Problems vs. Solutions: big goals

Big goals often have a honeymoon phase—a period where you’re excited, everything seems possible, and you’re 100% engaged.

But then the newness starts to wear off.

You don’t feel quite as enthusiastic. Life starts to intrude. You get busy at work. Or your child gets sick. Your calendar fills with activities. Relatives visit. You take a trip.

In other words, the busyness of life takes over, and little by little your focus and momentum fade.

Here’s the bottom line: Outlasting the honeymoon period is the difference between people who achieve a big goal and those who don’t.

So how do you stay focused and committed?

Here are 3 strategies to outlast the honeymoon phase of your big goal.

Remember why

It’s easy to get off track when you lose touch with why you want to achieve your big goal.

To outlast the honeymoon period you have to stay close to your vision of why this goal is important to you and renew your vow to achieve it on a regular basis.

So get really clear: Why this goal? Of all the things you could be focused on, why is this particular goal important to you?

What benefits and rewards are associated with reaching this goal? What will this change in your life or accomplishment mean or make possible? Why is this goal worth your time, attention, and energy to achieve?

Keep your why front and center. I refer to this as your Deeper Yes. When you have this Deeper Yes in mind, it allows you to say “no” to temptation and distraction and stay committed to your big goal.

Develop discipline

It’s as simple and straightforward as Jim Rohn said: Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. Discipline is the bridge across which you have to walk if you want to achieve a big goal.

Discipline is taking actions that move you closer to your big goal even when you don’t feel like it.

Be clear: Action often comes before motivation. Don’t make “feeling like” taking action a prerequisite.

Discipline also involves saying “no” to ourselves, which we don’t like to do. Napoleon Hill said, “If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self.

Is your behavior focused more on positive, long-term consequences or immediate gratification? Because discipline is self-denial in the short term—even for something you want—for something you want more in the long term.

Seek support

One thing differentiating someone who achieves a goal versus someone who doesn’t is support.

It’s this simple: Those who achieve their goals ask for help.

Seeking support comes in many forms.

It can mean having an exercise buddy if your goal is to get fit. It can mean joining a writing group if your goal is to write a book. It can mean brainstorming with a trusted friend when you get stuck.

One of the best ways to get support is to ask for guidance from those who’ve already accomplished what you hope to achieve. Ask what worked and what didn’t. Ask what they would have done differently, what they learned. Use the experience of others as a springboard.

Ask yourself: What kind of support do I need to achieve my goal? And what will I do—today—to get that support?

If your big goal is important to you, make outlasting the honeymoon phase a priority. Act on these strategies—Remember Why, Develop Discipline, and Seek Support—to give yourself the best chance for success.

Why is your goal important? What do you need to say “no” to if you’re going to achieve your big goal? What kind of help do you need and how will you get it?