Rise Performance Group

Six Ways to Accelerate Your Progress – Part 1

 

One of the most common questions I am asked is:  “How can I actually achieve my goals?”  We learn how to set goals (or so we think), but over and over we fall short of hitting the target.  In this two-part series, I’ll address six principles you can implement that will help you make accelerated progress towards your goals.

  1. Get clear about what you really want. Clarity is power.  Make sure your goals are written down in specific terms.

Unclear goal:  I want to lose weight.

Clear goal:  I want to lose 20 pounds by Christmas.

Unclear goal:  I want to increase the productivity of my team.

Clear goal:  My team will increase their productivity by 20% by the end of the year.

Unclear goal:  I want to retire early.

Clear goal:  I will retire at age 55 with enough in savings to live comfortably for 40 years.

  1. Get leverage. Leverage is the inspiration to follow through when:

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  • the alarm clock goes off at 5:00 a.m. and we don’t want to get out of bed to work out.
  • our team is pushing back on a project and progress is dragging.
  • we are tempted to forego retirement savings for the latest new gadget (or car… or vacation).

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Leverage comes from answering the question WHY? WHY is it critical that I achieve this goal?  Consider the positive reasons but don’t overlook the negative reasons.  For example, let’s go back to the goal of losing 20 pounds by Christmas and look at our leverage points:

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Positive Leverage (When I meet my goal, I will…)  

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  • feel better.
  • look better.
  • have more energy.
  • live longer.

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Negative Leverage (If I don’t meet my goal, I will…)

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  • feel miserable.
  • look like a slob.
  • move like a sloth and a slug.
  • not live to spend time with my grandkids.

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Many of us are more inspired to avoid pain than we are to pursue pleasure.  Let the positives encourage you to push towards your goal.  But let the pain – the negative leverage – drive you to follow through.

The probability of hitting your goal is in direct correlation to the amount of leverage you develop. 

Leverage helps us convert a goal from something we would like to accomplish to something we MUST accomplish.  My experience has shown me that people achieve goals that are a “MUST”. They are not as successful when the goal is a “SHOULD”.  Leverage points are different for each of us, so pay attention to what works for you.

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  1. Get a plan. This is where a lot of people get off track.  So here’s what I mean by get a plan:  If I’m going to lose 20 pounds by Christmas, and Christmas is 4 months away, that’s means I have to lose five pounds a month or a little over a pound a week.  I’m going to set up a plan where I can track my progress in smaller chunks.  What steps must I take each day and each week to reach that goal of losing just over a pound a week.  For this goal, my plan is going to be made up of a dietary component and an exercise component.

Once I have identified the plan components, I need to develop a daily ritual.  For example, for breakfast I’m going to have oatmeal instead of eggs and bacon.  That’s going to become my daily routine.  Every morning, I’m going to walk a mile…or run 2 miles…or run 5 miles.  When I come home from work, I’m going for a run instead of grabbing a snack.  Rituals break old patterns and let the new patterns take hold.

Once you start these first three steps, you’ll make progress.  Next time we’ll talk about the next three steps that will absolutely make sure you follow through and start knocking goals down at a rate you’ve never experienced before.

What goal are you working on?  Is it specific?  Do you have positive and negative leverage?  What are your daily rituals? Leave a comment and let me know!

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