The most important goals you set for yourself will take time to achieve. That’s a fact.
At some point, though, I can pretty much guarantee that you’re going to feel frustrated things aren’t moving faster. But, the truth is, hurrying won’t help you. It can be hard to stay motivated when times are tough. You may even feel like you want to quit. But if you are patient, your persistence will pay off.
Here are five tips I use to remind myself of the big picture -- and to not give up too easily.
1. Create a realistic schedule. The key word here being realistic. If you haven’t written down the steps you’re going to take to achieve your goals and when you expect to complete them by, it can be hard to stay on track. At the same time, remember to be flexible: Nothing productive will come out of beating yourself up if you’re behind schedule. There will be unexpected twists and turns on your path to success. Revisit your schedule frequently and update it as need be.
2. Surround yourself with like-minded people. At work and on your time off, spending time with people who have a positive outlook on life can be very inspiring. Avoid people who have a defeated attitude and are generally negative, because their perspective will inevitably rub off on you. It also helps to talk to friends and family about your aspirations. People who have your best interests in mind will want to talk to you about them and may even be able to provide constructive criticism.
3. Never stop learning. When I’m in the process of tackling a big job, there are a few books I revisit for inspiration. The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz is one of them. Reading advice from successful people, whether it’s online or in a book, can jumpstart your enthusiasm. At the same time, it can be good to take a break and immerse yourself in another topic to help facilitate the cross-pollination of ideas. Taking a step away helps put everything into perspective, which is so important. (Don’t sweat the small stuff!)
4. Carve out time for yourself. Take care of yourself. Recharge your batteries by doing something that makes you happy. When I’m stressed out and frustrated, walking away from what’s upsetting me is almost always helpful. I’m more able to come up with effective solutions when my head is clear and I’ve slowed things down. If you focus solely on reaching your goals, you won’t enjoy the journey. And the reality is that there are a lot of victories to be enjoyed along the way. You’ll miss out on life if you’re consumed by your ambitions. In my opinion, that’s no real way to live.
5. Set more than one goal. I have trouble following this advice, but I know it’s good. Achieving goals in other arenas of your life -- like fitness and health -- will keep you happy and give you confidence. You can complete what you set out to do. It’s just a matter of time! You’ll feel less pressure to succeed at work if you have other things going for you. And what you learn about achieving your goals in other arenas will inform your professional aims. With that in mind, don’t forget to congratulate yourself!