It is only until late that I began thinking about what it takes to achieve one’s goal, when I tried to quit smoking and failed.
Like many people I am the type who sets herself many goals at once and end up achieving none of them in the long run.
Although many thinkers suggest setting up small short term goals, I found that one goal at a time is the best way to go. I also realized there are no short term goals because a goal is something you want to keep otherwise why go there in the first place.
Some say determination is the key to success and although this is very true in part, achieving a goal means hard work, commitment and constant progress.
Hard work is necessary because you have to always be vigilant and catch yourself before you go wrong. It is not easy when your normal routine can make you go astray from your goal on a daily basis.
Try setting yourself a goal to smile, which is something natural really. Through the day you will realize that if you do not catch yourself before you begin to frown or get angry, then you will no longer be smiling. And that in itself could be a long term goal because once you smile and get used to it, you want to keep on smiling.
Commitment is also very important because you must keep focused and in a sort of punishment kind of way not indulge yourself or allow yourself to slack.
Suppose for instance you are trying to control your budget because your goal is to save money to buy a car, a silly example perhaps but it will do for now. If you don’t punish yourself and not indulge in all the extra other expenses and outings and clothes you fancy, then there is no way of you saving any money to buy yourself a car.
But every goal also needs constant progress because all your first efforts are wasted if you cannot maintain it.
When I decided to cut down on smoking I did quite well for the first week, but then it was hard work indeed and withdrawals were pretty strong so I allowed myself to fall back and then found myself going back to smoking more rather than what my goal suggested; less. I did not maintain it and so I lost it and went back to the starting position again.
Some people want to lose weight and for some time that is their main goal. I am sure that when they join some weight watchers program for few weeks or so they are very determined but once the program is over they must be committed to maintaining that weight loss else it would all have been in vain.
Whether it is a work related goal, a physical or emotional one, perhaps a spiritual one, reaching the goal is only part of the process of achieving it unless you are satisfied with a one time or one day thing, then that is OK.
I think just like myself, most people set goals for themselves and then when they reach a point where progress is seen and is tangible, they sit back and relax and stop making an effort.
Thus, in order to achieve your goal, you must again put in hard work, commitment and constant progress.
Sometimes thinking or using another long term future goal also helps keep the focus on.
A salesperson wanting to be the top at his store can reach that goal for a month or choose to keep going to make it at the top every month. If that person has a goal of buying his own house one day then the thought of the house can push him further in remaining at the top. For without that extra money, there is no house on the horizon.
I suppose, until you master your goal, so that the efforts become unconscious, effortless in themselves, so that it becomes part of you, can you then seek to achieve another goal.
And then a thought or an idea is simply an idea until it is put into action. A goal must never be some thought or wish in one’s head. One must put in the effort to get there. So if you are not ready to put in some hard work, set yourself another goal for the present time.
For as long as we live we shall have goals, or I hope at least it is the case. So putting off a goal for a later date is acceptable if you are focused on another goal, though procrastinating with your goal without having anything else to work towards is a waste of time and life, for without any goals whatsoever we are wandering the earth, astray.