On New Year’s Day, I received a phone call from a local TV network asking me to guest on their morning show the next day. It turns out they were looking for a life coach to discuss how to have a positive outlook for the year 2017. So the next morning – really early morning, if I may add – I went live on national TV to share my thoughts on the topic.
The interview was quite brief – 9 minutes, to be exact. We talked a little bit about what went well and what didn’t go well the previous year. I suggested that people should release their resentments, hurts and disappointments from the past year in order to move forward with positivity in the coming year. On the final minute, the host asked me for the best tip I could give to the viewers to welcome 2017 with a positive outlook. All I said was, “Set your goals. Mahirap maging positive kung hindi mo alam kung saan ka patungo.” (“You can’t be positive if you don’t even know where you’re headed.”)
Achievement Unlocked: Released my book in National Bookstore
I know that my set-your-goal advice is nothing new. In fact, it’s natural for people to think about setting goals at the beginning of the year. But you know what’s more natural? Forgetting about the goal a month after!
Or perhaps it’s not that we’ve forgotten about our goals. Perhaps we have given up. Perhaps we started to think after a month that it’s too hard or too big or too ambitious. Or perhaps we haven’t transformed ourselves to become the kind of person that would ACHIEVE the goals we set.
As a life coach and a motivational speaker, I love teaching this topic. A lot of people have had a lot of goal-setting training, but not so much on goal-achieving. So with 11 months left for the year, I’d like to offer you three simple principles so that you can be a goal achiever this 2017.
3. Your goal should EXCITE YOU.
Remember the last time you were excited about something? How did that manifest physically? Did you feel that electrifying feeling, the tingles down your spine? Did it keep you awake? Did it jolt you out of your bed the next morning? Did you wake up before your alarm even went off? That’s the same thing your goal should do to you!
Meriam Webster defines excitement as “the call to activity”. In other words, your excitement towards your goal will propel you to act on it.
But there’s another operative word here: YOU. Your goal should be exciting and compelling to you…not to your boss, not to your parents, not even to your spouse or partner. Keep in mind that, in the end, it is you who will take the steps and experience the result of your goals, so you might as well make it worthwhile for you.
Exciting goals are those that would require you to step out of your comfort zone. These goals would challenge you, but at the same time connect you to bigger opportunities in the future. I think the great Les Brown said it best, “The problem with most people is not that they set goals that are too high and miss, but that they aim too low and hit.”
My son, Patrick Gabriel, achieved his goal of being the Philippines’ youngest motivational speaker
2. Your goals should have TRIGGERS.
Wrote down your goals? Good for you. Made your vision board? That’s even better. Now let me ask, how often do you see them?
Written goals and vision boards should not just be visual representations, but also REMINDERS of the goals you have set. Treat them as your cues in order to perform the steps needed to achieve your goals. Set an alarm on your phone. Post your written goals on your bathroom mirror or closet door, or any place that you look at often. Why not make your goals your desktop wallpaper or screensaver?
Bottom line, your goal should be something that you see all the time.
1. Make your first step EASY.
Yes, your goals should be outside your comfort zone, but your first step should not. More often than not, we fail to act on our goals because we feel too overwhelmed or too intimidated to even start. So the way to overcome that is to make the first step super easy that it would be almost impossible (and embarrassing) to miss!
I believe that life works like an onion–you need to peel off one layer in order to see the next. Most people tend to over-plan their goals. They want to know the next ten steps they need to take! To that I say, slow down. Just plan your first step, DO IT, and then plan the second. Taking baby steps towards your goal enables you to create habits that would ultimately help you achieve your goal.
Congratulations! You have now taken the first step to become a goal achiever. Now go out there and make it happen!