The start of a New Year is the time when people usually set their resolutions or goals for the year.
It can be a very exciting time as we let our imagination run wild and identify what we’d like to do, acquire or experience during the year. The challenge for most people is that the initial excitement is short-lived.
We allow life and our day-to-day obligations to take priority over what matters most to us. There are some significant costs when we stop focusing on what’s important to us and they include:
- Not feeling or operating at our best consistently.
- Not making progress towards the things we want.
- Having low levels of motivation.
- Not being willing to challenge ourselves to do new things.
- Having challenges in different areas of our lives.
The sad reality is most people keep doing the same things over and over, or making the same mistakes, which prevents them from having significant breakthroughs in their lives.
I remember many years ago, I learned about the importance of blogging if I wanted to build an online platform. So I started my first blog in 2007 with a lot of excitement and focused on the unimportant things like having numerous banners or graphics on the side panel and links to other people’s products.
I had not given much attention to what was most important, which was creating new content on a regular basis. As a result, I really struggled and at times, I’d go weeks, if not months, without adding new content to my blog. That lack of consistency cost me any trust I had built with the few people who were willing to visit my blog.
To further add to this situation, I started another blog because I thought I could leverage the success of the movie, The Secret, by offering content based on what the teachers in the movie spoke about. This also bombed because, once again, I had no content plan which meant I was not consistent in sharing new content.
After two failed attempts at blogging, I felt I had lost so much ground in relation to building an online presence as I saw many people creating large online followers. I knew the mistakes I had made previously so in 2013, I made a renewed commitment to start blogging again.
What was different this time was I created a plan for how I was going to stay committed, and I also better anticipated the obstacles I would encounter because I had experienced them before. Creating new content every week was a big breakthrough for me and since I restarted blogging in 2013, I have stayed true to my commitment.
There are many mistakes to avoid if we want to have a big breakthrough or achieve our major goals this year. Here are five of the most important mistakes to be aware of so that we put in place solutions to overcome them and finally achieve the big breakthrough we want.
- Setting goals not aligned to a greater vision or purpose. Everything we want to do, have or experience in life should have meaning behind them. A major reason why people are unhappy is because they are pursuing things they think will make them happy without being clear on why they want those things in the first place. Having clearly defined visions and a purpose in life will prevent us from going after the wrong things.
- Not defining the emotions you want to experience beforehand. We do the things we do in life because we want to feel a certain way. We have different ideas on how to experience that — for some, it may be through acquiring things, whereas for others, it may be by helping people in some way. We must have an idea of the emotions we want to experience before we pursue a goal otherwise achieving it may not have any meaning or purpose to it.
- Not anticipating challenges or struggle along the way. Struggle is part of the process to achieving anything worthwhile. Most people are not mentally prepared to deal with the challenges they will encounter in the pursuit of something worthwhile so they bemoan the struggle. That only perpetuates their struggle and can eventually cause them to stop going for their goals. Those who anticipate better often reach their goals quicker and with a lot less effort.
- Failing to create a workable plan. It has often been said that a goal is a dream with a deadline. In order to achieve our goals, we must have some idea of what we are going to do. A plan can be simple or it can be as detailed as we want. The key is to have some sort of a map that will guide us and also help us stay on track. A plan makes the achievement of our goals real.
- Trying to focus on too many goals. When we have too many things going on, our focus is scattered and our energy is diluted. Overachievers often set too many goals because they want to achieve a lot. While that works for some people, for most of us, it’s more valuable to focus on a few critical things rather than focus on many trivial things.
Four Questions to Ask When Going for Your Next Big Breakthrough
- What is the payoff if I achieve my breakthrough? What will the impact be on me mentally, emotionally, physically, relationally and financially?
- How will others benefit if I achieve my breakthrough? What is the payoff to other people?
- What will be required of me to achieve my breakthrough? Who will I need to become to make my breakthrough a reality? What are the new habits, knowledge, skills or character traits I have to develop along the way?
- What challenges will come up, and how will I deal with them? What strategies do I have to overcome any roadblocks or obstacles I may experience?
If we believe in our ability to figure things out, then we will be on our way to achieving a big breakthrough. We must learn to enjoy the journey and appreciate all the things we will experience along the way.
Question: What is another mistake we should avoid if we want to have a big breakthrough this year?
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