There are moments in our lives that we are roused to set new goals. It could be because we have met someone who’s successful or has attained something we’ve been hoping to realize for ourselves, then we had this sudden feeling that we would only truly feel accomplished if we would have the same fate; or we may have watched a movie that has made us asked, “if they can do it, why can’t I?” Perhaps we may have gotten tired of whatever life has been giving us so far and we simply want change. Whatever the case may be, sadly, most of the time, this sudden spark of inspiration doesn’t really last. More often than not, we tend to grow weary. We succumb to laziness; to lack of motivation; to procrastination and we are almost always inclined to forget the feelings sooner than it takes to even accomplish something. Then we go back to autopilot mode; to becoming the person we once were; to that person who seems to never finish anything and just accepts whatever destiny may offer.
What really makes a person achieve his goal? Is it motivation? Is it compassion? Is it insecurity? The need for other’s approval? Well, these things can make us get started. Even negative feelings such as revenge or wanting to prove something can get us motivated and make us decide to start something valuable. Your parents, friends, boyfriend, girlfriend can influence you to get started; your neighbor can cause you to be envious, you may also suddenly decide to work harder, go to the gym or just be better. Even social media can suddenly trigger feelings of wanting to be great at something or desire to do more. But these things are not enough to make you get what you have decided to achieve. Surely, they can motivate you to set goals for yourself. But what is the thing that can make you accomplish and fulfill these goals? Let me tell you that I have tried everything; hacking my sleep; learning how to multitask; meditation, setting up a very strict schedule, I’ve actually got myself a timer; while all of these helped, I’ve learned that the one secret that can make you attain any goal that you may have, be it losing weight; becoming richer; building a successful business; becoming healthier, more productive, kinder; any goal requires just one thing; the ability to do the things that you don’t want to do; plain and simple. If we expect that we are always going to be inspired or to always have that burning feeling of desire to achieve, when we were at the beginning, when we haven’t really experienced the hardships that come with our goals just yet, well, we’re in for a big disappointment. We won’t always like what we do even if we love our jobs, even if we are loyal to the company that we are working for or we are dedicated and committed to our endeavors. Even the most passionate worker will have days when he would need to force himself to get out of bed; or to finish that report; or to submit that project on time. You are not going to feel actuated every single day. There will be times when you will get tired and frustrated. When the odds are against you, you will feel hopeless; when your friends are out and and partying, your self-restraint will be tested; when you happen to commit mistakes along the way, you will be disappointed with yourself. But consistency is key. You have to keep going and be willing to do anything, including those things that you don’t want to do or you don’t feel like doing. So what’s the most important thing here? The kind of goal that you have. It has to be something that’s worth sacrificing for; something that would really make you do even the things that you don’t like doing.
Here are some questions to ask yourself and things to consider when setting a real goal.
- Being well-informed and strategic can actually help. Before deciding to start something, I would always write down a strategic plan. I would visualize scenarios. First, you have to know if the goal is worth pursuing. You will know it is, if it could surely add value into your life and the people around you. Imagining that you have already achieved it can help too. Then you may ask questions like, What would it feel like? Would it change anything for the better? Would it add value to my life and the people around me?
- Next, I would list down the possible hardships. Do I have the capability to surpass them? Do I have the courage to stick to my goal despite the difficulties? Will I continue no matter what?
- Lastly, it won’t harm to have a bit of self-reflection. Do I really want this or am I just being influenced by outside forces? Is this in line with my values? Because there will be times that we would think we really want something only to find out that our goals are empty and not really sustainable. Did you ever want something so bad and suddenly realized that you did want it at a certain point in your life but then you eventually grew out of it?
I had too many goals in my life and the ones that I was able to carry on with are the ones that are really worth pursuing. We often mistake our motives to something deeper than what it truly is. Most of the time, it is just society that’s dictating us of who we ought to be or what we ought to do. The problem is, we are motivated by something that is not within us but outside of us. And any goal that started with these outside factors are nothing but empty promises we are giving to ourselves. For us to really stick to our goals, we should know ourselves first and not be influenced by society. We should first lose our egos; the one that desperately needs validation from others. Only then we will know what truly motivates us; what makes our hearts beat faster and what makes our lives worth living. Only then that we will be more than willing to do the things that we don’t like to do and be truthfully happy about it.