Every New Year millions of people make New Year resolutions or goals and while some will go on to achieve them the majority will not achieve even one.
Why is this?
Why do many of us who are passionate about what we want and determined to get it still end up not achieving our goals?
The reality is that passion on its own, though important, will not help you to achieve your goals. You need to combine your passion with focused and determined actions to give yourself a chance of achieving your goal.
In fact, there is one action above all other actions that will not only determine how serious you are about achieving your goal, but will also greatly increase your chances of achieving it.
Before I share with you what this action is I would like you to answer the following question:
Has your current or a past boss ever asked you to complete an assignment with a tight deadline which seemed impossible at the time?
Do you remember what you did?
In most cases anyone who has ever been in a situation like this found a way to get it done. It might have meant working late hours, going into work on the weekend and even cancelling planned commitments. Although you were not necessarily happy to do it, you did it because it was important to your career and in some cases to you keeping your job.
Here is another question:
Do you think you would have made all those sacrifices to get that assignment done if you didn’t have to report back to your boss?
My guess is that the possibility of being seen as a failure, if you didn’t complete the assignment by the deadline, is what made you do whatever you had to do to get the job done.
No one wants to be seen as a failure even if the person knows that the expectation was unrealistic.
The simple thought of having to face your boss and explain to him or her why you didn’t complete the assignment on time made you work even harder.
You knew your boss would hold you accountable if you failed to deliver.
So why is it that so many of us are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve the goals of our employer but are not willing to make the same commitment and effort towards achieving our own goals?
The answer is simple: people have their bosses on their job to hold them accountable to the organization’s goals but they rarely if ever have someone to hold them accountable to their own personal goals.
Can you imagine how many dreams and goals you would have already achieved if you had someone holding you accountable every day?
Unfortunately, most of us don’t. The lack of having to be accountable to someone (like your manager at work) is the biggest reason why so many of us fail to achieve our dreams and goals.
Yes, I know there are many online goal setting and tracking applications out there and they do a very good job of helping you organize and keep track of your goals and the actions you take towards them. However, there is a very big difference between an online application holding you accountable and an actual person holding you accountable!
When you have a person holding you accountable this person can ask you the following two important questions when you fail to act:
Why did you not complete the task?
What are you going to do about it?
When was the last time you used a goal setting software that asked you these two questions?
Do you think a software application can engage you in a conversation about the actions you need to take towards your goals as well as discuss the results of these actions?
No, it can’t. You need to find an actual person to hold you accountable and that has these two things:
- A sincere desire to see and help you pursue your dreams, follow your passions and act on your goals.
- The ability to be honest and have those sometimes tough and uncomfortable conversations with you when you don’t follow through on your your to do list or action plan.
In other words, this person becomes your manager, your boss – the person who checks in on you to ensure that you do what you are supposed to do.
They make sure you deliver by the deadline!
Ideally, this should not be a family member.
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to facilitate two mastermind groups.
What I experienced while doing this has never left me.
While facilitating, I noticed how the level of positive energy and excitement would significantly increase when participants shared the positive results they experienced from the actions they took towards their goals.
It was amazing to see and feel!
We had some great times especially when listening to all the success group members in were having because of their actions.
There is something about when a group of individuals get together to leverage their expertise, knowledge and experience to help other members of the group achieve their goals. One of the greatest benefits, in addition to the support and motivation, is the level of accountability to which each member is held.
It’s truly what makes the difference!
Like with every group effort you always encounter situations and challenges which require you to find creative solutions, something that you did not necessarily think of initially. Although these mastermind groups were very dynamic and helped individuals to take action it did have its challenges.
One of the challenges I encountered, while facilitating these groups, came half way through the mastermind program. Members would show up to the mastermind weekly meetings all excited and ready to participate. Unfortunately, despite their sincerest intentions, many of them had failed to follow through on the actions they were supposed to complete the previous week.
Initially, I allowed it to go on and accepted the promises participants made to have it completed the following week. Unfortunately, after seeing this happen a few times I knew I had to do something. It wasn’t only a matter of tasks not being completed but the energy and excitement in the group started to fall. To me it almost felt like the weekly mastermind became more of a routine than a source of inspiration and dynamism.
You know it’s time to change things up whenever something meant to be inspiring and motivational becomes routine.
And this is what I did!
Instead of waiting for the weekly meeting, where members held each other accountable, I contacted each member of the mastermind groups. I checked with each of them to see if they were following through on the actions they promised to take that week towards their dreams and goals.
Well, it certainly came as a surprise to them… but a pleasant one.
I wanted each person to know that when they did not follow through on their actions it not only affected their progress but also the progress, motivation and positive energy in the group.
This simple yet effective added level of accountability I put in place made a difference. In fact, many group participants said this is what they needed.
Almost every member credited this additional level of accountability for getting them back on track with taking consistent action towards the pursuit of their dreams and goals.
The energy and the excitement in the groups returned.
In fact, members became even more committed than they were prior to my individual telephone calls.
It continues to be a great experience being able to facilitate these types of mastermind groups. There is a positive energy, inspiration and motivation when a group of individuals come together to report all the progress that happened because of the focused actions they took towards pursuing their goals.
This energy and excitement act as the fuel that propels participants into the next week with the determination and motivation they need to continue taking action.
When you follow through on your actions you increase the chances of you making progress towards achieving your goals.
When you see results you get motivated and excited.
It makes you want to see more and you are ready to make sacrifices you need to make to get more results.
It’s simply fantastic!
Positive things happen which you never expected.
Most of all you get so much closer to achieving that dream or goal you once thought was impossible to achieve… then one day that ever elusive dream or goal you thought was impossible becomes a reality!
Imagine how that would make you feel.
I want you to stop and think about the following quotation:
“Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses”
It was made by George Washington Carver (scientist and inventor), the first African American and non-US president to have a national monument dedicated to him. I love what the words of this quote represent.
We are all given a choice: we can make excuses for not taking action or we can simply take action!
It doesn’t have to be a lot of action at one time so long as it is some action, done consistently.
In fact, when it comes to action, it is better to take small and consistent action than have a lot of action done infrequently.
Remember it’s all about creating a habit!
The key is consistency; action every day is what makes things happen.
Taking action is like sowing a seed; there is no guarantee that the seed will grow into a tree and bear fruit however, there is a very good chance that if you plant that seed in good soil and water it daily it will grow and bear fruits.
It’s the same with your dreams and goals!
The seed is your dream or goal.
The good soil is the belief you have in your dream and goal.
The watering is the action you take consistently every day towards achieving your dream or goal.
Let’s be honest, it’s not knowing what you need to do, but doing it, that’s the real challenge. What I am about to say will probably resonate with only those of you who are truly serious about achieving your dreams and goals:
The level of accountability you hold yourself to is the biggest indicator of how serious you are about achieving your dreams and goals. It is the one action above all other actions that will significantly increases your chances of achieving them.
So, if you are truly serious about achieving your dreams, following your passion and acting on your goals I encourage you to make the following action the next action you take:
Find someone to hold you accountable to the actions you plan to take daily towards your dreams and goals.
When I say someone I don’t mean using an online application, or emailing notification system etc. These are good for organizing and tracking your actions but these tools can’t truly get the best out of you as a person would – especially someone who is committed and determined to see you achieve your dreams and goals.
This person should be willing to engage you in a conversation weekly.
They should complement you when you follow through on your actions but also call you out, and demand of you better, when you fail to follow through on your actions.
When you find this person and they agree to do this, tell them you will pay them!
Yes, you read that correctly… pay them.
Paying that person is not about the money but about showing this person how committed you are to achieving your goals.
It also shows that person you are very serious about wanting them to hold you accountable!
You decide what you want to pay them on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. It should be an amount you can afford. It should also be an amount you would hate to pay out without getting some type of product or service in return.
Try it; I know it works!
I have used it because what I have found is no matter how good you might be at following through on your actions, having someone hold you accountable will only significantly increase your chances of achieving your dreams and goals.
Call to Action: Give Your Dreams a Chance.
Get off the court side of procrastination, self-doubt, analysis paralysis, lack of planning, poor time management, worrying about what people think, etc. and get in the game… your game!
Come join and help us build a global community whose goal it is to bring the world together by inspiring, motivating and empowering 8 million people globally to Think BIG, be BOLD and ACT NOW towards pursuing and achieving their dreams and goals.
If you think this is a crazy, pie in the sky kind of talk you definitely need to read what comes next.
What is the commonality among the following:
- Horse and buggy, car, train, plane
- Radio, television, satellite
- Internet, Facebook, Google, Twitter
- Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela
If you guessed they all in some way brought the world closer together, then you are correct.
In some way, each one of the inventors and activists etc. allowed us to reach out to millions of people through their inventions, social activism and so on. In other words, they brought the world closer together, so why can’t you… in your own way?
Okay Paul, I am going to give my dream a chance; how do I get started with your challenge to Think BIG, be BOLD and ACT NOW towards pursuing at least one of my dreams and goals?
Congratulations!! Imagine where all this can lead!
To register for this challenge, visit our Facebook page…Think BIG, be BOLD, ACT NOW (hyperlink)
Quote by Theodore Roosevelt:
“Do what you can with what you have wherever you are”