A story my dad often tells me about Winston Churchill goes as follows: Churchill needed to attend a meeting, and he was getting late, so his driver went faster than he usually does. He then turns to his driver and says: “Slow down, I have a meeting to attend”.
Most of us are eager to be successful. We are very committed to reaching our goals, and work hard towards them. However, our impatience gets the best of us. Not seeing immediate results gets us into frustration mode, where we start opting for short-term, instant gratification choices. We lose sight of our initial goal, and we start to react, rather than act.
Throughout my life, I have learned that patience and consistency are both required in order to reach our goals. Were cities built in one day? Do you plant seeds and the plant appears instantly? Then why would you treat yourself differently? Here are a few tips to reach your goals:
- Clarify your goals: Question your motives. Why are you opting for those goals? Are they the true goals, or is there a deeper need to be addressed? At the beginning of my career, I felt the need to meet as much clients as possible. It turned out that I was very lonely working on my own. Instead of wasting my energy on more meetings, I spruced up my social life, and it worked much better on all levels.
- Ground yourself on a daily basis: At the beginning of your day, take a quick look at your progress, and where you would like to be. Based on that, define a few points to work on for the day. A marathon is won by taking one step at a time. I have a daily 5-min grounding routine just before I start working.
- Celebrate the daily successes: Acknowledge what you’re achieving on a daily basis. Sometimes we focus too much on long-term goals that we lose sight of our current state. Keep a mental or written success journal to stay on track.
- Keep going: Even if you feel that you aren’t making enough progress, keep walking. Go back a step, and see the big picture. It may see that you aren’t making progress right now, but it doesn’t mean you aren’t going forward.
- Fail and adjust: Failure is part of every success journey, accept it. Embrace your failures, assess what went wrong, and adjust accordingly. Otherwise, you will become a perfectionist who tries to do everything, or one who doesn’t do anything. Both approaches are a recipe for disaster. Trust me, I’ve been there!
Enjoy your journey, focus on the current moment, and slow down. Take the longer route!