These two things will help you achieve any goal

Published on October 12, 2023

If you find yourself procrastinating and losing energy to pursue your goal, there are two very simple things you can do. 

They will keep you going when you lose motivation, when you doubt yourself, when you’re about to give up.

What I see happen more often than you think is this scenario:

You set a goal. You get excited. The excitement keeps you going and motivated for a week. Maybe two. Then doubt starts creeping in because you’re not seeing results. Then “I don’t know how” makes an appearance, followed closely by a bunch of other vague questions like: should I do this or that? How do I do it? What if it’s not enough? Am I made for this? 

Next thing you know, your goal seems completely unreasonable and you may even decide that you’re simply not cut out for this.

This is very normal, very common and here’s why it’s happening

1.  You don’t have a plan

By this, I mean you are not clear on what exactly you need to know repeatedly, every day, in order to achieve your goal. Your action plan is ad-hoc, based on whatever you heard or read yesterday, you try a bunch of different things, and hope for immediate results. 

2.  You take action when you feel like it

If one day you feel motivated and positive, you feel productive and effective. You do lots and lots of things, you work 18 hours, you are in action. But if the next day you feel doubtful and negative, you slow down, almost to inaction. Or you stay busy doing things that take time but contribute nothing towards your goal (research, anyone?)

So what can you do instead?

1.  Make a to-do list

This is a list of 5-10 actions you will do every day. Be very specific about them and don’t give your brain reasons to tell you that you don’t know ‘how’. Your actions could be something like: contact 5 people every day; speak to one recruiter every day, send three emails every day, post on social media every day, etc. Very concrete, very specific.

So think of your goal. What are the 5-10 actions that you think are most likely to get you there? Create the list. Do it every day.

2.  Work on your to-do list, regardless of how you feel

Our brain loves to create doubt and confusion, because this keeps you procrastinating and not doing, therefore somewhat comfortable and safe (although it feels sucky, at the same time). So your brain will say things like: this isn’t working, this isn’t possible, I don’t know what to do, I don’t know if this will work, etc. These thoughts will make you feel negative and keep you from taking action. 

But no matter how you’re feeling, focus on your to-do list. When your brain says ‘this isn’t working’, you say ‘that’s OK, I know what I will do today’ and get doing those actions.

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