Yes I know it sounds too obvious for words.
It is even a little embarrassing to say it but, we get so caught up in life’s daily challenges that we forget the simple truths.
Why? Because we’re too busy making everything ‘complicated’.
But don’t you have to set goals?
Yes, and no!
I’ve lost count of the number of articles and quotes I have read (and I’m sure you have too) telling us that without setting goals we are doomed to failure and procrastination. Now that I mention it, I remember writing a few articles like that myself.
Yes, goals give you something to aim for, something to plan for and something to judge your progress by.
Yes, setting goals makes us feel good. They energise us and motivate us and without them we may as well just drift aimlessly through life.
Yes, our lives are littered with indecision, missed deadlines, unfinished bathrooms, unused gym memberships, unwritten novels, unfulfilled promises to friends, visits we have never made, shelves we have never put up… the list is endless.
Yes, procrastination saps our energy, wastes our time, costs us money, holds us back, makes liars of us, and stops us from being healthy, wealthy, happy and fulfilled. It is a slow subconscious killer of dreams.
Yes, it’s tempting to think that if we could only map it all out so the journey ahead is crystal clear and it’s in a ‘to do list’ then it’s just a matter of doing them and success will be ours!
Too many goals and you don’t know which one to aim at first.
However, trying to plan our day, week, month or even the rest of our lives can be a bad thing!
It may look good on paper, you may even feel energised and fuelled up to go for a while, but the very same set of goals can set you back.
Constantly setting goals guarantees nothing.
Too many goals
Too many goals especially the big ones can actually destroy your chances of success.
Too many goals can become a chain around your neck, reminding you of what you have not achieved and of the tasks you have not completed but said you would.
Much of the stress that we feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what we start.
“Nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost legendary. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Perseverance and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge
Each day can become a deadline you can’t meet. Stress creeps in and anxiety takes hold. So what can we do about it?
#Don’t sabotage your day!
You can make the complicated simple or the simple complicated. It’s up to you.
What’s it gonna be?
Life can be simple! (well most of the time anyway).
But we make it complicated (and we know it, but we still do it).
Yes, I know I am stating the obvious again but we never listen to our own advice, so I thought I would remind us both.
#Set yourself realistic deadlines
Lose 3 stone in 3 months, write your first novel and get it published in a few months, learn a language a month… if you do you know you’re going to fail.
Deadlines on their own are nothing more than hurdles at which to fall if you don’t also have a clear ‘do-able’ plan of action to meet them…
#Focus on what you can control
You can do no more! Do what you do best and focus on doing it better.
Don’t worry about the competition.
Don’t let what you can’t control distract you from what you can.
#Don’t confuse motion with progress
“Busy doing nothing working the whole day through, trying to find lots of things not to do…”
Don’t confuse busy with progress.
Procrastination comes in many clever guises – it has fooled me many times.
It can trick you into thinking you’re being productive when in fact you are avoiding doing something difficult or something you just don’t want to do.
When it comes to starting anything new, any goal or any task, do what must be done first!
When you start anything new there are so many different priorities fighting for your time and attention.
There are the things that you would like to do.
There are the things others are telling you should be done. And there are the things that must be done.
Always start with the ‘must be done’..