“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” Zig Ziglar once said this, and each of us knows from our own experience that he is right. In general we tend to choose the road toward ease and comfort. One day flows into the next, and many of us never quite get around to turning our good intentions into reality.
Those ‘good intentions,’ while no doubt admirable, tend to remain unrealised mainly because they are too vague. Vague ideas are impossible to focus on and aim for; they are moving targets.
Perhaps you want to eat a more healthy diet or lose the weight that has crept upon you over the years or maybe you have special event approaching and you want to look great in your clothes. Maybe you just want to establish a regular workout routine and stick with it this time. The keys to your success are two-fold: steady the target and create momentum.
Imagine a target shooter trying to hit a small bull’s eye on a distant target. He begins to aim, but then the target suddenly moves to the right, and before he can position himself to aim again, the target darts to the left. Will he ever hit that target? Not likely.
Without setting specific goals, your good intentions are exactly like that moving target. You would like to lose some weight, feel a little better, make changes to your diet? Without clearly defined goals and methods, you can’t focus and make it happen.
The way to steady the target so you can finally hit the bull’s eye is to define your goals and write them down:
Once you know where you want to end up, you are much more likely to get there. But you have to start moving toward your goals. That is where momentum comes in.
In his book, Eat That Frog, Brian Tracy discusses the Momentum Principle of Success. In Tracy’s words:
“This principle says that although it may take tremendous amounts of energy to overcome inertia and get started initially, it then takes far less energy to keep going.”1
There is much wisdom in his words. Sometimes, the hardest part of reaching a goal is just getting started. That first day of doing things differently or the first experience of bypassing an unhealthy treat in favour of a food that will give you more energy can be daunting. It isn’t always easy.
So how do you get that momentum? How do you start moving?
Having someone else involved in your efforts can be the most important factor in your success. It is hard to change lifelong habits on your own. You need radical motivation that comes from involving others in your efforts. Setting deadlines, making commitments and entering contests all provide an external motivation that will carry you through even the toughest temptations.
And once you get started, you will find that momentum kicks in and it becomes easier and easier to keep going.
You can make that moving target come to a screeching halt and blast the bull’s eye right out of the park by taking a few minutes to write down what you want. Don’t make your goals too broad; be specific. And then begin brainstorming ways to get others involved with you; that will provide your momentum. Success is within your reach. You can do this!
Oh, and remember, we’re here to help you the entire way!
1Tracy, Brian (2007-01-01). Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time (p. 107). Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Kindle Edition.