The Mental Game of Personal Achievement
Reach Your Goals Like the Superachievers
Bill Cole, MS, MA
What rating would you give yourself on personal productivity? Do
you have a systematic plan for improving your effectiveness in
your daily work? Superachieving business people and athletes know
what it takes to motivate themselves, maintain focus in the face
of obstacles and drive forward to the completion of their vision
and dreams. They take charge of their work by being aware of
their personal patterns of behavior and by then adjusting and
experimenting with new ways of being.
Imagine if you could quickly recover from fatigue, mental
setbacks, surprise problems, overloaded task lists, not enough
time and all else that can stand in your way from working near
optimum levels. Top achievers begin the process by carefully
noting what is and what is not in their control. They then ONLY
focus on those things over which they have control and let go of
those things which are out of their control. If you list all the
things you must do in a day and all the roadblocks that might
fall in your way, you will quickly realize that the only thing
you have true control over is...yourself.
So to improve productivity and effectiveness, begin by focusing
on yourself. Focus on your attitude, your thoughts, how you feel,
how you react to problems, how you prepare to succeed, how you
review your performance and how you set and go after realizing
your goals. Let's look at the superachiever's tips for improving
1. Review your major values and life goals daily. Use this as a
springboard for heightening motivation and for building focus
that can carry you through your day.
2. Plan your work and then work your plan. This is an old
bromide, but it contains simple wisdom. You have to know where
you want to go before you get there. Be clear about what you want
to accomplish the night before or in the morning and then execute
3. Remember, "Mile by mile it's a trial, but inch by inch, it's a
cinch". If you look at everything you must do it can seem
overwhelming, but if you break down each project into tasks and
objectives and just focus on these bite-size portions, you will
be amazed at how quickly the little things combine to complete
major tasks. Take care of the little things and the big things
will take care of themselves.
4. Ask yourself, "A month or a year from now, will this matter?"
If you get mired in trivia, get distracted by surprises or get
sidetracked by things that "feel good to complete, but that are
"off-task", then ask if what you are doing now will have any
impact on your future goals. This will keep you focused on what
is truly important.
5. Set deadlines and make timetables for executing each objective
that takes you closer to your goal. It is amazing how a future
due date drives current behavior. Keeping records of tasks
completed gives you proof that you are making progress. Having a
deadline creates some urgency to complete the task.
6. Post and consult your priority list multiple times every day.
This will keep you on track through those crazy, unpredictable
days. It is SO easy to lose site of what is important and to
begin putting out fires when you should remain focused.
7. Review your day and ask yourself "What were the top 3 things I
accomplished today?". This makes you accountable to yourself and
helps you measure how well you stayed focused on your priorities.
It will also help you set-up the next day.
8. Clean up the tasks and projects that annoy and frustrate you
the most. This might be office clutter, not being able to find
things, paper piles and messes, a sloppy hard-drive on your
computer or anything else that bothers you every time you look at
it or think about it. Conquer it and free your energy.
9. Celebrate your successes. We go through our days and weeks
barely congratulating ourselves for our good deeds and
accomplishments. We tend to only focus on what we lack or on what
we still have yet to complete. Give yourself credit for jobs
well-done and for wading through the many tasks you finish each
10. Continually reset new goals once you reach each goal. This is
one of the true secrets of the superachievers. They continually
readjust strategically as each goal is met. They endlessly create
new goals to fuel the fires of motivation and to take themselves
closer to their potential.
Maintain self awareness, make adjustments and execute like top
business and sports performers and you also can become a
superachiever at personal effectiveness.
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority on peak performance,
mental toughness and coaching, is founder and CEO of Procoach
Systems, a consulting firm that helps organizations and
professionals achieve more success in business, life and sports.
For a free, extensive article archive, or for questions and
comments visit him at
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