As leaders, we all know we have to set goals to get where we want to go. Even if we don’t know where that is yet, we need to create a vision of where we want to be and how we are going to get there.
And if you’ve been keeping up with the leadership and management tools and guides, you also know that to be successful you need to set SMART goals.
SMART goals are a great way to be sure we create goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.
Without a vision of what you want to accomplish at the end of all your hard work, it’s hard to get motivated to start anything at all. SMART goals set you off on the right path.
But what do we do about all the days in between the starting point and the finish line?
How do we keep motivated each step along the way?
In the beginning, that pot seems so far way, but we are so excited about that new goal, we dash off in a sprint towards the end of that rainbow.
Awesome energy, high ambition, all systems go!
And we can sustain that attitude and activity for some amount of time.
But a soon we hit a bump in the road, an obstacle gets in our way, or we need to take a detour.
It really doesn’t take much to cause a drop in enthusiasm or a dip in energy. We get derailed from our set destination pretty easily when things don’t go our way or the unexpected pops up in front of us.
Motivation slumps, energy depletes, and optimism takes a back seat.
It all sounds really defeating, but we’ve been there before, so we pick ourselves up, we remove that obstacle, and we get back on track, because we are resilient, and we are set on that goal.
It takes grit, it takes strength, it takes a lot of determination. Good news is, you’ve got all of that.
But wouldn’t it be cool if we didn’t have so many setbacks, diversions, and detours on our way to the pot of gold? And what if we could handle them with more ease and flow?
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. What I need is a shortcut!
Well, guess what, prospectors? I’ve got one for you.
I know what you’re saying. “Hold up, Mr. Shortcut Man, Clearly, you don’t know anything about goals or pots of gold. The coins are IN the pot. That is why I’m trying to get there!”
All right, all right, all right. I hear you.
But that is conventional, old-fashioned thinking. And I think it’s time we updated our mindset around this fairytale.
When we set out on our journey to the pot of gold, we see the rainbow, but we can’t see the pot. We hope there is a pot, and we hope it is filled with gold coins. But what if it’s not? There’s no way to be sure, is there?
It’s totally natural to feel this way. After all, you can’t see that pot and you’ve been burned before. And this is what causes so many people to give up on their dreams. Either they don’t start because they doubt it is worth it or they believe they just can’t do it, or somewhere along the way someone or something trips them up and causes them to lose faith.
That is a lot of doom and gloom, and we’re not here for that. We are here for the shortcut. So here it is!
Instead of wishing and hoping that the pot is full of gold, ensure that it is by creating the gold, collecting the coins, and carrying them with you as you journey toward that rainbow-footed vessel.
If I’ve lost you, hang on. I’ll explain.
You see, if you focus on the coins (your positive thoughts, beliefs, and actions), you constantly and consistently build your wealth all along the way.
Because with every step, every coin, every day you are growing your client list, your customer sales, your skillset, your confidence, your relationships, whatever moves you toward your pot of gold (your goal).
That is how you build motivation to reaching your goals — focusing on the steps, not the end, focusing on the process, not the product, focusing on the relationship, not the accomplishment.
Just like the tape at the end of a race holds no value, the pot is useless if it holds no gold.
And here is how you do that. Treat each positive action you accomplish as a little gold coin.
When you do something that moves you in the right direction, you pick up a coin. When you reach a mini milestone, you pick up a coin. When you overcome a setback, you pick up a coin. When you get up and get at it when you really don’t feel like it, you pick up a coin.
By the end of your journey, you’ll have collected hundreds, if not thousands, of little gold coins.
Each positive action, encounter, or outcome is you creating a gold coin. Your job is to collect them and carry them with you.
And here’s the thing. When you create, collect, and carry your gold with you, you’ll have the currency to trade, share, and enjoy when things get tough, someone needs a lift, or you need to spend more time, energy, or money somewhere unexpected.
Those gold coins get you through the tough days. And they show you just how much you’ve already accumulated on your journey.
So, what is the shortcut?
Stop waiting until the journey is complete to appreciate the win, the fun, the joy.
Achieving your goals is not about the end result (the finish line), it is finding ways to fully embrace the steps taken along the way (the race, itself).
Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the wins. Enjoy creating, collecting, and carrying all your gold coins with you so you can use those coins as you like, and then fill that pot at the end of the rainbow.
That is the shortcut to finding your elusive pot of gold, dear prospectors. Fill it yourself to ensure abundance, happiness, and fulfillment.
So, how will you decide to create those gold coins as you strive to achieve your next goal? How will you remember to collect them all along your journey? And how will you use them as you carry them toward that rainbow-footed vessel?
I’m not sure if you realize this or not, but today we’ve unlocked the shortcut to happiness, resilience, and success. By focusing on the journey and not the destination, we’ve created a mindset that takes time to revel, rejoice, and recharge.
You’re not going to find a more effective shortcut for motivation than the one you learned today. Use it wisely and use it daily.
Your Mindful Moment
The goal is not to find the pot of gold. The goal is to collect the gold coins along the journey.Tweet