The New Year is a popular time to set new resolutions and goals. I support that, but there's a problem. There's always something between us and our goals—a chasm that must be bridged. By failing to plan for that chasm, we lose motivation when it shows up, and sooner or later fail in pursuit of our goals.
The question is, how do we plan for the chasm and ultimately cross it? I believe there are three main ways.
1. Don't let the chasm surprise you.
In “The 12 Week Year,” authors Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington discuss how the first phase of a any goal is often characterized by “uninformed optimism.” That is to say, we set a goal and see only the possibilities. Whether through lack of experience or other factors, we tend not to notice the potential pitfalls along the way.
By expecting generic, unpredictable difficulties along the way...they become a normal, expected part of the journey; simply a speed bump along the way rather than a soul-crushing obstacle.
I believe this is a critical error because it can totally sap our enthusiasm once some difficulties show up.
For me, the trick was to realize that Murphy's Law, “If something can go wrong, it probably will,” is actually not pessimistic enough, because we often fail to see the things that can go wrong. A more realistic law is simply this: “If something can go wrong, it probably will, and you probably don't even see what it will be yet.”
While this may seem like a depressing thought, it is actually a very freeing concept. By expecting generic, unpredictable difficulties along the way, we rob them of their power over us and our motivation before they even show up. They become a normal, expected part of the journey; simply a speed bump along the way rather than a soul-crushing obstacle.
2. Put systems in place to bridge the chasm.
Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic strip, suggests that goals and resolutions are a poor substitute for the systems and habits that are predictors of positive outcomes. I can't find the exact quote right now, but he once wrote something along the lines of “goals fail; systems succeed.”
In other words, setting a goal to lose 20 pounds is highly likely to fail. However, creating a system that fits exercise and healthy eating into our lifestyle practically guarantees we will lose weight.
The same can be said of business. You can set a goal to open your own business, do a certain amount of revenue, etc. But without proven systems to use to get there, the goal will be missed more often than not.
After all, you know what they say: “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
3. Surround yourself with people who will help you with your systems.
Ancient philosophers and modern scientists agree that we are all influenced by the people in our lives. That means if we want to succeed in some area of life, then we need to have people in our lives who are already successful in that area.
I believe there are two main reasons this is important:
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
- They can help us with our practical needs as we attempt our own journey to success, and,
- They can keep us motivated, not only by their support, but by the mere fact that they are with us on the journey. This is not only motivating and encouraging, but provides some positive peer pressure to keep going and not quit.
When you think about it, nobody who wants to be more than what they are is an expert in everything they need. That's why business consultants exist—and it's also why you need someone with you on your way to your goals.
As Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”
You need someone with you if you're going to bridge the chasm between you and success.
Here's some practical application…
If making more money is one of your goals for 2019, then you should look at iDeal Furniture, White Glove 4 Less, and Kozy Home. Each of these business opportunities will help you bridge the chasm that stands between you and your dreams because they provide the business systems, consulting and mentoring, and companionship you'll need to achieve success.
2019 really can be different. Check out these opportunities to see how it can happen!