’ll share a box of indulgent chocolates from time to time, or you’ll go out for romantic meals.
When you’ve decided to go ‘no carb’, it is a lot harder to have a romantic meal. And it’s a lot harder to enjoy pizza in front of the TV too. This is why having your partner along for the ride can make all the difference as this way, the diet becomes something you can do together, rather than something that you are doing that may seem unsociable.
Better yet is finding a gym buddy. A gym buddy is someone who can come along on your workouts, help to spot you through the heavy lifts and give you encouragement and motivation as you’re running. This can make a big difference to your motivation and make the whole experience of going to the gym a lot more enjoyable. Moreover, when you have a gym buddy, you have someone that you don’t want to disappoint. If you skip a session, then you’ll be leaving them in the lurch and that creates extra pressure to go. Likewise, there will be times when they are feeling low and you help to pull them through.
And better again then that is finding people who are as passionate as you about a business idea. If you can find people to go into business with and you all truly believe that your idea has real potential – that it is something that could change the world or at least make you a lot of money – then you’re going to find that the passion and excitement in your group becomes contagious and that everyone in the group helps to buoy and excite everyone else. This can be a great feeling and it is something that all of the very best startup companies have in common.
It’s a state that is often referred to as a state of ‘flow’ and it’s what you feel when you’re so impassioned about something that you become highly focused and it’s all that all of you can talk about and think about.
So what’s the real scoop here? Should you tell people your plans or not?
Well, that depends on how you do it and the nature of your plans. It’s a great idea to tell people your goals if you are looking for a partner. If you think you can get other people excited about what you’re doing and get other people on your side, then speak to people and get them excited. What you mustn’t do though, is tell everyone how you’re going to be rich, famous or well-traveled – as that is very likely to make you much more of a talker than a doer.
How to Find the Drive, No Matter What
Another important tip is to always keep in mind the ‘why’ behind what you’re doing. Too often, we work toward a goal in a blind manner having forgotten the real reason we’re doing it. You know you want to get into shape and that means that you need to train for half an hour 4 times a week.
But you don’t keep that in mind during the actual training. Instead, you just hit the gym, grumble about it and then push your way through the grueling workouts.
What you need to do instead, is to focus your mind on the reason you’re training and to really feel the emotion that drove you to want it in the first place. This is where visualization can come in handy.
For instance, if it’s getting into shape that you’re interested in, then you need to think about why you want that and what it’s going to feel like for you to be in the shape you want to be in.
Many people want to be in great shape because they want to look and feel good about themselves. They want to fill out a suit, they want to attract members of the opposite sex (or same sex), they want to feel powerful and they want to wake up with tons of energy and vitality every morning.
To find the will to train, you need to remember that each workout is a stepping stone to that end destination. So close your eyes and picture it: picture being highly muscular, or lean. Picture looking great and turning heads for all the right reasons. Picture putting on a top and knowing it looks amazing on you.
You can also use visualization in other ways. One good one is to picture the alternative. Imagine what will happen if you keep putting your goals off. Maybe you end up working in the same dead-end job for the rest of your life. Maybe you get fat and flabby and lose all of the hard work you’ve already put into your physique.
I also like to encourage myself to see the situation as a challenge and I do this in a similar way by visualizing defeat. I imagine that I’m exhausted, depressed and far too crushed to train. And then I ask myself if I want to take that, or if I want to get up and kick ass. The tireder you are, the harder it is to work at your goals, the more ass you can kick!
Get a Washing Machine
And while you’re at it…
Get a washing machine.
Okay, that might seem pretty random but it’s going to help you in a lot of cases and more to the point, it is a good example of a mindset shift that can really make a difference.
The point is that when you really know your passion and when you know what is truly important to you, then you should know what you want to do with your time and with your life. And that means you need to think about restructuring your lifestyle so that you are spending less time doing the things you don’t want to do.
In other words, once you know what your passion is and you know how you want to be spending your time, you can then structure your life around that thing and that means removing the unnecessary distractions. Distractions like washing dishes.
If you really want to accomplish your goals, then it makes sense to design your life around them. Change the way you spend your time on a day-to-day basis and remove the time-consuming activities that don’t take you closer toward your goal. You don’t need to spend ages washing dishes and likewise, if you can shorten your commute then you can spend more time on your goal as well.
You can also make your goal easier to accomplish by making the steps easier. If you want to work out regularly for instance, then it may help a great deal to stop going to the gym and to instead train from home. This way, you’re now removing a time-consuming journey and creating a situation where you can easily squeeze in a quick routine when you get home from work, or first thing in the morning before you set off.
All these steps and techniques should help you to become better at sticking with your goals and finding the will when the going gets tough. Set yourself up for success, remind yourself why you’re doing the things you’re doing and get people on your team.
And if it still isn’t working? Then you might need to reassess the nature of your goal and the strategy you’re using to get there….see you soon