Dr. Ronn, I always seem to be starting and stopping, even with my most passionate goals in life. What do you think should be step one so that I’ll really follow through this time? – C.B.
Dear C.B. –
Start with the one step most people usually overlook. We usually know WHAT we want to accomplish, but we don’t always stop to clarify WHY we want it. For example, we’ll say, “My goal is to become a millionaire and to marry the spouse of my dreams.” That’s fine, but deep down the “juice” that motivates us and drives us forward day in and day out, to take action toward that goal is all about the deep down reasons WHY you want it.
What are the gratifying feelings, hopes—the emotional drivers—that you hope to feel as the result of achieving the goal? Believe me, it’s NOT merely having a million dollars or a new spouse. It’s the overwhelming feelings of pleasure and fulfillment that we are convinced will be triggered in us once we achieve the goal. Identifying and paying constant attention to those reasons and positive feelings (instead just the work or pain you fear it could take to achieve your goal) becomes a powerfully effective motivator to take necessary action.
For example, “I want to make a million dollars and marry the spouse of my dreams because I want to feel the deeply gratifying sense of accomplishment and pride and gratitude to God. I want to experience the fulfilling sense that I am attractive and desired. I also deeply desire to live with that intoxicating buzz of faith in God and confidence in myself, that I predict comes with my desired goal. I want to use my passion to its fullest extent and the creativity and diligence that it takes will flood my brain, my body and my spirit. And I want to share my life with someone who will allow me to give and partner and feel the deep level of intimacy and mutual support that was wired into me by my Creator.”
Get it? If you ONLY know what your goal is and you are aware of only the tasks you have to complete to pursue that goal, then it won’t be emotionally or spiritually fulfilling enough to keep you moving forward.
All that stuff you have to do (e.g. file the business license, come up with a product or service, or buy the stock, or introduce yourself, or go on the dates, or learn to be conversational, or get coaching, do the work or take big risks, etc. etc.) – all that stuff will feel like stuff you HAVE to do, OUGHT to do, SHOULD do, and that only brings pressure and guilt.
Human beings tend to hate continuing to do stuff that feels like should, must and ought. Identify and constantly focus on the passionate, underneath-the-skin REASONS WHY you want what you want.
- Take the time to reflect on and WRITE DOWN a list of the specific, overwhelmingly incredible emotional and spiritually fulfilling reasons that you want to achieve that goal—focus on exactly how good you predict you will feel in doing so (e.g. “Because I want to feel courageous, proud, accomplished, or relieved of guilt or righteous or intelligent or respected or joyful, passionate, loved… etc.).
- Twice daily stand tall with your most confident, determined posture and READ ALOUD your complete list. Read it with huge, exaggerated positive emotion and enthusiasm. Take note of how the feelings seem to flood through your body.
- Each day pick 3 specific actions that you could take that day to make progress toward your goal. Then, commit that you MUST complete any ONE of the three before you allow yourself to go to bed that night.
- Get an accountability partner who is also anxious to stop procrastinating about their goal. Check in with each other every morning to challenge, confront and encourage about your specific daily action—and to celebrate each other’s follow-through.
These simple steps, taken 5 days a week, will begin to propel you forward to take the necessary (and sometimes challenging) actions required, to actually achieve your beloved objective. You’ll gladly rise above the difficulty of it, because your eye is not on how hard it is, but on the outrageously electrifying feelings of joy that you anticipate from getting to your destination.
This is how successfully, high-performance people rise above extreme challenges, take huge risks, and exercise big discipline, because they are soaring on the wings of all their authentic God-given REASONS WHY.
Believe me: YOU too have absolutely EVERYTHING you need to succeed in the same way.
To YOUR great Success!