When you think of a year having 365 days, or 52 weeks, you would think that you have ample time to achieve your goals.

Add to that the life expectancy in the US of 78.6 years and you have lots of time. Right?

If you have all that time—a lot of time indeed—how come you don’t get to achieve those things you set your heart upon? How come the end of the year comes upon you so suddenly like a thief?

Is it a lack of planning? Is it the lack of good goals, smart goals or realistic goals?

And if so, then which goals are realistic? And just who gets to decide this anyway?

The fact that some people have achieved what the majority think is impossible is evidence that goals are individual.

For that reason, a “realistic” goal is only as realistic as you determine it to be.

Consider the below examples of people who beat all odds to achieve what they wanted in life.

  • Stephen Hawking beat disabilities and battled Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis to continue with research and teaching using electronic devices. He had to train his mind to do things differently.
  • Marla Runyan, legally blind from childhood, never stopped education. And when she joined sports, she came out with 5 gold medals for the Paralympics, has run in the Olympics and several marathons.
  • Dominic O’Brien became an 8-time World Memory Champion with a Guinness World Record for memorizing the order of 54 shuffled packs of playing cards (2,808 cards) after viewing them just once. He also got the Brain of the Year and the Grand Master of Memory awards.
  • Soichiro Honda left home at 15, worked as an apprentice for 6 years then started his own auto repair business at 22. Forming the Honda Motor Company while 42, it only took him 10 years for his company to become a leading motorcycle manufacturer in the world.

Aren’t these the kind of people who motivate you? Aren’t their stories the ones which make you want to strip your life of everything and run towards your goal with 100% focus?

But somehow, you don’t do that.

Many reasons can be given for that. Maybe some of them are excuses.

The Need for Goals in Life

Despite all the different philosophies and theories, one fact stands unopposed. You must have goals in life.

This is not for the sake of fitting in. Many people have new year’s resolutions but few achieve them. So get out of the mob psychology and have a solid reason as to why you need new year’s resolutions.

Life is a journey and never a destination.

That means that you should not only think of life in terms of where you are going, but also how you get there. What you go through to get there.

The challenges and victories. These are important and they are what define life.

A failure to appreciate the journey makes you lose the strength to get to the destination.

This is why you may be giving up so often because you face challenges.

The problem is that you expect not to face challenges. Yet those challenges are what make you the right person for the destination.

Have you ever noticed that only a certain kind of people are in certain places?

Look at successful business people. If you look into their lives, you’ll notice that they have some similarities. Yes, they have their differences but some things are common across the board.

Look into the private lives of successful sportsmen and women. Ignore the scandals some of them are faced with. Do you know that they develop themselves for the success?

That development comes through appreciating the journey. They embrace the challenges and work through them.

So, the journey is important. But the destination is also important.

Why?

Because it is what determines the journey you take.

The destination determines the path you take. If going to the coffee shop, you can walk.

But if going to another continent, you fly.

Those are two different journeys and they are determined by the destination.

NEW YEAR CAREER RESOLUTIONS

In making new year’s resolutions, decide one thing this time round. You will embrace the journey. You will fight to get to the destination but will also appreciate everything that comes your way.

As you make your very personal career resolutions, here are some foundational ones to consider. These are not necessarily telling you how to make your career better.

They are telling you the ingredients to ensuring the resolutions you make work.

As you go through these, you’ll see how they tie in with the rest of your goals.

Learn from the Past

Being in your 30s is very different from being in your 20s. You are more than a decade older now. Congratulations.

So, are you better than you had been in the past decade? If you started working at 25, how have you progressed this far? Can you pinpoint specific moments of victory and loss?

One of the most important things about progress is learning. You can never outgrow learning. Even in old age, with gray hair, there will still be something to learn.

You can however stop learning if you decide there is no need for it. Fortunately, you haven’t gotten to that point, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.

To learn from the past, consider the below:

1. What worked

You have definitely experienced victories in your life this far. But did you take time to find out just how you attained those successes? Did you think about the processes you followed? Did you give thought to the challenges you faced and how you overcame them?

This is the right time to do this in case you didn’t. You see, in your 30s, you have tried what you first believed and now have an opportunity to make appropriate changes. If you noticed some methods or tools working well, then stick to those.

But as you do, try and improve them. See where they fall short and strengthen them accordingly. Because if you are serious about achieving your life goals, more challenges lie ahead.

2. What didn’t work

From all the things you tried and have been trying, you must have noticed that some just never work. Maybe you’ve been using methods someone told you worked for them, even though they don’t work for you. It might be time to drop them.

When you try fitting yourself into something which isn’t really fitting, you are actually working towards your own failure.

The biggest thing you are risking is your confidence levels. You are trying to please the person by applying his advice even though it’s not working.

Don’t waste any more time. Look for what works for you and embrace it.

You can ask more people how they do things. You can check online for opinions and reviews.

Better still, you can utilize your creativity and come up with unique ways of getting ahead.

Work on Your Financial Discipline

Money is not everything. It is not the measure of success. Noble examples like Mother Teresa prove this.

But that doesn’t mean that money is not important. In fact, anyone claiming that money is not important will be lying. No-one wants to live in poverty. And yes, poverty is not the lack of money. It is mainly a mentality issue.

But there is more to money that this.

Diving slightly deeper, money does more than buying food. It does more than buying a good home and obviously, it takes care of many problems.

Financial Life

Source: PersonalFN

For career purposes, money is necessary for further schooling. It is necessary for dressing like the professional you are, or intend to be. It is necessary for networking in certain circles. This list can be long, but you get the idea.

Yet money is not self-managing. It doesn’t have the ability to teach you how best to use it. Unless you use it to learn how to use it.

More than that, you just need to mismanage your finances to see what trouble you can get into.

Financial impropriety at a personal level can be career wrecking. The levels of stress resulting from it won’t help but show up in the office.

If you are struggling to foot your bills, you will not be able to concentrate at work. Meaning you won’t be productive at all due to high stress levels.

Is there any way your career will grow in such an environment? Very unlikely.

Compare that to the confidence levels you gain when you know that you are not in debt. When you freely help out friends when they are in need.

When you know that being fired can’t scare you since you have big savings. When you get email updates about the growth of your investments.

This confidence is great for a boost in career success.

Check your expenses. Have some savings and invest some money. Get yourself covered and see the peace you have while chasing your dreams.

Find a Mentor

Are you humble enough to learn from others?

It’s said that experience is the best teacher. But if you are keen enough, you’ll realize that this is not always true.

When you make mistakes in your investments and lose your money, is this the best way for you to learn how to invest?

No.

It would have been better if someone walked you through the dos and don’ts and told you how to go about it.

If that happened, then maybe you needed someone who would go the extra mile to teach you what to look for in an investment option.

Maybe which investment vehicles are best for your situation.

Now, finding such people is not easy. And though you may know some, reaching them might be your biggest problem.

You still have to get through the fears of asking them to mentor you.

Because the truth is that not every expert is open to mentoring others.

So what do you do?

Here are two ideas you can try:

1. Approach them from a business perspective

One thing common with all experts is that they worked hard to become who they are. As such, you cannot get them to work with you if you don’t show value for their expertise.

The reason people pay for mentorship is that they understand the value. They are willing to pay for personal guidance and since it cost them, they apply it.

Often, what costs you nothing carries very little value to you. So when you approach a potential mentor from this perspective, he sees your need for help. You can be sure you’ll get more than you pay for if you are proactive.

2. Learn from them behind the scenes

Of course, not everyone who can’t afford conferences is simply not valuing good advice. You might understand the value of what you want but can’t prove it in terms of money at the moment.

If this is you, cheer up. Where there is a will, there is a way. But there is still a cost involved, albeit less than the above option calls for.

Get to the internet and search up the mentor of your choice. Get to his website and read the material he has there.

Check him out on YouTube and follow him on social media. Experts always give tips and so much insight even in tweets. This is because they are full of the knowledge so it just flows out of them.

This is what you will harvest. Since you understand the value, you will put it to use.

Another avenue for gaining insight from your mentor is by reading his books. Books contain more than what someone can share on a platform.

From a book, you can learn the challenges your mentor went through and be encouraged.

So, if by some chance you can’t get your favorite mentor to physically walk with you, do it virtually. This is how many experts themselves grow.

They learn from each other through many means, including reading their books.

Work on Your Health

You have your eyes set on improving your career. But have you considered improving your health?

Do not ignore your health. It is your body that works. It is your mind that thinks through problems and comes up with solutions.

It is your eyes which help you read reports and emails. It is your heart that distributes nutrients throughout your body using pumped blood.

Can you really afford to neglect the body that does all these and many other things? The answer is no. Here are three things to work on:

1. Food

There has been lots of talk about healthy eating. And there is need for more talk about it. But more importantly, there is need for people to start applying the information they gather from the talks and seminars.

Eating healthy is not difficult. It just needs some dedication. Dedication to do away with white rice and embrace brown rice. Avoid white bread and take brown or wholemeal.

As far as grains are concerned, just do away with anything white and embrace brown, or even better, whole.

Taking fruits and increasing your vegetable intake is quite obvious. Here is a list of nutrients found in popular vegetables. And here is one for popular fruits.

Do not ignore the need to take proteins. If conscious of your weight, which is a good thing, go lean. Use steak instead of the usual beef because the fat in it is not good.

Take the healthy fat from oily fish and get better eyes and brain cells.

2. Water

If water making up to 60% of your body doesn’t tell you its importance, then you need help. Dehydration affects your brain’s functioning and your muscles too.

Also of importance here is the fact that water helps detoxify your body. This body which works so hard to get you to your goals, has some things it needs to get rid of. Without water, your excretory system will not function well enough.

Water

Source: USGS

Not taking water is an easy way of slowing yourself down. Yet you’re expecting to achieve your new year’s resolutions.

3. Exercise

Ignore the toned body and the protruding muscles which serve as proof of how strong you are. Do you know there are more benefits to exercising than these?

Do not focus on muscles only. For wholesome success, you have to gain the inward benefits of exercising too.

These happen in the mind, heart and yes, body muscles. When your heart is strong, it does its job well. Commit to improving the strength and overall health of your heart through cardiac exercises.

Your mind will need mental exercises while your body will do well with physical exercise.

Still, physical workout benefits both your heart and mind, even as your muscles gain from it.

Divide Your Goals Into Short And Long Term

Your goals should be big. In fact, they should be so big that they are scary. If they are not, then you may not be someone worth remembering.

Look at the people mentioned at the beginning of this article. They have achieved serious goals and that has given them much popularity.

We are not telling you to seek popularity. We are just pointing out that the reason these people are popular is the kind of goals they achieved.

But as good and admirable as big goals and dreams are, they cannot be achieved as they are. This is one of the reasons many people don’t move forward.

They listen to successful people talk and want to be like them.

Then they develop a desire to succeed quickly. They want big results fast.

This is why at the beginning, we told you that you have to anticipate and appreciate the journey.

Your big goals need to be broken down in order to be worked on.

For example, your big goal may be to have the biggest online marketing business in the country. You will never achieve this goal as it is.

This is because there is so much to be done to get there.

You may not even understand half of what needs to be done, yet it has to be done.

For this big goal, you need to have smaller ones—your short-term goals.

These can include building a website, building an online presence through social media, market research, learning copywriting or hiring copywriters etc.

CONCLUSION

You have no excuse to lag behind.

Whether you already made your new year’s resolutions or want to do it now, pick something from here.

Implement it alongside the resolutions you come up with. In so doing, you will ensure that before you hit 40, you have much to be proud of.

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