No one likes quitting or giving up on their goals and dreams in life, but so often I see people just settling and not willing to step outside their comfort zone. You see in order to achieve your goals it requires you to stretch yourself a little. Stepping outside your comfort zone and stretching yourself a little. You see too often people quit because they let their fears win. However, everything you dream of is usually on the other side of those fears and facing them is what helps you achieve your goals.
In order to achieve those goals, it begins by setting goals and sticking to them. This is so important for your own personal self-worth and life satisfaction. When we wander through life we can lose that bounce in our step, compared to when we set goals and achieve them. To often many of us give up too soon, whether this is the fear of failure or just the feel of being stretched outside our comfort zone.
Often when we don’t see results straight away, we quit and pack it all in to head home. Or we have failures and setbacks and decide to write the story about ourselves in our head that we simply aren’t good enough.
Perhaps you haven’t lost the kilos you wanted in the first few weeks, maybe you placed near the bottom in every test for your first season. You can’t see these as failures because by simply achieving your goals and making things happen you are on the journey to your success and these failures are all part of the journey. You should expect them because this is where growth and learnings happen.
Whether is dressage, a business, your weight or a financial goal, you have to be clear about what you want and stay true to that path. Believe me, if I had of quit in the early stages of my business when things weren’t going exactly to plan things would look very different now. I wouldn’t have been following my dream, I wouldn’t have been helping people succeed and improve their health and wellbeing and I wouldn’t be as happy as I am now. This goal in my business is helping my goal within dressage. They are all connected and often how we approach one aspect of our life it reflects in other areas to.
Very little in life is impossible, but things take time and whether you get there, in the end, boils down to whether you quit or persevere. Many of you reading this will be identifying with this problem and maybe even seeing a pattern in your own life of when habits haven’t changed, goals haven’t been conquered and quitting is a familiar behavior. If that is the case, you need to read on to stop giving up and start making the changes in life to achieve those goals you desire.
Here are some steps I have learnt to help me acheive my goals and I hope you find them useful.
1. Write down your goal and the desired deadline
Writing down your goals and giving yourself a deadline to achieve them is important for structure and commitment. Just be realistic when you set the deadline to ensure you don’t set yourself up for failure. This could simply be getting out competing for the first time or trying a new level. Don’t be put off if you decide to move up a level and aren’t scoring great the first few times. It’s progress and it’s helping you get closer to your goals.
2. Stop the negative thoughts
Inner negativity can be a hard one for many to shake, but it is really important you do. When you hold a personal critique session you are immediately destroying your confidence and your drive to continue. Surround yourself with things that help keep your thoughts positive. Learn from people you admire and who help you become better.
3. Drop the guilt trip
How often do you blame yourself when something doesn’t go right? It’s so easy to guilt trip yourself into feeling bad because you had a blow out that week, you couldn’t keep up in the fitness class or that you didn’t live up to others expectations. Guilt is a huge influencer on whether you quit or succeed. To remove the guilt and just focus on what you can do better next time and when you fail, what did you learn. You see there is no such thing as a failure, just another opportunity to learn and grow from.
4. Encourage yourself
Be your own inner cheerleader! Turn your negative back chat and replace your criticism with positivity and encouragement. Instead of saying to yourself ‘I didn’t do that right’, start looking for positive ways you can improve.
5. Set mini goals
Breaking up your major goal into little goals make them way more manageable. Often a bigger goal or a large change you want to make in your life can very quickly become overwhelming. Setting bite sized goals can keep you on track to reaching your desired target. Start by setting yourself a 1 year goal, then 6 months, 1 month, 1 week and then 1 day. What is it that you can do today to get you closer to your goals for the week.
6. Visualise your desired future
Start picturing yourself riding down that centre line at that show you want to be out or visualize the business you want or your favourite place you want to be. Imagine the emotions you will experience and create a pin board, vision board or inspiration book to use as a visual aid. The more emotionally connected you are to your future, the more you will strive to get there. Visualization is hugely powerful, picture that everyday.
7. Keep your fear under control
Fear is one of the most powerful emotions that has the ability to hold us back. Be brave and honest with yourself. Identify the fear and write down how you would feel from now if you have achieved nothing.
8. Be accountable
An accountability system is a great way to help you achieve your goals regardless of what they are. Enlist the support of a friend or get a great diary to help you keep focused and on track each and every day.
9. Reward progress
Celebrating is all part of the fun of reaching goals, but it doesn’t have to wait until the very end. Set up a reward system for when you reach your mini goals. A taste of success can spur you on to continue striving and help you avoid quitting.
10. Listen or engage with someone inspirational
Often hearing someone speak who is inspirational to you or enlisting the help of a mentor can create focus and give you direction. They can provide you the energy you need when you feel your drive slipping and the motivation to keep working towards success. Find some great coaches, get lessons with people you can really learn from and invest in making yourself better.
So there are some strategies to help you persevere with your dream and avoid quitting. Decide today that quitting is not an option and continue to pick yourself up no matter how many times you fail. Believe me, nothing in life beats reaching your goals and living the dream!