Letter #9: Why we don’t reach our goals and what to do about it

Hi Peter,

when we make a new decision in life – set a goal or make a resolution – we start an adventurous journey. Everyone says the first step towards reaching our ultimate goal is important. But as you can guess, not just this first step is enough to take us where we want to be.

Once, I got excited about a new goal I set to myself:

”I am going to do a simple physical exercise every morning to become more energised for the upcoming day!”

– that is what I was willing to commit myself.

Well, what do you think happened in reality?

I exercised two or three days in a row, then on a third day I went to bed late at night. As a result I was unable to get up early the next morning and do the exercise. After several days I completely forgot about my new goal. The initial excitement disappeared and there I was – back at the beginning of my journey.

Can you relate? Have you experienced something similar in your life?

One of the reasons we are unable to reach our goals is the lack of consistency. We get excited, we do the first step and then… It’s over.

Luckily, there are several tips you can do to stay consistent with your actions whether we are talking about English or any other area of your life. Here are 6 tricks I use myself:

1. Take some action NOW! – In the moment you decide, take some action in the direction of your goal. Don’t wait. It can be a simple action like calling your friend and scheduling a meeting, or writing down your plan on piece of paper, or booking a learning course – anything that is simple, quick and related to your goal.

2. Visualise – Dedicate at least a few minutes each day to describe and visualise your goals. Imagine your goals like if they already happened. What would you feel? What would you have? What your experience will be when you finally have what you have always dreamed of? 🙂 Set aside the time for yourself and your dreams.

3. Don’t worry if you miss a day – Don’t get discouraged if you can’t work on your goal each and every day. Sometimes we get sick or something more important arises. That’s ok. Just continue with your actions the next day.

4. Schedule – If you decide to do something, put it in your calendar right away. Whether you use traditional paper calendar or electronic one on your phone / computer, make sure you dedicate your time to your goals.

5. Remind yourself what is important – Make sure you see your goals everyday. For example, I have a whiteboard on the wall above my working desk. There I write all the goals and plans I am working on so I can read them each and every day. You can also use sticky notes or reminders on your phone. That way it is almost impossible to forget what is really important in your life. 🙂

6. Trick yourself to do just a little – Sometimes we can feel lazy and not willing to do anything. When this happens, trick yourself, and do just a little bit of work. For example if need to read a book, read just one page. If you need to do some physical exercise, start just walking. If you need to write an email, write just one paragraph… The chances are that when you start the activity, you will continue with it even you didn’t feel like doing anything before. 😉

Enjoy English and your life,

P.S. The next email tip will be all about English audiobooks and how you can get them for free. 🙂