Do you know your most important priorities to accomplish each day? Do you create micro-goals for yourself, follow through on them, and celebrate your incremental successes daily? OR do you find yourself getting frustrated, overwhelmed or stagnant because either you have you do not know how to accomplish your priorities, or your goals are too lofty?
Oftentimes we experience the latter, and we give up because our priorities and goals may have been unrealistic, or unaligned with our true desires. As a result, we become hard on ourselves because we have not accomplished them, and lose our confidence. Let 2021 be a new beginning to create reasonable and attainable goals aligned with your unique talents and gifts, and celebrate the incremental daily successes along the way. This practice will become the foundation that will make way for a life-long discipline or “micro-ritual” that creates more sustainable impact and accomplishment, more than you have ever imagined for 2021 and beyond.
There was a long period of my life and career where I was feeling overwhelmed and disappointed with myself because I had was having trouble following through on my goals. I compared myself to others and felt like that everyone else was “accomplishing”, and I wasn’t. After being open to getting coaching and support on this topic, I realized this feeling was common and I was not alone. I also did a lot of research and talked to people about how inspirational leaders accomplish and find success in their lives and career. It became apparent that in order to find the motivation, momentum, and confidence to experience sustainable success, it is critical to create an incremental journey that carves out a path and sets the foundation for that success.
Have patience with yourself and think of this process as a marathon not a race. Having been a marathon runner in the past, what kept me going was not thinking of the overall goal needing to finish the entire marathon, but each day I created a small goal of that helped me meet my goal that allowed me to be present in each moment and knowing that each step forward was a bit closer. Then one day, I ran the entire race, and viewed the journey of training as the small incremental impact that created the accomplishment of the whole. I was proud, shocked and surprised at the same time that I completed my first marathon, a race I told myself I could never do. This was a huge lesson for HOW I have learned to move through my career. Patience and small “soul” steps forward, creating a revolution and momentum. It’s like “ReSouling” your shoe every day, creating micro-goals and celebrating the little victories, you are able to realize and experience the huge accomplishment. I won’t run another marathon and have other goals that I want to achieve, but I view life and career in this way. The journey is the practice of micro-goals. The photo (seen in this article) is a path that I often ran growing up, and it has reminded me that each flower is a metaphor of a win, and of those who witnessed, inspired and supported me along the way. The flowers also outline a clear, yet windy journey that has been incremental with small steps forward each day. I can now look back and be proud of my successes, grateful for the people who have helped me get there, and amazed at what I have accomplished. Thanks @deniserundle for being a part of this inspiration to write this article!
Creating micro-rituals that help you accomplish your goals alleviates overwhelm, moves you away from the “All or nothing” lens, and creates momentum, flow and confidence for you to accomplish again, and again. This habit becomes a blueprint to attain what you want. 2020 was one of the most transformative of my life in terms of putting things into perspective slowing down and creating micro-goals myself creating the foundation and path to continue to build, and accomplish personally and professionally. Know that each day is a new opportunity to follow through on a positive micro-goal and this action creates the mindset to flow, and step forward in whatever you set out to do.
The more you create positive micro-goals and rituals that you can easily accomplish, no matter what they are (5 minutes of meditation, 15 minutes of stretching, 10 minutes of writing), you are more likely to follow through on attainable goals across the board, personally and professionally. For example, my dear friend and leader of a large organization decided she wanted to do the splits, but had not done so since a child. She created a micro-goal of stretching 15 minutes every day and after some months she was able to do the splits. She applies this methodology to her work and has more impact and accomplishes more than anyone I know in her leadership role. She does this by knowing what she needs to accomplish each day, creating micro-goals that she can attain, celebrates her successes for herself, and her team daily. Part of your path means inviting those into your life that you find inspirational in their success, and who can be positive influences and honest reflections who help support you along the way. Achievable micro-goals are habits or rituals that change the blueprint of the brain. As a result, you develop a “flow state” where you feel focused and creative. You feel proud of yourself and look at not only what is you accomplished, but also create a positive rhythm of follow through in your life. As human beings we love structure and discipline, especially when we create it for ourselves. Ask yourself what micro-goals you can create for yourself and that help you shape the mindset in order to view your micro-goals as priorities, and then design the process for staying in it.
Following these three steps as a part of your journey every day creates the path and foundation to experience amazing impact and success in your life and career. Let 2021 be this for you.
1. Creating Transformational Priorities—identify and know your priorities by quieting the mind and identifying what you want to accomplish in life and career, based on what you truly want, versus what you think you should be doing. Tune out the noise of distraction and focus on what want to accomplish this year. Create a plan, write it down, and work backwards to identify the actions and attainable schedule that will get you there.
2. Create Micro-Goals Each Day—personally and professionally, and practice follow through. The feelings of momentum, motivation and confidence as a result, will cross over to every aspect of your life and career.
3. Celebrate Your Daily Victories—and focus on the positive incremental wins every day. Give yourself grace if you do not accomplish what you wanted to do, then revaluate and start over by creating a new, more reasonable goal, and then consider even that a success.
By following these steps, you will feel the power and see a clear path that will move you forward with momentum and confidence! Whether it is doing a half-an-hour of yoga each day, meditating for 5 minutes, it is important to document your micro-successes. Through this process we create the energy, confidence and momentum to feel and see the success and impact, crossing over to everything you do. We can then look back at the impact we have made through the journey, and be proud of the accomplishments. You don’t have to go it alone and having an accountability partner is key. I would love to help you get clear on your path and realize your potential.