How To Achieve Your Goals – 10 Mental Strategies

Kauai beauty
This is me in Kauai, Hawaii. One of my goals is to travel… frequently!

1) Start. Even if you think the first effort is going to go poorly. You will improve in time through experience, but you won’t get any experience if you don’t start. The worst thing you can do is try to perfect yourself before attempting. Getting everything right is not as important as making progress.

2) Move forward frequently, at all costs. When you pause, you’ll think about why you’ve paused. You might question your desire to complete the goal, because when you’re doing something important, pausing without a strong reason is madness. But if you dedicate yourself to daily progress, you’ll maintain or build your momentum until you’ve finished the goal.

3) Be hungry to see your goal accomplished. Apathy is a ruthless goal killer. Prevent apathy by frequently reminding yourself why you’re pursuing this goal. Focus on the benefits, but remind yourself that you’ll never see those benefits without effort.

4) Do not over or underthink your goals. Overthinking goals is when you think about the different ways you could take action instead of taking action. Underthinking is when you do meaningless work or make progress in a direction that doesn’t matter. Aim for a balanced approach of preparation and action. Choose a basic plan you think might work and execute. Uncertainty is only a problem for people who lack confidence.

log man
I don’t know what this guy’s goal is, but he is clearly succeeding.

5) Don’t overemphasize the high or low moments of your goal pursuit. When you’re feeling euphoric, you might be better off calm, while steadily chipping away at your target. When you feel there is no hope left, there most certainly is. A balanced emotional state always leads to better progress. Though if you must choose between the two, I’d go with euphoria. 😉

6) Pick the right goal. If you’ve chosen the wrong goal, you’ll have great difficulty completing it. It’s hard enough to accomplish goals you are passionate (or care) about, so a half-dedicated stance won’t work. Take the time to think through your life plans and desired direction to figure out what the best goal is for you right now.

7) Be mentally prepared for setbacks and adversity. They will happen and they’re good for you. Pursuing a goal is one of the best ways to learn persistence, an invaluable life trait. Overcoming adversity is one of the most satisfying feelings you’ll ever experience. The only thing you need to do to be prepared for adversity is to expect it. If you anticipate problems, they won’t surprise you into regression.

8) Anticipate the consequences of success. If you build a successful company, it could mean you’ll have to work long hours and hire and manage employees to scale your business with demand. Every positive change includes downsides. Winning the lottery means your family and friends might start seeing you as their shot at financial freedom. New friends might want your wealth more than your friendship. Yikes. Plan ahead for the new challenges that may come with success and you’ll be better equipped to handle them.

9) Temper your expectations. People tend to glorify the idea of success – if I could only get $1 million… if I could just become famous… Reality can’t compare to a romanticized image.

I just got back from 12 days in Italy – Venice and Rome. It was an amazing experience, but my vision didn’t include mild food poisoning and getting my phone stolen. Since I had the right mindset, these setbacks were pretty minor in my eyes. On my trip to San Francisco earlier this year, I got sick with a fever for three of the ten days. I still had a wonderful time.

In both cases, I was living my goal of traveling the world, but no romanticized image could capture the unexpected highs and lows of each trip. While I believe in setting high expectations for yourself, it’s best to set expectations low for the things you can’t control – the rest of the world!

Life won’t be exactly what you’d expect if you accomplish your goals and your wildest dreams, but it can certainly get better than the present! Look at success with honest, realistic eyes, not romantic ones. Start with number 8 (knowing the consequences of success), and finish with an understanding that happiness is contentment.

10) Don’t Live Someone Else’s Dream. We are constantly being yapped at, by advice, stories, media, opinions, society, and expectations. It can be difficult to hear your own voice in the midst of the chaos. Learn to identify and trust in what YOU want by imagining your life without doubt, expectations, and intimidating barriers. The things you’d do in a world without barriers are the things you should pursue despite the barriers.

Introspection is rarely done in our world of infinite distractions. Be one of the ones who does it.

11) Don’t obsess with finding tricks and secrets. Getting yourself going in the right direction involves a lot of trial and error. It does involve some technique though, and mindset matters, which is what Deep Existence is for. But even after reading the ultimate secret to getting beach abs, guess what? Your abs still won’t look great unless you take action, which is why the number one tip for goals it to start. After you start, you can figure out what works and what doesn’t.

And if you fail, start over with a new strategy. There’s no limit on failure that I know of. Go ahead and fail a thousand times to succeed once. It still counts.

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