The three biggest reasons why people fail to achieve their goals are because they don’t take consistent action towards their goals, they get distracted by other opportunities and ideas, or they simply forget about their goals a few weeks after setting it. Fortunately, there’s a relatively simple way to overcome these reasons for failure.
Every single morning, I grab my journal and I write down my main long-term goal (a 12-month goal), including the most important reasons why I must achieve the goal and the progress I’ve already made.
In the past, I used to fall off-track with my goals and be forced to start all over again. But ever since including the goal-reviewing component in my morning routine, that hasn’t happened anymore. Instead, it made me more focused, productive, and consistent.
It’s a simple routine with a big effect. Here’s why…
A study from Dominican University showed that those who wrote down their goals accomplished significantly more than those who did not write down their goals.
Furthermore, the study showed that those who kept track of their progress at least once per week accomplished significantly more than those who didn’t.
In other words, regularly writing down your goals and keeping track of your progress improves your productivity, which is a key ingredient for goal-success. If you do it daily, the effect is even stronger.
By reviewing your most important goal every single morning, you ensure you keep the main thing, the main thing.
Most people aren’t 100% focused on their goal and therefore, get distracted by other opportunities, ideas, or goals. They end up becoming someone who hops from idea to idea, and from goal to goal.
“We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal.” — Robert Brault
If you study the most successful people, you’ll see that they focus intensely on just a few things instead of trying to do it all. They understand that their time, energy, and attention is limited — and therefore, they direct it continuously at the most worthwhile goal.
By reviewing your main goal(s) daily, you keep them at the forefront of your mind. This way, you ensure you direct your time, energy, and attention at the most important thing every single day — making it much easier to say ‘no’ to other opportunities that could derail your focus.
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Commitment is one of the key ingredients for goal-success. If you’re not fully committed to the goal, you won’t give it all the effort it requires to succeed. As Vince Lombardi said, “Most people fail not because of a lack of desire but because of a lack of commitment.”
Being truly committed will keep you going strong at times where things get challenging — and where others would give up.
Most people set goals and get highly motivated for a few days, falsely assuming they’re committed to the goal. After a few weeks, however, as the first obstacles arise, they quickly lose enthusiasm and drop the goal.
They were never really committed in the first place, they were just riding a temporary wave of motivation. Remember, commitment is not something that falls out of the sky — it’s something you develop over time.
“Motivation is what gets you started. Commitment is what keeps you going.” — Jim Rohn
In my experience, reviewing your long-term goal(s) every single morning is one of the best ways to strengthen your commitment towards a goal. Over time, with enough repetition, your mind will be 100% focused on your goal.
After reviewing your goal for many weeks in a row, it starts to become part of your automatic thinking. After enough repetition, your mind will automatically look for the people, events, actions, and opportunities that could bring you closer to your goal.
I’ve experienced that, by merely priming my mind again and again, it started to work automatically for me. Randomly throughout the day, I’d get new ideas for achieving my goals or quickly spot opportunities to make progress. When your automatic thinking is focused towards your goal, you truly become unstoppable.
As mentioned earlier, most people fail to achieve their goals because they don’t take consistent action towards achieving it. They set a goal, attach a date to it, but then hardly take action towards it.
However, after reviewing your goal for days in a row, it’s highly unlikely that you still haven’t taken any action. Merely being confronted by your goal and your reasons why you must achieve it, you’ll get motivated to take immediate action.
Remember, change only comes from taking action, not just by knowing about it. Therefore, I encourage you to follow the process underneath right away:
Step 1: Write down your main long-term goal in a journal or on a piece of paper. Make sure that the goal is highly specific and that it has an end date.
Step 2: Write down the most important reasons why it’s a must for you to achieve this goal. How will it enrich your life experience? What is your primary motivation for achieving the goal?
Step 3: Write down the progress you’ve already made on this goal to analyze whether you’re on-track or off-track.
If you repeat this goal-reviewing process every single day, you will become much more focused & consistent, your automatic thinking will be directed towards achieving your goals, and you’ll be more likely to fight off procrastination.
To Your Personal Growth,
Founder Personal Growth Lab