This article originally appeared in Small Biz Daily.
The new year is always a time when a lot of us set goals for what we want to achieve, and – if we’re smart – we plan out the steps that will help us get there. Unfortunately, most people give up on those goals before reaching them for a whole host of reasons – or rather, excuses. In fact, many people have already given them up this year.
So the question is, why are you okay with letting yourself down? We actively avoid disappointing colleagues, friends and family, but many of us just can’t seem to follow through for ourselves. And sometimes that extends to our companies too. Setting goals is the easy part. The difficult part is sticking it out for the long haul. Consider these steps to help you get to that finish line and make yourself proud.
Taking care of yourself should always be your number one priority, in business and in life. You can’t be expected to help anyone else if you don’t have all your own ducks in a row. Keep tabs on how you are feeling mentally, physically and emotionally every day, and listen when your body or mind needs something. Also, stay on top of your own personal and professional goals – not just your company’s goals. When you take care of yourself and your own needs and aspirations, others will follow your example and it will make for a happier team.
There was a reason you made the goals that you did – don’t forget those. If your goal is to lose those pounds you’ve been hanging on to for years, make small changes each day and track them. I write down my goals and track my progress for the day, month and year to make sure that I remember where I was and acknowledge where I am now. Take what you have aspired to do and let it inspire you to keep moving forward.
Like your trusty alarm clock that wakes you up every day, don’t be afraid to rely on others to be your goal alarm clock. You want to be held accountable for the things you say you’re going to do, so let other people help you maintain that accountability. Whether a trusted friend or your whole team, make sure others are in the loop about what you’ve accomplished and where you have your sights set. They’ll encourage you to keep going and give you that much-needed boost when you’re slipping. Within your company, a daily huddle is an effective way to ensure your whole team is on the same page. If you haven’t instituted one yet, do it now.
It’s good to have lofty ambitions and to want to do whatever it takes to get there, but don’t forget to keep yourself in check. You’re not a superhero – no matter how much you wish you were – so don’t fall into that trap and become disillusioned when you can’t do it all. It’s okay to turn some things down to be able to focus on your goals. You’ll feel better and more productive in the long run when you put your energy into a manageable workload.
Putting yourself second and constantly giving up on what you want to achieve can get you into a vicious cycle of disappointment. When that cycle gets out of hand, “Tasmanian devil mode” can set in and spiral those let-downs outward to the people around you. Don’t let that happen. As soon as you stop letting yourself down, you’ll be instantly empowered, and that positive motion will spread to all parts of your life – personal and professional. You just need to take it one step at a time.