What does success look like to you? Is it running a race like the hare or the tortoise? They both made it to the finish line but let’s look at more how they got there. The hare took off quick and then decided to have some fun with a few detours thinking he had all the time in the world to get to the finish line before the tortoise. The tortoise, much slower of course took one step at a time, focused on the goal in front of him and kept at it until he achieved it. In the end he beat the hare because of his focus.
Are you like the hare or the tortoise when you work to achieve a goal? Are you someone that takes off on a new idea or goal and you are great for a bit but then something happens and you lose focus and take some detours? Do you get back on track a bit later but repeat this same process and lose focus yet again with another detour? If you didn’t lose focus and take so many detours would you reach your goals more quickly? We all have challenges that can change our focus and take our eyes off our goals briefly or even long term. How do you handle them so that you are more like the tortoise?
Let’s look at the tortoise a bit more closely. He agreed to race the hare and in so doing he knew the rabbit was far quicker and could easily beat him but he set a goal for himself and he decided to do the race anyway even though others told him he would never win. Not to mention the hare made fun of him for even agreeing to the race in the first place. Is life that way for you? Are their people in your life that make fun of your goals or dreams? Do they put you down and tell you that you will never make it? Do you do it anyway or listen to them?
The tortoise knew his goal was the finish line of the race. He didn’t pay attention to what the hare was doing he only focused on what he was doing. That meant he followed the path to the finish line and he did so with determination and a vision of the goal in his mind. He didn’t listen to others that told him he would never make it. He didn’t tell himself that he couldn’t do it. He took baby steps or in this case tortoise steps, one slow step at a time until he saw the finish line.
It was at that moment the hare realized he had been goofing off and doing his own thing and was in jeopardy of losing the race. He was so sure that he would win against the tortoise that he decided to relax and have some fun during the race until the last moments. Do you live your life like that? Do you rush into an idea or goal and do a ton of work on it then become distracted and tell yourself I can finish it any time and right now I’m just going to play a video game, or hang out with friends, or go shopping, see a movie, watch TV or anything else that can be a distraction?
What would happen if you looked at your goals and dreams and developed a determination, a focus so clear as to what you are trying to accomplish that you worked at it until you completed it? Would you be amazed you got it done? Would you be happy you were successful? In a lot of cases its fear that holds us back from pressing to the finish line. What do you think you would need to do to overcome and be successful?
Here are a few that I use:
1. Set a goal – In order for a dream to become a reality you have to turn it into a goal. The best way is to write it down and all the specifics that it would take to make it happen. Get yourself a notebook just for your goals; write each one down on a new page. Go to each goal and write out all the specifics to make it happen, if it involves others, if you need to do certain steps before you can begin, if you need to purchase items to begin.
2. Set a deadline – Once you know all it could possibly take to reach that goal all that is left is to set a deadline date. If you have properly worked out all you need to achieve the goal you will also be able to estimate approximately how long it should take you to complete it. Pick a date as your deadline and begin working towards it.
3. Plan backwards – Take that date you set and work backwards to your present day as to how much you need to accomplish each month, each week, each day towards that goal. If it’s things like losing weight then it’s the total pounds you wish to lose and you divide that by the total months, then take that number and divide by total weeks to make it a small enough goal that you only focus on the small amount to reach the overall total.
4. Put it on the calendar – Once you have your date, how much time you need each month and week to accomplish the goal then put it on your calendar. Each week you should have time scheduled for your goal around the other things in your life, like your job, family events, time with the kids or spouse, vacations, etc. Each week you should be able to look at your calendar and know you will be working on that goal on which days and for how long.
5. Focus – When its time to work on that goal, focus. Do not think about your job, your kids, or the family things going on. You need to be 100% present when you are working on your goal. That means to focus on that task alone when you said you would work on it, even when you don’t feel like it. Be present and take action.
6. Small steps – Each day you work on your goal it’s a small step towards reaching the finish line. Don’t overwhelm yourself with the overall picture, that’s why you broke it down into smaller steps. If you have down to exercise three days a week then show up and do it on those three days. If something in your life interferes with one day then do it a different day. You committed to do three days then do three days no matter what. No matter the baby step to get you to your goal, take each one and you will get there.
7. Education – You may not know everything that is needed to accomplish your goals. Seeking wisdom to help you achieve your goals is another step towards success. Maybe you need to take a class, maybe you need to do some trial and error, maybe you need to read a few books or maybe you need to talk to someone that has done it.
8. Be positive – In order to reach our goals we must focus on the positives. By doing your goal what is it doing for you or your family? Maybe it’s bigger than that and will affect others too. Be grateful for the things in your life and focus on the uplifting positive aspects of achieving your goals each day.
9. Peaceful sleep – You will sleep so much better knowing you are moving forward and achieving your goals each day when you stick to the above items. With better sleep comes true rest and energy when you awake to do more. Your mood will improve, you will feel happier and your self-esteem would go up as you grow and change into a better person with each days accomplishments.
Don’t be the hare in your race, be the tortoise. Take one small step each day towards your goals and before you know it you will have reached it and success will be yours.
Please leave me a comment on your goals you are focusing on and the steps you are taking to ensure you have success. Forward this to anyone else you feel could use some encouragement to reach their goals too.
Have a blessed week!