“Small differences in key areas can lead to enormous differences in results.”
Why haven’t you accomplished your goals? Who is in control; YOU or Your excuses? You can always come up with dozens of reasons why you have not achieved your goals. The dog ate your gym clothes, there is not enough opportunities in your chosen career, or too many people are already doing that business, so it will not work for you. The list of excuses is endless. However, if you want to be successful, redirect the energy you put into making excuses into making progress. Everybody has some distractions in their life, but productive people achieve their goals in spite of life’s obstacles.
Draw a line in the sand – There are so many distractions in today’s world that few people manage their time effectively. They are easily distracted by their cell phone, social media, emails, text messages and meaningless conference calls. When something is a priority in your life, you have to be willing to walk away from anything that is standing in its way. Being deliberate about how you spend your time is essential for being productive.
You have to be deliberate in making conscious decisions about what you want and why, then work effectively to achieve it. Being deliberate with time is essential to being productive in a meaningful way. It forces you to be present, to ask yourself questions, time and again, about what is the most important thing to accomplish, instead of passively responding to whatever the environment presents. A common mistake many people make is that they go about their day without any focus or direction. Your time is your most valuable asset. When you value yourself, you value your time.
Make plans – No two people plan, organize or operate the same way. Understanding your personal planning style can help you improve your skills and identify your strengths and weaknesses. The key to getting your work life organized is doing what makes sense for you. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Effective planning is essentially survival skills, since your plans form the foundation of how you assess and execute your work. Planning your time should be one of the qualities that you take seriously if you desire to make the most of your life. It is rightly said that a person who does not respect time does not respect his or her own self.
Time management experts recommend using a personal planning tool to improve your productivity. Examples of personal planning tools include electronic planners, calendars, index cards, and notebooks. Writing down your tasks, schedules, and memory joggers can free your mind to focus on your priorities. The key is to find one planning tool that works for you and use that tool consistently. It’s empowering to realize you have more control than you ever knew over what you achieve in life.
Put the work in, earn yours – Are the goals you are struggling to achieve just too difficult? Probably not. Most likely, you have not put the dedicated work in to accomplish them. If your goal is not important to you, if it is not something you deeply want, you probably will not achieve it. On the other hand, if your goal means everything to you, there is no excuse on earth that can stop you from accomplishing your goals.
Setting distant goals, you do not plan to deal with until much later is easy; you can declare you will do anything in the future at no cost to you now. When the time comes to begin working toward your goal, you can push back the date. While you can repeat this process over and over, it eventually becomes a habit of procrastination, which will endanger your objectives and undermine your drive. You must remain merciless to your excuses. The real reason most people fail to accomplish their goals is they think the process is boring. They believe that doing the same thing day in and day out is not sexy. But I have news for you: consistency is sexy, accomplishing your goals is sexy, and being focused is sexy.
Each day, ask yourself, “What must I do today in order to know that I am on track to achieve my goals?” By handling things this way, you can get started right away on your quest to fulfill your objectives. Plus, this process gives you a clear track to follow, and it reminds you that achieving your goals requires focused attention and daily work. There is not time to accept excuses… once you accept that you give everything in your life its meaning and begin the journey toward self-mastery.
Hasheem Francis is the Co-founder and CEO of Built To Prosper Companies. Hasheem Francis is a best selling author, keynote speaker, recognized industry thought leader, and an expert on executive business and leadership development.