Why only 8% of people reach their goals.
Allegedly science says only 8% of people actually achieve their goals and if we look at this in reverse, it means that 92% of people fail to reach the goals they set. At the start people love to set a goal, including myself, as it is exciting to think of something new to achieve.
But, in reality do many of us actually stick to our goals until the end? I know from my own experience I love to set a goal but, once I start it becomes mundane and distractions from life pull me away from what I set out to achieve.
Concentrate on one goal at a time.
However, some suggestions are things like, set specific goals that are challenging and start right away as many people fail due to procrastination.
Another suggestion is not to try to do everything at once and just concentrate on the one goal rather than multitasking (just another word for distractions). Is it better to get lots of little jobs half done or one larger accomplishment completely finished? Many of us have to multitask in order to get by, especially if you have a family or commitments outside work, where you have to juggle responsibilities with ambition. I find I have to get many things done in a day and therefore find snippets of time to work on my goals – as they say, doing a little of something everyday means it gets finished. Even 15 minutes a day to work on something you want to achieve can get results. I remember a friend who was pregnant with her third child making herself a quilt and although she was exhausted running around after two busy young boys, she managed to find time to do a little of sewing every evening and finished it before her third son was born.
The 52 and 17 rule.
Plus, something new I learnt today is the 52/17 rule. This strategy means you simply set your clock to work 52 minutes and then take a 17-minute break. Simply put, it is working in short bursts and taking more breaks.
Similar to the Pomodoro technique invented by Fancesco Cirillo in the 1980’s, where you choose your task, set the timer for 25 minutes, work on the task for 25 minutes with no distractions then take a 5-minute break. After every fourth break, take a longer break of 15-30 minutes. I will test both these methods now to see if I increase my productivity, how about you?
Begin with the end in mind.
Finally, we need some imagination and planning to begin each goal with the end in mind. Even if turns out differently, it helps to picture how you intend your goal to be as it is not only inspiring but also feels like there will be an end result. However, this sounds logical in reality we don’t really often have a true idea of what the end could look like. If you can set a goal and have a specific reason why you want to achieve the goal, it then adds to the notion of finishing something and seeing a result. Have you a picture of the goal you want to achieve?
A simple goal.
“Greater things happen when you open up to the world rather than stay silent in the four corners of your mind” Anonymous.
Sometimes something simple can show us the way to a larger ambition. I found when I went on a road trip recently I began to dream and my mind opened up to new and exciting possibilities. We were in the beautiful town of Berry, NSW, Australia and decided to go on a bush walk. We asked around about where to go and a local farmer suggested we do the Drawing Room rocks walk. It is not advertised nor recommended by the national parks and wildlife society as they don’t maintain its upkeep but, nonetheless it is an intermediate walk most people could do it.
“Motivation gets you started but habit gets you there” Zig Ziglar
Going on a bush walk to me is more like an intention rather than a goal, maybe a goal would be to complete every bush walk in Berry during our stay but in the meantime this was a perfect way to spend a Saturday morning in early November. As I started walking I relaxed and the goal/intention did not seem so important. I had to keep reminding myself to enjoy the journey not just the finished destination. It is pretty easy to enjoy yourself as you walk through the bush listening to the bird calls of Lyre and whip birds and noticing the beautiful wildflowers.
Set your goal and enjoy the journey.
“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but doing it” Greg Anderson
In many cases it is important to have a goal and at the same time, it is equally important to enjoy the journey whilst achieving that goal. Goals could be described as our intentions and help us get things done. But, they are more than intentions and in reality once, we have reached our goal, all there is to do is to think again and set a new one. Therefore, if you enjoy the ‘doing’ of an activity it helps you live in the present and not just jump from one horizon to another.
Once, we reach one goal we set a new one.
One challenge along the walk was all the roots we had to walk over. They look like nothing but every time I talked to someone who had done this walk they often mentioned how they had tripped up several times. This was a great piece of information to me as I concentrated hard on not tripping over these roots and also reminded myself that when I do trip up over a root it is a message to pay attention. Have you ever fallen over or tripped up and felt frustrated with yourself? It also hurts, but if you can try to use this as a sign to keep looking around and concentrate on being in the present moment and pay attention to the action of walking.
In addition to the roots were large rocks to climb over, which were challenging not only as we walked up but even more so on the way down. Some people were fit and didn’t find them so hard but, in my case I have to be aware not to slip or fall as my joints are hindered and it could have resulted in a serious injury. I tried to take this opportunity to pay attention and live in the present, so next time you find something hard maybe think of it as a reminder to live in the present moment and apply karma yoga (a walking form of meditation where you concentrate on the actions of your body as you walk and work through a process of emotions).
On reaching the top.
Once we arrived at the top it was stunning and well worth the effort. It was a time to reflect on the beautiful view and picture the world below from a higher perspective. This could be an analogy of a soaring Eagle flying above the world below that appears distant and unimportant. Yet when they see a target of something they want to catch for dinner, they focus entirely on this one thing and are totally in the moment diving and catching their catch with one excellent swoop. This idea of pulling oneself back from the world we live in, is an excellent lesson in ‘letting go’ of our trivial problems and to focus on a single goal. Then we can ignore distractions, aim for our target and enjoy the triumph. Hopefully our goals are ones that help people rather than the survival of an Eagle’s need to eat.
In addition, not only did I find the view amazing when I reached the top but was also surprised by these unusual rock formations (pictured). They are interesting and look like flat table tops and I didn’t imagine they would look anything like this. So, using the walk and mountain as a metaphor, keep persevering with your dreams and goals even if you trip up from time to time and the road gets rocky and seems impossible to pass. You may even be surprised when you reach the other end your goal may not look like it did in your imagination and you can have surprisingly different results. As I mentioned before, the journey is as important as the destination and along the way we learn from our mistakes and are often pleasantly surprised by the unexpected and need to just keep heading towards our vision which is often something equally good but totally different.
I wonder if you have had any stories to tell of setting your goals and whether you achieved them or not? If you are one of the 8% of people who have reached their goal could you share any tips or success stories? Or if you haven’t have you learnt anything from the journey?
Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you,