The #1 Secret to Obtaining Your Goals

Picture of The #1 Secret to Obtaining Your Goals
Photo: cello5
By Cynthia Dalton
Success is a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired. You quit when the gorilla is tired. — Robert Strauss

With the start of 2019, many people set goals for themselves in the form of New Year’s resolutions with all the good intentions that go with them. Many of those goals fall by the wayside in short order. To help reach the goals you have set for yourself, it’s important to understand some of the reasons why our goals might fail. Read on to see how and why we abandon goals, get sabotaged from outside sources, forfeit our dreams, and how we can use knowledge to help us. We wish you health, happiness, and success in the New Year.

Why Goals Get Abandoned

Nicolas Cole, writing for Inc., points out that people sow the seeds for sabotaging their own goals by starting out with an unrealistic view of goal setting. People fail to properly consider the skill sets they will need to acquire, how long it will take to acquire those skill sets, and how to fit this new work into an already busy schedule. Cole also points out that additionally, people invest too heavily in a need for external validation (I’ll be a big shot when I’m this or that). None of this is sustainable for long — it collapses under its own weight. Cole states, “In short: they have failed before they've even begun.”

Cole then outlines, 7 Reasons People Give Up on Their Goals Too Early. Check them out and see if any of them apply to you:

  1. They want the outcome more than they want to obtain a skill.
  2. They care too much about what people think (and fear judgment in failure).
  3. They mistake failure for lessons learned.
  4. They would rather throw in the towel than pivot … they can't let go of their original expectation.
  5. They do not have the discipline to stick with their idea long enough to see it live.
  6. They get distracted by what someone else is doing.
  7. They don't believe in themselves enough.

Sabotage from External Sources

There’s another, potent reason people give up on their dreams — the negativity of others. If people feel threatened by your ambitions, they may move to thwart you. They will tell you all the reasons why you shouldn’t do X, Y, and Z.

It’s amazing but true, those closest to us may resist any change in us. Often, family and friends react to our goals by filtering their interactions with us through their own fears. They fear we may outgrow them, make them look bad by comparison, or that we will no longer need them.

But if you can anticipate the possibility of encountering some fearful resistance from those closest to you, you can accept it as part of the process, rather than resent it as unsupportive. In other words, forewarned is forearmed.

The Antidote to Forfeiting Your Dreams

There is an antidote to forfeiting your own goals and plans - knowledge. The key is to be greedy for it. It’s the # 1 secret to achieving anything you want to achieve. Grab it anywhere you can to research thoroughly the endeavor you wish to pursue, and to obtain all the skills and knowledge you will need to reach your goals.

Knowledge can be obtained in a variety of ways:

  • Formal education. A degree may be crucial to your plans, especially to validate your expertise.
  • Self-directed study. Indulge your curiosity on your own. This is never a waste of time and usually delivers a fresh perspective.
  • A mentor. To begin with, this may just be someone you admire from a distance. You might not be able to afford Tony Robbins as your personal life coach, but if he resonates with you, you can read and study everything he’s written or listen to his recordings.
  • Asking questions. Develop the habit of asking questions — you never know what little tidbit of information may turnout useful to you.
  • Attending industry events. This is a great way to hear guest speakers, ask questions of industry leaders, and even possibly connect with an opportunity and/or a mentor.

Why Knowledge is the # 1 Secret to Goal Attainment

When you concentrate on educating yourself, you create a forward momentum you can sustain for a lifetime. Built into the process is everything you need to be successful. You learn to act methodically with patience, focus, self-discipline, self-awareness, and self-confidence, all of which will combine to carry you over the finish line.

Most importantly, when you occupy your thoughts around nourishing your brain, it naturally screens out other distractions. You no longer care what other people think, do, have, or say. As Nicolas Cole puts it, “Succeeding over the long term has far more to do with stepping back and subtracting distractions, rather than voraciously pushing forward. The latter is how you burn out.”

What do you think?

  • Is there a goal or challenge you feel you abandoned too soon? What happened?
  • When you’ve achieved goals in your life, how did you stay motivated?
  • What advice would you give others about staying motivated to achieve a goal?

In closing, from all of us at California Coast University, we wish you success with your goals in this New Year. Let’s all make 2019 the best year ever!


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