How To Stay Motivated and Achieve Your Goals.

Its driving you crazy, I know. You know exactly what you want in life. You want to create a new lifestyle, or you want to start file4831280358596your dream business. Or maybe you just want more order in your life.

You need to be prepared and for that you need information. The first thing everybody does today is “Google it”. And that is often where the problem starts……information-overload. You will also often get told to “think big” and to “see the big picture”. While I have no problem with that, I also do believe that you need to maintain a balance. Yes, you need to think big, but you cannot start big.

You start to focus on that $10 000.00 monthly income, the big contracts, and the dream house. It is good to keep these in mind, but you need to start small.

So Where Do You Start?

Let’s look at three points of importance to get your mindset right.

  • Determination: You will only be able to have the necessary determination if you set out to work on your own If you are influenced to work on any goal that someone else might think will be good for you, you are going to lack enthusiasm and desire. It will be hard (if not impossible) to achieve success in this case. Only if you have a real desire for the achievement of your goal, you will be able to have the necessary determination.
  • Perseverance: Once you have made a start, you will find that not everything will always work according to plan. If you start small, it will be easier to maintain momentum and overcome obstacles in the beginning. Then keep on keeping on, no matter what.
  • Small steps: Create an action plan for your goal with small steps for small wins on the way to achieving your main goal. To save $100 000.00 can become de-motivating very quickly. But if you set your target at $1000.00 it becomes easy to maintain the excitement. And when you achieve the first $100.00 after taking your first step, nothing is going to stop you. There is nothing wrong with aiming for the $100 000.00, but start small, and you are more likely to stay motivated.
  • Determine your why: Before you set out to start working on your goal, determine why you want to achieve your goal. Then always keep your “why” in mind as you work towards your goal. When you lose sight of your “why”, it is very easy for your goal to become an obsession and take over your whole life.

Time for Action

Determine your goals and write them down! Whether you write them on a piece of paper or keep it on your computer, but there is a form of commitment when you put it in writing.

Once you have your goals written down, create an action plan, which allows you to take small, but realistic and attainable action steps. Set deadlines for each action step. This will enable you to know whether you are on track, or whether you have overcommitted yourself and need to re-think your time schedule.

It is a good idea to find someone who will be supportive of your goal and tell him/her about it. This will make you accountable and when you have those “off days” they can be there to encourage you. They can also keep you accountable to take action instead of just talking about your goals.

It is also very important to be organized. Michael Hyatt did an excellent post on his blog, explaining exactly how he is using Evernote to organize his life.

Keep Momentum

Once you have determined your goals and started working your plan of action, you might find times when it feels as if you are not making any progress. This is the time when you must apply your determination and persevere.

How do you stay motivated? Do you have some great method to keep yourself motivated until you have achieved your goal? Would you like to share with us? I would love to hear from you.

How Safe Is Your Future?

Today is Friday and I would like to discuss nugget #10 as it is described in John Mason’s book An Enemy Called Average (Updated and Expanded). This nugget reads as follows: “Fear and worry are interest paid in advance on something you may never own”.

Living In The Future

How often have you come home on a Friday afternoon, stressing about that dreaded meeting with the manager that isRoadToHeaven waiting for you on Monday. You have bent over backwards to meet your deadline on your project, but in spite of all your efforts, you were just not able to make it.

You stress the whole Friday evening. You hardly get any sleep at night and Saturday and Sunday is absolute agony, as you can already picture the events in that meeting on Monday morning. You already feel the humiliation, walking around with sweaty palms due to the stress for the whole weekend.

Then Monday comes, and it’s time for the meeting. As you walk into the manager’s office, he informs you that the deadline for your project has been moved forward, as the company took note of all the delays that was beyond your control……

Wow….all that stress and your weekend is gone. Your friends and family had the time of their lives. And you, what can you say about the weekend? You missed out, due to all the stress.

I know what it feels like. I had such an experience earlier this week. I had to write an article for someone about a technology company that I didn’t really know much about. Yes, I did all the research I possibly could, but after hours and hours of work, my head was spinning with terminology, abbreviations and what knows else. I was working until late at night, so I was getting tired, but I kept on pushing, because I didn’t want to miss the deadline.

By the time I submitted the article I was concerned that what I have written is not going to make sense to the reader (who would obviously be informed about the subject, just looking for more information). But it was too late now and I had to submit my work.

After two days of going through agony, battling to find my rhythm again, I finally spoke to my friend whom I have written the article for. He was amazed to hear about my stress levels, because he was happy with my article and found nothing wrong with it.

Stay In the Present and Enjoy the Journey

Have you ever heard of the saying; “yesterday is gone, tomorrow will never come, the present is the only gift we’ll ever have”?

It has been proven that if you are mentally focusing on something, it has an effect on your emotions and your body responds exactly as though you are physically in that situation. I don’t have to tell what that does to your stress levels.

That means that in the above mentioned example I have given, you could just as well have been in that meeting on Friday evening, the whole of Saturday and Sunday, and every time you woke up at night thinking about it.

You have wasted a precious weekend…..for nothing. When Monday came, all was fine. “But what if things did not turn out so fine on Monday?” you may ask. Well, then you would have had one unpleasant meeting on Monday morning, but at least you still had quality time with your family over the weekend.

Don’t Keep Company with Fear and Worry

Worry is simply the misuse of your God-given imagination which He has placed within each of us. When fear rises up, resist100_2615 it and do your best to focus on something positive. As John Mason says, “worry is a route which leads from somewhere to nowhere. Don’t let it direct your life”.

What do you do to resist fear and worry? let me know by leaving a comment. I look forward to hear from you.

Get Excited Instead of Jealous

I wish someone has told me this long ago. It would have saved me a lot of time and I wouldn’t have had to fight stressfeelings of guilt.

I know this is a sensitive topic I’m touching on, but I feel the need to share on this.

Don’t Envy the Wicked

When we look around us, we tend to see the success and beauty in the lives of the people around us and we all respond in different ways. The way you respond has a bigger impact on your life than what you might think.

If you are anything like me, you grew up with the idea that just about all the wealthy people in the world is materialistic. You should guard against money becoming your “god”. That is true, but it is only one half of the full picture. We will never achieve proper balance in life without looking at the full picture.

We look at scriptures such as Exodus 20:17 saying “You must not be envious of your neighbour’s house….”, or Proverbs 24:19-20 saying “Don’t envy the wicked. Don’t covet his riches. For the evil man has no future; his light will be snuffed out.”

These are truths, because God’s Word is truth. But we need to read these scriptures in context. To envy anything that belongs to my neighbour, might lead to the temptation of wanting what already belongs to him. This can lead to sin, because I might end up bringing harm to my neighbour or causing him damage. To envy the wicked is also wrong in the sense that his riches were normally obtained in worldly ways. Maybe some people got hurt in the process. This person becomes arrogant, thinking that he achieved this wealth in his own power, and his wealth makes him feel powerful. But you can lose your fortune at any minute. And when that happens to the super-rich, it often ends up in disaster.

There Is Nothing Wrong With Being Successful, It is Called “Being Blessed”

When I look at scriptures such as Psalm 37:4, I also see “Be delighted in the Lord. Then He will give you all your heart’s desires.” I see Ezekiel 36:26 which says “And I will give you a new heart – I will give you new and right desires – and put a new spirit within you”.

Psalm 23:5 says “You provide delicious food for me in the presence of my enemies….” We won’t have any enemies in heaven. That means that I will be blessed while I am still here on earth.

Psalm 112 describes “all who fear God and trust in Him” as blessed beyond expression, as wealthy, and people who’s good deeds will not be forgotten.

I don’t know about you, but in my dictionary “wealthy” means exactly what it says….”wealthy”. You cannot become wealthy if you are not blessed. What is important though is that we don’t have to measure wealth in terms of money alone.

An example would be a man with a billion dollar bank account. Yet, he is full of anger and he has nobody that loves him. To me, that is a poor man with a lot of money in the bank.

What “to be blessed beyond expression” means to me is to have the means to provide not only in my own needs, but also those of others. It will be to know that I did not get any wealth in my own power, but by the mercy of God, to live in good health and enjoy healthy, loving relationships with the people around me. This also provides security knowing that if disaster strikes, I can overcome, and God will provide for me again, as He has done the first time.

 We Live With a Scarcity Mentality in a World of Abundance

Reality is that we see the wealth around us, and then feel guilty when we realize that we would actually enjoy having some of it. We start beating ourselves up thinking that we are envious and jealous. We think it’s a sin to desire something.

Yet, we have just seen that God will give us “new and right desires”. There is nothing wrong with having a desire for something. Everything we see might be an end product manufactured and assembled by man, but it has been created by God for us to enjoy. Or where did you think that desire came from?

We live in fear of becoming materialistic, feeling guilty about having something. Then when we see someone else who has a nice home and can afford to dress nicely, we become depressed because we think we cannot afford it.

We should start by showing gratitude for what we already have. The next time you feel depressed about not having 211872_9011something, start looking around. I’m convinced it won’t take you long to find someone who doesn’t have everything that you have. Then, the next time you see someone else with something nice, something you would love to have, be joyful and grateful for the beauty or the luxury that is available. Then set your goals and go get your own.

We live in a world of abundance. We limit ourselves with our thoughts.

Are you thinking about abundance, or are you thinking about lack? Let me know by leaving a comment below. I would love to hear from you.

The Shocking Truth About Procrastinating

It is so easy to find reasons to procrastinate. We know we should be busy with productive activities. But why do we file0002052685673always find them so challenging? We would find any excuse to do something that will not get us any closer to our goal. It is as if “being busy” makes us feel less guilty for not achieving our goals.

Build Momentum and Maintain It

I was once at a business seminar where I’ve heard this great comparison. Imagine you are living on a farm. You need to start the tractor, but the battery is down. You need to push this monster to get it started. You might even need to get someone to help you push. The fact is that it is going to take serious effort to get the tractor to move even one inch.

After your veins almost popped out of your head and it feels like you are equipped with someone else’s muscles, you can’t believe it but the tractor actually moved half an inch.

This is where the test begins. If you relax now to take a breather, the tractor is going to come to a stop again. Yes…..you are going to have to start all over again. It doesn’t matter how much strain you are taking or how hard it is to keep up your effort, you have to keep pushing to keep up that momentum.

The more momentum you gain, the easier it becomes. Until eventually, you reach the downhill. This is when the tractor starts running on its own momentum and whoever is sitting on the tractor can take the necessary action to get the engine running.

Pushing a tractor might seem like an impossible thing to do. But the moral of the story is to keep pushing once you have gained the slightest of momentum.

Keep pushing until enough momentum has built up or until you reach the downhill. This is the stage when whatever Dougproject you have started can function on auto pilot or you have staff to manage your business, or whatever endeavours it is that you have started.

What Is Stopping You?

You really want to start working on that main goal. You want to build that dream business, or start a new career. But what is the reality?

You have the greatest of intentions, but the minute you have to start writing that article, or you need to contact a key person to get that crucial contract, you start thinking about a million other things you can do.

Suddenly, you have this indescribable thirst. You’ll just have this one cup of coffee before you take action. After you finished the coffee……..oh yes…..there is that Facebook post that you have posted and you just need to see whether you’ve received any comments on it. Then there’s all the bills that needs to get paid….and oops, you haven’t done next month’s budget yet. Does it sound familiar? Maybe you have different excuses to mine, but let’s face it; they are just that……excuses.

But why do we do it? There can be many reasons. Fear is one of the most common reasons. Fear of failure.  Fear of rejection. What if someone is going to be rude to you? What if they say no? What if they make you feel like an idiot? What if you fail?

The real question should be; what if your idea is well received? What if your idea turns out to be the best solution ever to solve a certain problem?

What Results Can You Expect From Procrastinating?

So this is the shocking truth about procrastinating. It is making excuses to be busy. Being busy doesn’t mean we are accomplishing anything. And without accomplishing anything, we will never meet our goals.

Let me know what you do to fight procrastination by leaving a comment. I would love to hear from you.

The Best Time of Day Is Now

It was an eventful week for me, but what I have learned, fits in perfectly with nugget #9 as we find it in the book An Enemy Called Average (Updated and Expanded) by John Mason.

My discussion of today is about this nugget: The best time of day is now.

Procrastination

Time

Accomplishing things makes you move forward. Being busy is like running on a treadmill. Picture this: A very athletic guy is running on a treadmill at a demanding pace. As he takes some water, his water bottle slips from his hand and falls. Instinctively he slows down and bends over to pick up the bottle……guess what happens. Do you get the picture? He suddenly went backwards in a very un-orderly fashion, ending up on the floor behind the machine. That’s what “busyness” will get you as well. Eventually you will start moving backwards and end up with everything you didn’t want.

Procrastination is a common problem in society today, and it is the number one enemy to anybody who would like to meet any form of success. “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done”, Ecclesiastes 11:4 (TLB).

One of the most important things we need to realize is that there is a huge difference between being busy and being productive. Personally I got caught up in activities over the past week, that kept me extremely busy, but the most frustrating part is the fact that I wasn’t productive. Sometime we encounter these annoying activities that demand your attention. Things that has to be done and cannot be delegated either. We just need to get them out the way. We all face these situations at some time, but often it becomes an excuse to hide behind.

Many people fall into the trap of thinking that they will achieve some success by just being busy. This can take many forms. Some people will have beautiful dreams about what they would like to achieve, and they start planning and collecting pictures of what they would like to have, etc. but they never take any action.

Others set goals. They have their plan of action ready and they are constantly busy, altering their action plan to accommodate new developments, always working on “plan B” if “Plan A” doesn’t work out. They are always waiting for the perfect conditions, the right timing. Always busy, busy, busy but never getting anywhere.

It can even happen due to a lack of self-confidence. You need to get a project done, and the task at hand can be quite challenging. It then becomes easy to find lots of activities that suddenly “just needs to get done”. We become so busy, that we just can’t find the time to do what actually needs be done.

The question we need to ask ourselves is; “what did I accomplish?”

Just Going Around In Circles

An interesting experiment has been done with processionary caterpillars by John Henry Fabre. They were given this name because of their habit of blindly following each other no matter how they are lined up or where they are going. Mr. Fabre took the caterpillars and placed them in a circle. The result: They just kept following each other around and around.

Then Mr. Fabre took it a step further. He placed the caterpillars in a circle once again, but this time he placed a saucer full of pine needles in the centre of the circle. Pine needles are their favourite food. For six days, they moved around and around the saucer, dying from starvation and exhaustion. Yet, an abundance of their choice food was located less than two inches away.

This is great example of confusing activity with accomplishment.

It is the same when we are always busy doing those calculations, drawing up budgets for various scenarios, but we never put it to practice because “the time is not right yet”.

The Best Time Is Now.

Do I say you need to take action even though you are not ready yet? No, that is not exactly what I am saying. You IMG_5690need to do proper planning and be well prepared for anything important you want to do. But once you have done your planning and you did what you could to be prepared, you need to take action. The perfect time will never arrive. You will have to alter some of your action plans along the way, but you will be accomplishing and achieving goals in the process.

This is clearly being illustrated in the book, Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath where they illustrate how the battle is planned ahead of time during a war. Yet, the battle never goes according to plan because you don’t know how the enemy is going to think. But you are better prepared because you have a plan, so it becomes easier to respond to circumstances.

Take action, however small steps you take, but make a start. I’ve recently read an excellent blog post on the UNSETTLE blog, which help with determining small steps of action you can take.

Don’t Consume Your Tomorrows Feeding on Your Yesterdays.

Nugget #8 in John Mason’s book An Enemy Called Average (Updated and Expanded) says “Don’t consume your tomorrows feeding on your yesterdays”.

In today’s society, depression is a common occurrence. There are many explanations about what is causing this SDC17967modern-day problem. It is a very serious condition and in my opinion it is a silent killer on the loose.

Many modern-day health problems can be traced back to stress, and depression is a major contributor to stress.

Feeding On Your Yesterdays and Your Emotions

Don’t let your past hold you back. Many people fall into a state of depression because they are holding onto the past. They often have memories about bad things they have done in their past or even bad things that happened to them.

We need to realize that there is nothing we can do to change the past. What’s done is done. There is nothing in the world that we can do to change what happened in the past. To keep on dwelling on what happened in the past, is like re-visiting that event and re-living the experience. All that comes from it is that it takes away your focus from the present and it prevents you from planning for the future.

I have recently read an excellent article written by Michael Hyatt “Four Emotions Derailing Your Goals”. In this article he is discussing the emotions of fear, uncertainty, doubt and shame. We are all exposed to these emotions and although all four of them can be caused by experience, I think shame is the most obvious.

Shame is often a big reason, which then leads to fear, doubt and uncertainty and prevents many people from being optimistic and courageous about planning for the future.

Learn From the Past, Create Your Future

I do not say that anybody can just casually forget about the past and act as though nothing has ever happened. But, I often see where people are absolutely torturing themselves with events that has happened in the past to such an extent that it become impossible for them to see any possibility of succeeding in the future.

In the case of feeling ashamed, more often than not, everybody else around you is carrying on with their lives, not even giving a single thought about your embarrassment. In essence, you are the only person holding on to that memory, punishing yourself day in and day out. Nobody else is even aware of it. This actually makes for a complete waste of valuable time, doesn’t it?

In the case of fear, where something bad has happened to you, it might be more difficult, as you have to deal with your fear. One way of doing it, is to deal with that fear by facing the facts. Whatever has happened to you, what are the odds of it happening again?

As I have already said, you do not have act as though nothing has ever happened, but turn it into something positive. If you feel ashamed of something you have done, learn from your mistakes and don’t repeat them. Maybe you can teach someone else not to make the same mistakes. Or you could be able to warn other people how to avoid falling into the same trap as you have. When you then achieve success, it will often even be more praiseworthy. In the case of fear, maybe you can start a support group for other victims who had a similar experience.

I can give the example of a young girl who is living in our local district. She was about 17 years old when she and her father took their dog for a walk in a local park. They got assaulted. Her father was tied up and forced to watch how she got raped. The whole society was in shock, and yes, both her and her father was obviously extremely traumatized. Yet, after receiving counselling, she decided not to give in to fear and bitterness. She started a support group, reaching out to other victims of similar crimes.

Today she is a successful young woman and a well-known and respected figure in our society. When she got married about a year ago, it was all over the news papers.

Yesterday is Gone, Tomorrow Will Never Come, Which Is Why the Present Is the only Gift We’ve Got

Let whatever happened in the past, stay in the past. Learn from it, set your goals and work towards them. Are there any guarantees that you will be successful in everything you do? No. Some ideas will fail, but some will work. If you do nothing, nothing will work, and nothing will change.

As long as you are alive, there is hope. I would like to share this about the word hope when you spell it.

H – HavingIMG_1523

O – Only

P – Positive

E – Expectations

Let’s build a great future together.

Let me know how you deal with your yesterdays by leaving a comment below.