It is a goal of mine to read more, learn more and to mentor more each day. One way I do this is by waking up before my family so I can have some quiet time to reflect and work towards this. This morning as my alarm was going off at 0405, I hit snooze. Then again at 0414 when it went off again, I wanted to hit snooze until it hit me that I was hitting the snooze button on my goals.
Most of us are very familiar with the snooze button. I have met very few people who do not actually factor snooze time into their morning routine and even fewer who wake up right away without hitting snooze. We don’t just do this in the morning; we do this for many of our goals too. “I want to get into better shape by this summer. I can skip tomorrow, I still have three months.” “I am going to study the PDG for 6 hours this weekend. Well, I will do 5 this weekend and 7 next weekend.”
We even set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound) and still have trouble meeting them. Often because we want to hit snooze when we had a rough day or when something shiny catches our eyes. It is human nature to not push ourselves harder than the status quo. We wait for the motivation to kick in. We think that we will just do it tomorrow when we are fresh. The problem is the motivation we imagine, rarely comes to fruition.
We tend to look at accomplishing our goals backwards according to William James, a 19th Century philosopher, when he pointed out, “I don’t sing because I’m happy; I’m happy because I sing.” We wait until we get a certain feeling to begin; when in reality this feeling does not come until after we take action. Think about when you go to the fitness center. How do you feel walking in versus walking out? I know I dread the upcoming workout, but when I leave I feel good because I had a great workout.
Step one to making things happen is to literally take the first step. Writing this article on goals is something I have been thinking about for a couple of weeks and I was trying to figure out how I wanted to start it. I knew what I wanted to say, but wasn’t sure of the flow. So, I just started typing it and made edits along the way to get my intended message across. It was up to me to simply make the first move.
A way to push us towards that first step and to keep us on the path we need to create a system to hold us accountable. Accountability is the major factor in conquering a goal. A study I came across showed that by simply having a goal; you have a 10% chance of completing it. If you create a plan to make this goal happen (SMART goal), odds are now 50/50. However, if you have an accountability partner, there is a 95% success rate! Why? Because when we know we are being held accountable, we take it up a notch. Who cares if we don’t achieve a goal no one knows about? No one will know.
A few ways to be held accountable are to find a mentor or coach who you have to report to on a regular basis. Some people pay personal trainers, life coaches, or other experts to do this for them. Most can find a mentor without pay. The key is to not just grab a buddy; get someone who you respect and would not want to let down. Another way to be held accountable is to put some money on it. I have a friend who wanted to run a marathon and told everyone that he would donate $1,000 to a cause he was against if he didn’t complete his goal. He completed it.
Another accountability method is to be part of a master mind group. This is a group of people who get together for a common purpose and use each person’s experience to improve. A lot of entrepreneurs do this and collectively solve a problem they are having and have a team of people holding them accountable to be successful. I have been looking into starting a master mind group here with some of our readers here and if you’re interested, message me on our Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The snooze button is fun to push without a doubt; however, it is an enemy to achieving our goals.