A young man asked Socrates for the secret to success. Socrates told the young man to meet him near the river the next morning.
The next morning Socrates asked the young man to walk with him to the river. They walked into the river together.
When the water got up to their neck, Socrates took the young man by surprise and ducked him into the water. The boy struggled to get up but Socrates was strong and kept him there… until the boy turned blue.
Socrates pulled his head out of the water and the first thing the young man did was to gasp and take a deep breath of air.
Socrates asked, “What did you want the most when you were under water?”
The boy replied: “Air.”
Socrates said: “And that’s the secret to success.
When you want success as badly as you want air,
then you will get it.”
Here are my 15 tips to stay motivated and focused on your goals… so you can want it as much as air!
- Review your past goals. Ask yourself: “Am I progressing towards my goal?” “Have I achieved my goal in the time frame?” “Am I doing everything in my control to achieve my goal?” And “what have I learned from this?”
- Celebrate your successes! It’s important to always celebrate progress towards achieving your goal.
- If you haven’t achieved what you planned then you may need to change your strategy for achieving the goal. Don’t change the goal. Write down the reasons why you didn’t achieve the goal. Then focus on the things you can control. Develop a plan with a new strategy focusing on taking action on the things you can control.
- Now it’s time to set new goals. The first thing you need is clarity of where you are right now. To do this ask yourself “What are some of the things from the past 12 months that you want to duplicate in this year?”, “What was challenging last year?”, “What do you want to avoid happening again?”, “What decisions did you make in the last 12 months that were empowering for you?” And most importantly “What do I want to achieve? What results do I want?”
- Next, you need to be confident about your capacity to achieve your new goals. This step involves remembering a big goal that you’ve already achieved that seemed impossible. Write down the steps you went through to achieve it.
- Now write your goal in positive terms. People often set a goal in terms of what they don’t want. “I don’t want to be broke”, I don’t want cash flow problems…” It needs to be set in terms of “what I want to do, or want to be, or want to have”. State the result you want to achieve from your goal.
- Make sure that you control the outcome of the goal. The goal cannot depend on the attitude, decisions or behaviour of others. The success of your goal must depend on you… and you alone.
- Your goal must be sensory specific. The clearer the picture, the more compelling and the more attractive it is… then the greater the motivation will be to reach your goal. Act as if the goal is already achieved. Visualise your goal using all your senses – see, hear, smell, taste and feel your goal. Have a very clear image with rich details, so you’ll be so enthusiastic about your goal.
- State the context of the goal. Where and when will your goal be achieved? Be as specific as possible.
- Run a quality control check on the goal to make sure you have balance in all areas of your relationships/home/work You don’t want to lose the balance in your life while focusing on your goal. Step back and look at ALL areas of your life and ask yourself “is my goal worth it?”
- Write down the resources you need to achieve the goal. Ask yourself “what is the price to pay to achieve this goal?” There is always a price to pay for everything. There is always some sacrifice to make when you set a worthy goal. In this step, define all you need to achieve your goal… time, money, education, training, energy, having a mentor or coach.
- Be clear as to the purpose of the goal. Why do you want to reach this goal? Why is it important to you? Make sure this goal in harmony with your vision, beliefs, and values. The bigger the WHY the stronger the drive to achieve your goal.
- Write out a list of specific action items – a plan to get you to your goal.
- Schedule at least one item a day from your plan into your calendar. You want to work on your goal every day. To move towards it.
- Write out your goal, every day, until you achieve it! Then celebrate!
So there you have it. My top 15 tips on how to stay motivated and achieve your goals, with thanks to Socrates!