This, my friends, is not a post about setting a goal. Instead, this is the process for actually accomplishing a goal.
Step 1: EXPECT DISCOMFORT
Any goal worth pursuing will push and stretch us beyond our comfort zones. After we have set our goal, we may experience a type of "Honeymoon phase" wherein our initial burst of motivation kind of carries us through. And then, when we wake up one day to find ourselves smack in the middle of the River of Misery, we let it throw us. We think something has gone wrong. We start to question our goal, our plan, our own capabilities. We waste time splashing around frantically, or we waste energy swimming against the current.
What if, instead, we just expect the discomfort? What if we continue to follow our plan, our strategies, our calendar, and then welcome the discomfort when it arrives? If we can recognize the discomfort as a sign that we are growing, then we can allow it to join us on the journey as we continue onward.
Step 2: SEEK AND FOLLOW GUIDANCE FROM YOUR FUTURE SELF
No, this is not some woo-woo idea or practice. It does take a little imagination, but if done sincerely, it allows you to access wisdom you didn't even know you had. At any point along our journey, we can mentally go forward to a time and place where we have already accomplished this goal. We then seek guidance and encouragement from our Future Self. They have already been where we are, and can offer us wisdom on how we should proceed. This is a valuable resource that is always available to us. And, since it's free, what's the risk in giving it a try?
Step 3: BE RESILIENT
'Resilient' means: recovering readily from adversity. Adversity is the building block to greatness. We need to internalize and incorporate into our very being the idea that greatness is supposed to be hard. If we accept and lean into it, we will become better and stronger for it.
Resilience is not a character trait. It is a skill that anyone can develop. When something doesn't go as planned, view the results as factual information -- information that can help us learn what works and what doesn't. We can use this information as a tool to make us stronger, and our approach better.
Step 4: DON'T QUIT
Quitting doesn't get you there faster. What it does do is to provide you with cheap relief from your present discomfort. It cannot provide you with the rich level of relief that comes with accomplishment. Quitting gives temporary relief, but we must consider the cost.
You only truly fail if you choose to quit.