Synergy Personal Development

January 9, 2023 by John Cunningham

What will you accomplish this year?

We often worry about creating the perfect conditions for starting the journey to success. However, no matter what you do to lay the groundwork, things will change as soon as you start down the path.
We tend to overestimate what we can do in the short-term, but underestimate what is possible over the long run.

Use routines to create a foundation for your goal

Being consistent in your approach, especially in the morning and evening, provides a foundation that keeps you focused. My morning routine includes meditation, reading, a dose of positivity, and breakfast. This starts my day off with a feeling of achievement.

My evening routine is a wind-down. I often listen to jazz or classical music while reflecting on the day’s successes and failures. Then, when my head hits the pillow, I visualize success in an area that is important to me.

Go for big goals

We often worry about creating the perfect conditions for starting the journey to success. However, no matter what you do to lay the groundwork, things will change as soon as you start down the path.

Instead, think of goals as a lighthouse showing the way in the dark. You may not know how you will achieve your goals, but having that lighthouse to aim for makes adapting to adversity easier. Thus, setting your goals big and positioning them a few years out will allow you the flexibility to learn along the way and reduce feelings of needing to achieve perfection. You may not make it to that big goal, like 10,000 reads. But you will exceed the smaller, limiting expectations, you have for yourself.

We tend to overestimate what we can do in the short-term, but underestimate what is possible over the long run. Go long and go big!

Write them down and display your goals proudly

Writing down what you want to accomplish helps you to keep that in the front of your mind. Posting your goals in a prominent spot, one where you will see them often, can serve as a constant reminder of what you are working towards as well. My goals, for example, are mounted above my desk.

I also have a dream board. It contains images of things I want to achieve and sits over the threshold of my office door. Turn my head to the right, and there it is. An everpresent reminder of things I plan to achieve.

When your goals are top of mind, things will begin to happen that bring them closer to reality. You may suddenly get a burst of inspiration about how to clear a difficult task. Or an opportunity could serendipitously fall into your lap, moving you towards what was seemingly impossible. Magic happens when you know what you want and have a sense of awareness for how to attain it.

Break your goals down

Goals are nothing more than big projects. Whether you aim to cut your body fat to 30%, get a new job, or write a book; you can’t do it in one big step. You will need to endure many micro-tasks to get you there. Decide on the next steps you have to take. Whittle them down to individual tasks, schedule time to complete those, and get to work. Success is accumulated in ticking boxes that lead to recognizable accomplishments.

Learn along the way

Taking time to analyze your work will help you have more success than just ticking off boxes and moving quickly to the next task. Recently, I’ve began using three questions to analyze my progress: highlights, lowlights, and next steps. This makes it easier to understand progress.
Highlights: What are the things that went well? Consider not only the expected successes but also the surprises.

Lowlights: Make a list of the difficulties and performances that did not meet your expectations.

Next steps: Are there corrections to be made in your lowlights? Based on what you know now, what do you need to do next? This evaluation will give you a clear development path.

Put goal related tasks on your schedule

Another way to ensure you get things done is to calendar them. When you see that programming class on your calendar Thursday evening, you know that you’ll need to spend some time preparing for it and will probably do so.

If you set a weekly recurring task to write on Tuesday nights from 8 – 10, your mind will start working on the prewriting before you even sit at the computer. Adding time to your schedule to work on your goals will ensure you are making progress.

Don’t be too hard on yourself