How often do you find yourself looking back on a day and feeling frustrated that you didn’t do the things you really wanted to do? Instead of doing what is important, you got distracted with other “highly urgent” things to do. We can find a million reasons to defend why we didn’t reach our goals, but at the end of the day, we do what we value. If you value the “urgent distractions”, and must give yourself to them, then you won’t accomplish many goals. Today, I’m going to share two mistakes I’ve made that caused me fail at achieving my goals.
As we talk today about the gap between making goals and achieving these goals, I think it is worth sharing this is where people often quit. As previously stated, your values determine your goals. If something is of great value to us, then we will guard what we have. This is why we don’t give our bank account info away. It is important, so we protect it.
1. I Didn’t Schedule What Was Important
In the past, I let my calendar “just happen.” If you’re life is “just happening”, then the important things will be overrun with the weeds of the many unimportant, urgent things drawing your attention. Simply put, you won’t accomplish your goals if you do that. Now, I take time at the end of each week to schedule out my next week. The most important things go on the calendar first. When something is important, it goes on the calendar. If not, it does not make it on to the calendar. Years ago, I was challenged to create margin in my calendar to think and plan. Thinking and planning before this event was generally a haphazard experience. This time, I created a space of 3 hours one Friday afternoon in the month to think and plan. I had my notebook ready, and my phone was turned off. Those 3 hours were 3 of the most productive hours I had ever experienced in actually making a plan.
2. I Said “Yes” Too Much
Have you ever noticed how nice it feels to be needed? You can draw a lot of meaning out of the well of other people’s never ending problems. Especially when you’re the one they ask to fix their problem. Just because somebody has a problem doesn’t mean it needs to become your problem. Yes, they say they need something right now. No, you don’t have to be the one to do everything for them. You have a limited amount of time, and you are not able to help everyone do everything. Every time you say yes to something, you are saying no to something else. Every time you say yes to someone, you are also saying no to someone else. Just because somebody needs something done doesn’t mean you’re the person who needs to do it. When you say yes to doing less, you’re able to do fewer things with excellence instead of many things at a subpar level.
- Do you schedule your values and goals? If not, can you give yourself 1 hour this week to schedule what is important to you next week?
- Are you saying “yes” to too many people and things? If so, what are a few urgent, yet unimportant things you can say “no” to so that you can do what is important?