5 Things You’re Doing Wrong To Achieve Your Goals

What is the right way of doing things to achieve your goals

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5 Things You’re Doing Wrong To Achieve Your Goals

Here’s a sobering thought:

Only 8% of people achieve the goals they set for the New Year.

The reason?

They don’t have a clue if their goals are actually achievable by the deadline that they set, and they are hoping by sheer willpower things will work out.

Almost immediately after you have set your goals (let’s say, increase your sales), negative thoughts like “I will have less time for my family”, “I am already working very hard” will hinder your progress.

Another reason that stops most people in their tracks toward their goals is fear.

It could be the fear of failure, like being worried about not achieving their goals. It could also be the fear of being uncomfortable.

To progress is to grow and sometimes that is uncomfortable and for a lot of people, that can stop them from achieving what they want.

Lastly, perhaps you are on your way to achieving your goal, and you’re met with a roadblock. For example, you are well on your way to losing 20 lbs and have been going to the gym regularly.

And then you got the flu which forced you to be homebound for 2 weeks. For most people, that is enough to throw them off and make them quit.

5 Things You Should Do Instead To Achieve Your Goals

Here, I’ll explain what you might be doing wrong and what you need to do now to achieve your goals this year.

1. Instead of an Overwhelming BHAG, Start Small

BHAG is short for ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’. I had often been told to set huge, scary, exciting, a cannot-believe-I-will-ever-achieve type of goals for myself.

It is supposed to help us to think outside the box and be courageous when setting our goals.

I was surprised to find that the term BHAG started out as a term for companies and defined as…an audacious 10-to-30-year goal to progress towards an envisioned future.

No wonder, so many of us are overwhelmed and disappointed when we fail to achieve our goals by the arbitrary deadline we have set for ourselves.

Instead of an overwhelming big hairy audacious goal, start with a small, achievable goal and step up from there.

In his book One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way, Robert Maurer, a clinical psychologist writes that by taking very small steps, we keep the fight-or-flight response at bay.

Every little success builds on top of the next one. And because each step is so small and achievable that it helps bypass the fears, it would usually hold us back.

Let’s take an example in the online marketing space. Instead of a goal of 10,000 subscribers by the end of the year, how about a goal of 10 subscribers this week?

How can you help just ten people this week? So much so that they want to give you their email address because they want to hear more?

Or if you’re looking to improve your health by drinking more water, instead of drinking eight glasses a day, how about just one glass of water in addition to what you usually drink to begin with?

2. Instead of S.M.A.R.T Goals, Choose Habits

We’ve been told, to increase our chances of achieving our goals, we need to set SMART goals.

An S.M.A.R.T. goal is defined as one that is specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound.

But how do you know if your goal is specific enough or achievable by the time that you set?

The problem with setting a goal is we tend to get a lot of momentum at the beginning as our enthusiasm is high and then procrastination sets in when we hit a roadblock. Soon enough, we simply lose the willpower to continue.

Instead of writing down your goals, create habits that when done consistently, can help you achieve your goals.

For example, if you want to lose 40 lbs. by the end of the year, a small habit to start with could be to do ten pushups every day in front of the TV.

Just one set. And after a few weeks or so, when that becomes easier, increase that to 20 pushups.

Using the goal we had earlier of achieving ten subscribers by the end of the first week, a habit could be to help five people a day in your Facebook group.

Another example of a typical goal you may have is to be more mindful or present with your family.

It is hard to specify a mindfulness goal and even more difficult to measure how that has improved over time.

However, using a habit makes things a lot easier. You could meditate 10 minutes every day. If that seems daunting, how about just sitting down quietly for 5 minutes?

Now that you know to use habits to achieve your goals, how do you go about taking action on them?

The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.

3. Instead of Setting an Arbitrary Deadline for Your Goals, Schedule Your Habits

I have in the past given myself a deadline to achieve a goal. Sometimes that deadline is in my head and sometimes it’s written down somewhere in my journal.

At the beginning, I’d give myself some slack as I still have lots of time to achieve my goal. But as the deadline draws closer, I start to panic.

And sure enough, the goal will become practically unachievable with the time I had left. And I would feel like a failure once again because I did not meet my deadline.

Like Marie Forleo famously said, “If it’s not scheduled, it’s not real”.

You can schedule your habit in a calendar, agenda or whatever you use. Not one that you never check but one that you check daily and one your life actually depends on.

The calendar I use is the Google Calendar, and I also use a habit app that I check in every day.

I love using HabitBull as it works very well and it’s free to use. It allows you to set your habits daily, multiple times a day or a few days a week. Every time you perform a habit, you click on a day in the calendar.

The goal of the app is to create a long string of successful days. Maintaining the streak encourages you to keep going. It also shows you fancy graphs if you’re into that sort of thing.

If Habit Bull doesn’t work for you, there’s also many similar apps that do the same thing as well.

One of my habits is to wake up early to write. There have been mornings when it’s hard to get up when the bed is nice and warm (especially now that it is winter).

But the thought of breaking my streak always gets me up in the morning.

4. Instead of Goals for Every Area of Your Life, Focus on 3 Main Improvements You Would Like to Make This Year

Have you ever done the exercise where you break down your life into areas like finance, family, career, spiritual, etc. and for each area, try your best to come up with a few goals you want to achieve for the year?

Wasn’t that stressful and overwhelming?

I had done that type of goal setting exercise and found myself overwhelmed at the end of it. Knowing that by the end of the year, it’s up to me to complete these 10 or so goals with no idea if they are achievable and with no plan of action.

I feel like a failure before I even started.

With too many goals, you end up starting many but achieving none.

This year, I’ve chosen to keep things simple. I knew I would get overwhelmed with those 5-year or 10-year type exercises, so I decided to pick the top 3 things I want to achieve for the next three months.

As an example, my top 3 goals are to start and launch a new blog, be more focused and mindful and be healthier.

Right now, they sound pretty vague, and it is hard to measure my progress as time goes on.

Breaking them down into habits, it means I will work on my blog early every morning, meditate every Monday to Friday (as a start) and drink at least 16 oz water every day.

When I look back after the 90-day period, I would be able to count exactly how many hours I have been working on my blog, how many days I’ve continuously meditated and how much more water I have had.

And instead of waiting till the next New Year’s Eve to see how far you’ve progressed with your goals, you get to reflect at the end of the 90 day period, celebrate how far you have come, adjust your techniques and create new habits.

Now, doesn’t that look more achievable?

No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying

5. Instead of Shouting From The Rooftop Your New Year’s Resolutions, Keep Your Goals a Secret

We were told to broadcast our goals and the more people we tell, the more accountable we will be and the easier it is for us to stay focused on our goals.

Right? Except it doesn’t quite work that way.

Derek Sivers talk about this in a TED talk here. For those who prefer to read, he wrote about it on his blog too.

Telling people your goals can give you a premature sense of satisfaction, thus making you think you’re more ahead than you really are.

If you tell the wrong people your goals, it runs the risk of nay-sayers discouraging and distracting you from your goals.

However, if you have to share, share it with someone positive and someone that you trust. Share it because you want an accountability partner and that you know that person will give you a hard time if you veer off course.

So What Will You Do Differently

To summarize, start with a few small achievable goals.

Convert these goals into tiny habits. Schedule your new habits daily for a consistent number of times weekly. Pick the top 3 things you want to achieve for the next 90 days.

Last but not least, keep them to yourself and hold yourself accountable using apps, calendar or a trusting friend.

Achieving your goals can be tough, but it’s achievable when we break it down into habits that we perform consistently.

Just imagine getting closer to your goals in the next 90 days because today, you decided to make a small and consistent change.

Or feeling confident and in control because you are focused on completing one small habit each day. And not being a victim to your goals anymore.

Over to You

So act now. Review your life. Review the small habits you can do every day this week. And tell us in the comments below what they are so we can cheer you on.

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50 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. amber DeAnn

    August 1, 2017 at 5:00 am

    Hi Ling,
    Thanks for the blog. It perfectly matches my views on achieving success and changing habits – start small, gain confidence and momentum. Life is a marathon and we all need all the energy and motivation for the journey that we can get.
    i got an ahha when you talked about forget the goals and chose the habits. AHH!! I can achieve more productivity with my blogs by creating a habit of writing for an hour a day. I can do that. Lovely way to move forward.
    Great advice. I will share it with my friends.

  2. Nick Burrett

    October 12, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Hi Ling,

    Very nice article, I completely agree with you. I am reminded of a quote I heard yesterday whilst listening to a philosophy podcast: “We are what we repeatedly do” – Aristotle. In other words, our habits are what make us who we really are, so by changing our habits will we only be able to make real change in our lives and achieve our goals.

  3. Samah Ahmad

    July 14, 2016 at 1:56 am

    Hi Ling,

    It’s really an interesting article, despite that what you are saying is the opposite of what most people say about goal setting like ( deadlines, setting higher goals) you made me rethink what i have been reading lately about goal setting.

    Keep up the good work,

    Regards

  4. Amit Deb

    April 5, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    While reading you article I had flash backs of all the wrong decisions I had taken so far while running after my goals & now I also know how I can get the best out of my future decisions too.Thank you Miss Ling Abson for your enlightening article.

  5. Ahsanul Karim

    March 24, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Hello ling, without proper mindset we can’t achieve a goal. To achieve a goal, we must have proper mindset. But most people are lacking this quality. I wish everyone must read the post at least once to motivate his life style. Happy weekend.

  6. Chris Hooker

    March 15, 2016 at 4:05 am

    Well Ling, Good to ‘meet’ you by the way! That’s what comes of putting all your faith in the almighty Google!

    Yes, you have it, almost! TLAG (All my own I must say [with not a little smirk]) is an acronym for Tiny Little Achievable Goals! I find that way I sustain a rush of getting things done, of climbing the ladder one rung at a time. As Chairman Mao said (apochryphally) “the longest journey starts with one step”.

    I try to keep those steps coming, one at a time.

    Loved the post.
    ChrisH

    I am taking the step of signing ChrisH because I note there is at least one other Chris out there commenting.

  7. Chris Hooker

    March 14, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Hello Ling, I once had a BHAG but I swapped it for a TLAG and what’s more I kept quiet about it! So quiet in fact that even I didn’t know about it until it was achieved!
    Seriously though I enjoyed your post immensely, full of sound, achievable examples.
    I have a TLAG myself and that is growing my tiny subscriber base.
    Wish me luck!
    Chris

    (No CommentLuv?)

    • Harleena Singh

      March 14, 2016 at 4:37 pm

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. We used CommentLuv for about two years initially, and the blog is without it for the last four years. It doesn’t really make much of a difference to anybody.

      Have a great day! 🙂

    • Ling Abson

      March 14, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      Chris, for the life of me, google is not returning me results on what TLAG means. I hope you’ll solve this mystery for me. One of my goals is to grow my subscriber base as well. Wait, is the T in TLAG tiny? Best of luck to you Chris!

  8. Carolyn Nicander Mohr

    March 14, 2016 at 6:40 am

    Hello Ling, How wonderful to meet you here at Harleena’s place. I love BHAG. How true, if we over-promise to ourselves we just get in trouble. You’re right, we have to make our goals manageable if we are to achieve them. You give excellent examples of how we can achieve our goals in a realistic way.

    One thing that really helps me with my goals is a fitness tracker. I often will move just because my fitness tracker tells me it’s time to do that. Or I am on a record-breaking streak of meeting my daily fitness goal and I don’t want to break the streak. It’s fun earning badges and awards while you’re taking better care of yourself.

    Ling, if one of your goals for 2016 was to have an awesome post on Aha-NOW!, you’ve achieved it!

    • Ling Abson

      March 14, 2016 at 7:12 pm

      Ah, thank you Carolyn, what an honor. 🙂 I have a fitbit flex which has been great for tracking my steps but if you have a recommendation on one that works great in tracking steps AND heart rate, would love to hear it. Have an awesome day!

  9. Irish Carter

    March 13, 2016 at 6:06 am

    Hi Ling,
    What a great article. I really support the concept of changing habits to achieve goals. I did just that about 9 months back with my health and it is working great for me. I learned I have 3 different auto immune disorders and was having severe stomach problems. I added probiotics to my diet. Once I did that I then stopped eating red meat to help me lose weight also. I then added time for more sleep because I have a lot of sleep issues that I believe contribute to my auto immune disorders. Since then, my stomach issues have stopped, I lose about 1.5 pounds every 10 days and have been able to control flare ups I sometimes have.

    This was a great article and you nailed it as far as achieving goals. Thanks for sharing a great piece.

    Have a great rest of the week.

    Irish

    • Ling Abson

      March 14, 2016 at 7:10 pm

      Thanks Irish, I love your name by the way! Wow, that is quite the commitment you have made towards your health and congratulations to the success you’ve had. Health has always been an area that is hard for me to push through. You are inspiring and thank you for sharing your story.

  10. Rachel Wolany

    March 12, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Hey Ling,

    Your post is one of my favorite topics. Probably because I have finally gotten myself into comfortable, achievable habits. You are so right, make them habits rather than goals.

    When I set out on a new project I always allow for growth. What I mean is when we are working on the project we develop and learn along the way. That may mean we have to change directions, add a few extra things to our ‘to do’list or rethink our approach. This is exciting because its informed decisions we’re making. And that’s progress.

    Your point you write about declaring your goals to the world. I’m with you, its not something I’m not a fan of. I have always found when I’m serious about my actions, I just get on with it.

    If it comes up in the conversation I might mention it, but its not one of those things I feel I need to share. That’s when I know I’m serious because I don’t need feedback either positive or negative. I’m doing it regardless.

    Great topic, enjoyable read and has motivated me, thank you.

    Rachel.

    • Ling Abson

      March 14, 2016 at 7:07 pm

      Thanks Rachel. I think I’m the same way too. When I incorporate my goals into habits, because it is something I do daily, it becomes less of a big deal to talk about with my friends. Thank you for your feedback. Love reading that my post is motivating. 😉

  11. Ikechi Awazie

    March 12, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Hi Ling

    I love the fact that you discuss effective methods to be productive and achieve a goal. I do agree that it is better to set small goals than to create an big and unrealistic one.

    Also it is best to focus on habits which will definitely enable one to achieve a goal. Thanks for sharing. Have a swell week.

    • Ling Abson

      March 14, 2016 at 7:03 pm

      Hi Ikechi,
      yes indeed! Focusing on habits has been a game changer for me.

  12. Alan Marsden

    March 10, 2016 at 3:26 am

    Hi Ling,

    Thanks for taking the scary nature out of goals. The alternative perspective you offer is very practicaI. I think it’s hard to get goals right first time around and I have often felt that amending them is a bit like cheating – that’s the fear of failure kicking in.

    I try to keep goals at a high level, not too detailed, and this gives me the flexibility to review them as I progress (or as I don’t progress). Learning as we go along is part of the fun.

    A year ago I set myself a goal to start running (to improve my fitness). I used the Couch to 5k approach which is really like taking baby steps. It wasn’t long before going out several times a week became a habit and as you say in your post, that habit did help me achieve my goal. I was running in 8 weeks and now I’m into my second year.

    Keep goals flexible and enjoy the journey is my recommendation.

    Super post Ling.

    Best.
    Alan

    • Ling Abson

      March 10, 2016 at 7:23 pm

      Hi Alan, thanks for sharing your story. Very inspiring to hear that you are still running which goes to show how important having habits are to achieving your goals.

      I agree with you that we need to keep goals flexible. Quite like how Donna mentioned above in her comments to pencil in life, enjoying the journey is a great reminder as well. Sometimes I get so caught up in achieving a goal that I forget to pause and smell the roses. Oftentimes, the fun is in the journey itself.

      Thank you for sharing your insights. Have a great rest of the week!

  13. Maaike Meeuwis - de Wit

    March 9, 2016 at 2:08 am

    Hey Ling,

    Thanks for this great post! There are so many goals in our lives these days that it’s hard to keep track of all of them. Especially as an online entrepreneur 🙂

    There are always so many things to do and it’s very easy to get distracted from your main goals. I find it very useful to focus on my main goal every day over a cup of tea and decide what the most important three things are that I can do today to get me closer to achieving my main goal in the future.

    This way I can still have my BHAG but I turn that into smaller steps every day bringing me closer to my goal every day.

    After my cup of tea, I focus all my energy on these three things I can achieve today and finish them.

    This way I don’t need a major schedule or anything but I can keep track on my goal by deciding day by day how I’m going to spend my time in the most effective way.

    I like the idea of HabbitBull and I’m certainly going to give that a try for habits that need to practiced on a daily basis 🙂

    Best,

    Maaike

    • Ling Abson

      March 9, 2016 at 8:14 pm

      Hi Maaike, let me know how it works out with HabitBull. I’m still loving it after 3 months using it. Thanks for reading my post. 🙂

  14. Quinn Eurich

    March 8, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    Hi Ling,

    Thank you for such a great post – especially one that exposes the mistaken belief that BHAG and SMART goals are the only way to get things done.

    • Ling Abson

      March 8, 2016 at 11:21 pm

      Hi Quinn, that’s right. For those of us who are overwhelmed with BHAG or SMART can certainly still achieve our goals with consistent actions. Thank you for your comment.

  15. lisa thomson

    March 8, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    Hi Ling, this is excellent advice. I could use some of these tips myself. Habits are a huge goal blocker or achiever of our goals, depending. Thanks for this post and thanks, Harleena for sharing Ling here at ahaNow!

    • Ling Abson

      March 8, 2016 at 11:19 pm

      Thank you, Lisa, for reading and commenting on my post. I’m glad you find these advice useful!

  16. Donna Merrill

    March 8, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Hi Ling,

    Great to meet you here on AHA Now! When it comes to that word “Goal” it can be exactly what you described as a ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’. It is so big and scary that we can just choose not to even venture it.

    However, if we focus on our habits as you mentioned…baby steps I call them, the goal will eventually be accomplished.

    I do create goals with a flexible time line only because I like to pencil in life. Life happens…an illness, family matters, etc. It is like the miscellaneous expenses one writes when they are making a budget.

    Taking this kind of outlook helps me attain my “goal” sometimes even faster than expected.

    Wonderful advice and I will share this.

    -Donna

    • Ling Abson

      March 8, 2016 at 11:19 pm

      Thank you, Donna, for your insight and for sharing the post. I totally agree with creating goals with a flexible timeline to accommodate things that might happen in our lives. Great tip.

  17. Babanature

    March 8, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Hello Ling,
    You have shared some motivational post to help any body who’ve lost focus to gain back their sight.

    To tell you the truth, I don’t do short term goals… Anything I want to achieve in a short time, I just go for it. But I do have long term goals which by the end of every year, I must achieve 2 in the big list.

    Setting and acheving your gals proves one is not lazy.

    Thanks for dropping such an awesome post. I am sure it will improve lives.

    Have a beautiful week both of you…

    • Ling Abson

      March 8, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      Thanks Babanature for sharing your experience. Have a great week!

  18. Esteban Pau

    March 8, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Hey,

    Loved this post. I always set goals and I read once that if you set a bunch of small goals and complete at least 70% of them you’re on the right track.
    In December 2015 I was really ambitious and told myself I’d make $50,000 by February 2016.
    I’m no where near that goal and I think I was a bit too ambitious. I have been very down lately because my blogging career still hasn’t quite kicked off the way I wanted to but I won’t give up just yet.
    This post kind of motivated me to get back on track!
    Thanks,
    Esteban

    • Ling Abson

      March 8, 2016 at 6:41 pm

      Hi Esteban, I can relate. You’re not alone. I challenge you to set smaller goals. And I challenge you to make them into daily habits that you don’t have to think or procrastinate to do them. It’s something you do every day. And soon enough, you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come. You can do it!

  19. Terrence Blair

    March 8, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Hi Ling,

    A timely post. I’m actually working on a goal. One that was set by my doctor a month ago: to loose 30 pounds by the next time he sees me. I’m taking it seriously, eating less and doing some situp and pushup. A little at a time, just as you’ve said.

    Audacious goals are overwhelming. That’s why most New Years resolution fails. People make unrealistic goals instead of developing sensible habits.

    This is certainly a good read.

    • Ling Abson

      March 8, 2016 at 6:36 pm

      Thank you, Terrence. It sounds like you’re doing a great job getting healthy. I wish you all the best and just like the doubling of the penny story, it might not seem much at first but suddenly you will see your efforts take off and it will be worth it.

  20. Sherman Smith

    March 8, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Hey Ling,

    This is right up my alley. I’ve actually been following these angle of setting goals for the past two years now and I can tell you that it made a really big different.

    Before that, I was like an octopus on roller-skates. But one thing positive that came out of this was that I did get experience through the different ventures I undertook. But after that I had to get more organized and focused with what I want to do and it all started off with breaking my goals into smaller pieces. With this you stay more focus and you get more things done.

    You’re angle will resonate with those that have little free time to work on their own projects because of obligations like work and family. We all were taught to set these really big goals but yet it can be very overwhelming for this group of people. So this alternative can’t be any more perfect!

    Thanks for sharing Ling! Have a great rest of the week!

    • Ling Abson

      March 8, 2016 at 6:34 pm

      Hi SHerman, that’s really great insight you have there about how my angle will resonate with those that have little free time. I have a day job and a young family and I blog on the side. Very little free time is right. And so far, this system is how I am able to gain traction on my blog. I’ve tried everything else! Thanks for reading and commenting. You have a great week too!

  21. Maxwell Ivey

    March 8, 2016 at 5:34 am

    Hello Ling; You did a great job on this post. I have been using the word kaizen as my key word for many years now. It was my word long before I even knew it existed or what it was. I believe in taking small steps every day and tell others to do the same as often as possible. As for a BHAG I think they are fine as long as you have a lot of easier smaller short term and intermediate goals to accomplish along the way to the big one. But I do believe in sharing my progress. In the beginning it can be better to share with only one or two people. BUt I find that as long as you do it with a spirit of humility so that people know you aren’t sharing just to brag; then it will be fine. People will be willing to understand when you fall short and even offer solutions to turn setbacks into comebacks and triumphant victories. I do agree that far too many people do overwhelm themselves by focusing on all that will go into a big dream instead of focusing on what they can do right now. I love how you picked ninety days. I will tell people as little as thirty days especially if they have never been successful in accomplishing any of their goals before. You got to do whatever you can to keep from scaring yourself. thanks for sharing. keep up the writing. take care now, Max

    • Ling Abson

      March 8, 2016 at 6:33 pm

      Hi Max, thank you for your comment. I sometimes use the 30 days although I find it a little short for habits to stick. I like breaking them into quarters (roughly about 90 days) of the year which also goes well with the season of the year. At least for me, the beginning of a season seems to match up with the beginning of a new challenge. Good luck with achieving your goals and thanks for reading.

      • Maxwell Ivey

        March 8, 2016 at 8:59 pm

        hi ling; well we all have to find that formula that works for each of us. when i was going to the classes in nutrition prior to having gastric surgery our goal was to create one new habit each month and then add another one the next month. in six months i had lost 81 pounds but went ahead with the surgery because I wasn’t sure I could keep it off without the additional help. just finished a book about what i learned and am hoping to have it published soon. its more a healthy living book than a diet book so will need all the help and positive energy i can get. keep up your writing, max

  22. Jasbindar Singh

    March 8, 2016 at 4:24 am

    Hi Ling
    Really appreciated your post. Not every “commonly espoused” principle works for everybody so it was great to read some of your points which go against these e.g smaill goals instead of BHAG etc. Look forward to reading more!

    • Ling Abson

      March 8, 2016 at 6:28 pm

      Thanks, Jasbindar! Sometimes mainstream ideas doesn’t’ work for everybody. I hope I was able to show some other ideas that can help.

  23. Churchill Madyavanhu

    March 8, 2016 at 2:31 am

    I always thought telling other people about my plans improved my chances of success as this would force me to try harder just to keep my word. It looks like I have to re-think this idea. My favourite is the first point. Making baby steps is the best way to build a habit. When I decided to start running, I took my 7 year old sone along so he could set the pace. 🙂 It took some time before I could say I was better than him, but that helped me to keep going instead of pushing myself hard and then quickly burning out and giving up.

    • Ling Abson

      March 8, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      To bring your son along to run is such a great idea Churchill. You get to run while spending time with your son. I might need to steal this idea and incorporate my daughters into my daily habits. Thanks for reading my post and best of luck to achieving what you want.

  24. Ling Abson

    March 7, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Thank you to Vinay and Harleena for the opportunity to guest post. This is my first guest post so I’m quite excited.
    Thanks in advance to all of you readers, commenters and especially those of you who are kind enough to share this on social media. Please reach out to me if there are questions on anything productivity or habits related. 🙂

    • Ankit Yadav

      March 7, 2016 at 7:09 pm

      Welcome to Ahanow. 🙂

      This is an amazing place to write guest posts. 😀

    • Harleena Singh

      March 7, 2016 at 7:09 pm

      Hi Ling,

      Welcome to Aha!NOW as our guest! Many congratulations for your first guest post, which is wonderful indeed 🙂

      I’m glad you wrote about how we can achieve our goals, as it would help many attain greater heights of success.

      Thanks for being here, and we hand over this platform to you. So, enjoy your stay and interaction through the comments, with our readers.

  25. Ankit Yadav

    March 7, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    Hey Ling.

    You shared some great points here.

    Habits are surely the real driving force of long term goals. Too many people rely on the willpower that burns out quickly.

    In THE POWER OF FULL ENGAGEMENT, Tony Schwartz explains the importance of having specific daily rituals, basically the right habits.

    As the habits get established, the conscious effort required to continue doing them is minimal while the progress is consistent. By personal experience, this is the best advice I got on making progress on my goals.

    Relying on willpower is too uncertain.

    You say that it is better to start with simpler goals than big audacious long term goals.

    I feel there needs to be an ideal balance between long term and short term planning.

    As you said, long complex goals can be intimidating and often act as barrier to success.

    However, merely setting small goals doesn’t guarantee long term progress.

    The ideal balance could be to have a long term vision (not necessarily specific) and then set simpler short term goals that are congruent to the long term vision.

    This way, we are neither intimidated nor lost in direction.

    I like your ideas dear. 🙂

    • Ling Abson

      March 7, 2016 at 7:27 pm

      Thanks, Ankit! I’ve never read Tony Schwartz’s book but it sounds like I will like it very much. I personally find BHAGs to be intimidating and overwhelming. At the same time, perhaps for some others, it can be exciting and motivating. I would like for those of us who find BHAGs to be intimidating to let go of that “rule” that it has to be big or audacious in order for it to be a worthwhile goal. Perhaps some of us just want to be slightly healthier than last month or just being able to do that yoga pose which was not possible before. I think the end goal for both groups of people is progress. We want to be closer to achieving what we want. Whether that be through big, audacious goals or through small achievable goals. 🙂

      • Ankit Yadav

        March 9, 2016 at 10:15 am

        Yes.

        Ultimately, we do want progress.

        That’s well put, Ling. 🙂

  26. Swadhin Agrawal

    March 7, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Hi Ling,
    I love productivity and goal setting posts a lot! Thanks for writing one at the beginning of the week.
    Interestingly enough, I have written a similar post on Aha!NOW and I like how BHAGs can actually help you see the bigger picture of life and your goal plan.

    I like your tip on how focusing on three main goals can help us streamline our goal plan and ultimately achieve success.

    • Ling Abson

      March 7, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      Thanks, Swadhin! I wish I could take credit for wisely choosing today to post this, but I have Vinay and Harleena to thank for their perfect timing. I love reading productivity posts early in the week too.
      I guess it’s being aware of what motivates you and what doesn’t. For people who like seeing the long term vision and are energized by it will probably like BHAGs. People like me who are energized by the small, frequent achievements would probably prefer taking small, winnable steps. Thank you for commenting!




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