I am writing this on the first day of 2019, depending on how closely you follow me, you might read it later on.
My facebook feed is full of people sharing their goals and ambitions.
I like this energy. I am all about ambitions, and goals, and missions.
But, somewhere, I know, they won’t be able to meet their resolutions. I know most of these people will fall flat in the first two months itself.
Common! You can’t get a six pack in one month. It takes time.
Not only during this time of year, but I also see this all year. People are making schedules, and just completely missing to complete it.
There are multiple reasons/factors responsible for the failure of meeting goals :
Too many goals
If you’re a creative person, it is normal to get an idea in your head every 15-20 minute.
Maybe your friend posted something that you think you can do with ease. Perhaps you saw something on social media, and you think you should work on that as well.
Now, if you’re doing them for wasting your time, it’s okay (which I hope you don’t want to).
When you’re following a schedule or progressing towards a goal, you need a set goal or something you can track (more in the second section). Thereby, if you start working on 100 things, you’d need 100 goals and a ton more mini goals.
Needless to mention, it’s going to be a mess (a bigger mess than Donald Trump’s hair).
It’s easy for a creative person to start working on a thousand things. But to finish all those requires a lot of hard work and effort. As Kratos once said, “you must finish what you start”. People with too many goals, finish to accomplish them and hence, it turns out to be a shit show.
You, me, everyone has 24 hours a day.
Out of which we spend 6-7 sleeping. You can reduce your sleeping time to 4-5, but you’d require a lot of self-discipline to do that every day.
With our sleep part out of the day, you have the remaining hours to get all the work done.
At the surface, it might sound like you have sufficient hours. But, in the end, your time is limited. You can only get a limited amount of work done every single day. This connects with my first point, too many goals. You don’t need 24 hours if you’re working on 2-3 things.
I was able to manage my regular 9 to 5 job, a company, and still did freelancing work. The secret always was managing time.
Not Focusing on short-term goals.
If you listen to my podcast, if you listen to my speeches, they have a strong tone around “your end goal”, “your mission” and so on.
It’s essential to know your end goal.
But, in the pursuit of your end goal, people forget to make small goals.
I get it, you want to be a social media star, but what’s the small goal for this month?
Reaching 1000 followers, or 2000?
You can’t quietly sit down and have your end goal to reach 1 million followers.
Despite how vital your primary goal is, you need small and short-term goals to show yourself that you’re making progress.
Time Tested Goal Setting Tips for Entrepreneurs
These were the main reasons why people fail to stick to their schedules. Here are some of my time-tested tips to make sure you kick your schedule’s butt, all time, every time.
As I explained in the last point. You need short and specific time-based goals. Your goals need to be smart.
T: Time Based
All of these factors combine to ensure that your goals are set right.
If your goals are set right, that’s 50% work done instantly. You can’t just set a goal to run a marathon( I mean you can, but that would be a lot of trouble). You need to take baby steps.
Don’t just say you want to be a social media rockstar. You need to be more specific. I need 1000 followers this month. That would be a better goal.
Next time you sit down to make goals, make sure all the criteria mentioned above are met.
Check Progress Weekly
Humans learn to like dogs; based on rewards.
The moment your brain realizes you are not getting any benefit from the work you are doing, it stops giving it’s 100% into the task.
You make a goal, you start working on it, after a month, your brain realizes, wait, this isn’t going anywhere, why am I still working on it. You then get less and less passionate about it.
At the end of the week, I sit down and re-evaluate the whole week. I notice what tasks I had every day, which of them were met, which of them were missed and so on.
This process tells me that yes, I am moving forward. Stop every week to take a look at how you did that week(If you did good, treat yourself with a pizza or beer).
Ps: The beer and pizza part is optional, but I’d recommend it.
Last year, I started working on an e-commerce project. I can’t tell how terrible decision it was. But every day, I woke up, telling myself how much I hate getting no sales.
If I would have let ego take the best of me, I’d have never stopped burning my dollars on that project.
But at the end of the month, I stopped, and said, this is not going even close to where I thought, it was a bad decision, let’s not do this anymore.
I then returned to do what I did the best; creating content.
Always leave room for adjustments and a little change in plan.
Expect resistance and failures. For these, you need some space in your plan.
I never plan 100% work hours of my day. I leave 2-3 out. These are kept for impromptu meetings or anything which comes out of the blue. If nothing happens, I can always edit my videos or work on brainstorming ideas for future blogs and videos.
Focus on Progress, Not only Results
A significant reason why people stop working on things is that they don’t get results.
But results take time. How can you still keep yourself motivated without getting results?
The secret ingredient is progress.
Okay, I need to get to 1 million blog views a month. What’s the best I can do about it? I can publish articles, once a week.
As long as I am meeting my weekly target, I am moving towards my end goal.
Be focused on progress, while keeping your eye on the end goal.
Write it down
I can’t stress more on this.
WRITE. IT. DOWN.
I know, you’re more into digital and technology and everything, but you need to write it down.
A common habit of successful entrepreneurs is maintaining journals.
Journal about everything. Planning their week, making goals, brainstorming ideas and much more.
I use Evernote, notepad, and a lot of other apps to keep myself in check, but only after I first plan on my diary.
Everything I do is first planned on my diaries, then turned into Evernote and other docs.
Take care of yourself.
If you’re like me, or any other passionate entrepreneur, and you’re working on something you love, you never feel the time passing.
Hours feel like a minute, and days feel like hours.
You are so much into the work that you forget that your eyes need rest, your back needs movement, your body needs water and so on.
I have made it a part of my schedule to get proper lunch, take 15-minute breaks and so on.
I use the timeout app to give my eyes rest, phone reminders to drink water every now and then, take a quick walk every few hours and so on.
This works best for people who start to go on a diet. But I have seen it and made it work for other goals too.
Going public creates a sense of delivery. You now have to deliver the result to a set of the people.
Don’t do this if you’ve got anxiety or similar issues. But, other than that, if you are okay about posting on facebook that you’re about to start a keto diet to lose weight, do it!
You’ll feel the need to post your progress to prove yourself.
Keep Score of Everything
If you don’t have records, you feel lost/confused.
Okay, a hectic week it was, what do I do.
You start thinking and then keep thinking what is it that you spent your time in.
On the other hand, if you’ve got a journal where you keep everything in check, you just open it and go boooommm, I did that.
From my expenses to income, to what I do, I keep a record of everything.
Ending note: It takes effort, and a lot of self-discipline to follow a schedule. I hope the article would have made it a tiny bit more comfortable for you to create and stick to your goals.