People often ask me what I think are the most important keys to achieving successful outcomes. There are many, but the one thing that I see as being the most essential—and often ignored—is consistency.
Any worthwhile, challenging goal requires sustained effort. Doing the things necessary for a day or two isn't hard. Where most people fall down is in stringing those days together and thereby creating the progress, the momentum, and ultimately, the successful accomplishment.
What follows are ten ways to maintain your focus, your energy and your optimism while pursuing your goal. They've worked for me and they'll work for you. When I've employed all of these components, I've never failed to achieve my intention.
1. Have Powerful Reasons. With a strong enough reason you can and will find the how and the wherewithal to achieve your reward. Reasons plus belief keep you motivated. When you're excited about your goal, it doesn't seem like work. If you're not excited, your efforts will require more discipline and energy. Make sure it's YOUR goal. Make sure it excites you. And then act enthusiastically.
2. Write Your Objectives Down. This is a critical step. Don't think it, ink it. When you write your goals down, they appear not only on paper, but they become indelibly written upon your consciousness.
3. Visualize. "See" your objective already in existence. Nothing can withstand the power of a clear, multi-sensory vision of what you are intending. What does it look like? What will people be saying about it? How will you feel? The more detailed and "real" you can make your vision, the more powerful it will be. It will operate like a magnet and draw forth all kinds of things you never thought possible.
4. Affirm Your Success. Speak your goal into existence. An affirmation is a present-tense, positive statement of your intended outcome. I now have achieved ______________ (fill in the blank). The more sensory rich you can make your affirmations, the more effective they will be. All of these techniques help you to feel the presence of your objective and build belief.
5. Make a Plan of Action. To achieve and stay focused upon your objective, create an action plan. What are the steps you will take to get you from where you are to where you want to be? Your strategies will likely change as you go along, so set your goals in concrete and your plans in sand. Keep your eye on the goal, but remain flexible in your path to it.
6. Measure Your Progress. You can't change what you don't measure. Create mechanisms that will allow you to see your progress. Use charts. Log your actions. Use anything that will encourage you by allowing you to objectively track your progress. We all need feedback—it's the breakfast of champions.
7. Maintain a Support System. Have a Master Mind Group. Use the Buddy System. Surround yourself with people who will encourage and challenge you. Be accountable to someone other than yourself. Read positive books. Review past successes. [See Michael's Inner Circle to be part of a MasterMind Team]
8. Focus On Only a Few Goals at a Time. You can achieve anything you desire, but not EVERYTHING you desire. Concentrate your efforts and your energy on just a few. I might have dozens of goals and projects, but I keep three key goals in the forefront of my mind.
9. Take Action Every Day. An important objective warrants daily attention. A 400-page novel is not written all at once. To many, writing a 400-page novel would be overwhelming. But a little over a page a day will get it done in a year. Every goal can be broken down into doable tasks done consistently.
10. Celebrate Your Milestones. Mark your successes and acknowledge yourself for your progress. As you achieve one goal, you can see better and believe more easily in the accomplishment of others. You deserve to succeed and you deserve to celebrate your successes.