Whether you've declared a new year's resolution or not, you've certainly set lofty aspirational goals before.
Meant to inspire you to change one or more of your habits (usually the most difficult ones), or achieve desired outcomes, somehow those inspiring goals quickly become a burden the moment you declare them!
What is a goal?
A goal is a desired result or possible outcome that a person envisions, plans and commits to achieve. It's a personal desired end-point in some sort of assumed development. Many people endeavour to reach goals within a finite time by setting deadlines. (Source Wikipedia)
So why is it hard to achieve goals?
Unless you create a realistic plan of action that will take you from where you are to where you need to go to make your goals a reality, goal setting is by itself a worthless activity.
Unfortunately, most people are not trained and lack the skill of goal setting, strategic planning, and most of all the skill of execution (getting shit done).
We are trained to check the boxes, study the books, and answer as we were taught. But life doesn't work that way, it's ever changing, nothing turns out as expected, and we need to be ready for anything.
That's why many end up setting unachievable goals with very little strategic planning and completely fail to execute.
Why it's so important to set and achieve goals?
Setting and achieving goals is the only way to significantly alter the quality of your life, build self-confidence, and become the person you set out to be. It's more than a skill, it's a right; the right to dream and realize your dreams.
So what are some of the practical steps to achieve goals and make them a reality?
There are endless resources online on setting and achieving goals, most are really good. But many forget the most important requirements to achieve a goal; beyond setting a goal and creating a plan of action, you must have the time, the energy, and support to achieve goals and make them a reality.
Here are three ridiculously simple actions that will immediately impact your ability to achieve your goals by giving you more time, more energy, and deeper relationships.
1. Turn Off Notifications on Your Phone. Really!
There is something incredible that happens when you turn off notifications for most of the apps on your phone, especially social media apps, games ...etc
No matter how much willpower you think you have, the dopamine your body produces when you clear off those red dots on your social media apps is making you an addict.
"By 2016, mobile device users will spend 3 hours 15 minutes per day using apps!"eMarketer
Research shows that people in the U.S. check their social media accounts a staggering 17 times a day. So taking this simple action will give you back control over when and where you choose to engage with social media and other apps on your phone, instead of being a slave to your phone and its incessant demand on your attention.
Sure, keep the notifications for a handful of crucial apps like phone and messages, but most of the other notifications create meaningless urgency and feed on your dopamine addiction.
Results and side effects include; focus, peace of mind, joy and if that's not enough, getting back 3 hours a day will give you an extra 45 days in 2017 alone! Imagine what you would do with that.
Here is a guide on How to Turn Off Push Notifications on iPads and iPhones
Here is how to Turn off Push Notifications on Android
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2. Use Your Commute To Build Up Your Energy
You have to commute to work, meetings, get-togethers, and even to get the groceries. Getting from A to B is just an inevitable part of your day.
The average travel time to work in the United States is 25.4 minutes. Average Commute Times | WNYC
Turn this mundane part of your day into one of the most energetic and uplifting activities of your day. Start and finish your day with unbelievable energy, drive, and inspiration.
Walk: the simple action of walking to where you are going will fill you up with energy. Leave 15-20 minutes earlier, walk to your destination, or if it's just too far, get off a few stops before and walk there.
Listen to Great Music: Create a playlist of your favorite high-energy tunes that you absolutely love and listen to it while you walk.
Here is a great article on the 8 Surprising Ways Music Affects and Benefits our Brains
Listen to Great Audio Books: There is no better way to add energy to your work, expand your knowledge, generate ideas, open your mind, and spark fascinating conversations than listening to a great book as you walk to work or your next meeting.
Books remind you of what's important, challenge you, and give you ideas of what is possible. It's no wonder Why Leaders Must Be Readers.
"Successful people believe that books are a gateway to learning and knowledge."Huffington Post
Results and side effects include; great energy, fun, and a get shit done attitude. If you use your commute to listen to audio books only 50% of the time at 1.5X speed, you will end up reading 50 books this year, which is as much as Bill Gates reads, qualifying you as a voracious reader ;)
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3. Turn Your "Pretend" Friends Into Real Ones!
We have way too many "pretend" friends on social media, and we fall into the illusion of false intimacy; thinking that we really know someone just because we liked their photos on Facebook, or sent the default LinkedIn "congrats" message on their new position!
"The reality is, we don’t KNOW hardly anyone. Maybe we should be focused less on making a lot of connections, and focused more on making a few real friends" Jay Baer
By turning digital relationships into real ones you will deepen relationships and have many more friends, allies, and people who are rooting for you and your success.
This will probably have the single biggest impact on your life for years to come as you start discovering the true power of human connection and real relationships.
Get the emails of your social media friends:
Short of making a personal call, writing an email shows that you actually care enough to take the time and do something more than occasionally liking or commenting on a social media post.
Send a simple "check in" email:
Reach out to your friends at the start of the year, the perfect time to ask them how they are doing and what are their plans for 2017. Make it authentic, meaningful, and fun. Keep it short, real, and ask simple questions.
You will start receiving emails from people who appreciate your effort to reach out personally, and you will have some amazing conversations.
Ok, this may take a little more time and energy. But hey, isn't that what we are all here for, to build meaningful relationships that enrich our lives, plus if you've done #1 and #2 you will have all the time and energy you need to get #3 done ;)
Results and side effects include; joy of being connected, loved, and admired. More interesting conversations and inspiring emails in your inbox. Business opportunities, job offers, and referrals.
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