May is the fifth month of the year and is also called National Recommitment Month. It is the time to look back at our New Year’s resolutions, review our goals and commitments, and recommit to what is realistic and important. As we know, resolutions and goals are sometimes hard to keep, especially when we overwhelm ourselves with too many. This month, let’s recommit to no more than five of our professional goals that may have gotten lost in the shuffle since January. Being female entrepreneurs and woman business owners, we have a million and one things to do in order to be successful. I believe to define and then compartmentalize our goals is crucial by placing them into sections or categories. Once we have our goals set, we then need to find ways to stay committed to them for the rest of the year. The difficult task people often face is remaining steadfast in the pursuit of their goals. Success requires discipline, hard work, perseverance, tenacity, will, courage, and faith. Here are some guidelines for staying committed to our goals.
Defining Our Goals
It is important for us to look at each resolution/goal and ask ourselves how will each one help empower us. Dreams are important because they give us a direction to move towards, but they are not the same as goals. Goal and dreams are both aspirational, but goals are more specific. For example, if our dream is to run a world-renowned restaurant, our goal-trajectory might include things like getting accepted and graduating from culinary school, working as a cook in restaurants until we reach the title of chef, finding financial assistance to open a restaurant, and working hard to gain exposure and win accolades from critics and diners. The goals help us achieve the dream. We need to write down our dreams, and then create a plan of specific steps/goals to achieve them. Is our goal-trajectory realistic? Are they attainable? Is the time frame we have set for it a reasonable one? Does it get us closer toward our dreams? After these questions have been answered, we then need to categorize our goals into sections and figure out what we need to do achieve them.
Developing habits that will draw us closer to our goals is an important way to stay consistent. For example, if the goal is to write a novel, we need to create the uninterrupted time to write. Some of the habits we need to develop are turning off the cell phone, putting tablets and other devices away so we can’t surf the web, letting others know we should not be disturbed unless it is an emergency, and creating a quiet place to write. After an average of 30 days, habits can become routine and we can get closer to achieving goals.
When trying to stay committed to a goal, it is important to surround ourselves with success-driven and goal-oriented women whom we can emulate and be accountable to. Here is where mentors can be very valuable. No matter how disciplined we are, being accountable to someone for results makes us take our goals more seriously, especially knowing that someone will be critiquing us and making suggestions. Also, seeing what these women are accomplishing will ignite the motivation in us and empower us to keep working toward our goals.
Develop the Desire to Win
What makes some people pursue their goal with vehement desire while others give up when the going gets tough? It is the insatiable desire to win. Successful people are unrelenting when pursuing their goals. Like all of us, they experience setbacks and failures, but what sets them apart is their ability to get back on track, re-evaluate their goals when necessary, and learn from their mistakes. Those with a desire to win will do this time and time again until they gain the prize that they have been working towards. Successful people believe in themselves and have developed an inner resolve that continually motivates them. They focus on successful images, thoughts, and beliefs. These inner dialogues have the power to cancel out any misgivings that arise in the pursuit of their goals. They model the people who’ve attained similar goals and pursue their own goals with passion.
Celebrate the Small Victories
Focusing on smaller victories along the way gives us the self-confidence we need to forge ahead. It is empowering and a testament that we are on the right path. By making sure our goals are realistic, it brings us closer to victories. We might stumble upon setbacks along the way, but celebrating the things we have accomplished will help keep us going as we pursue the long-term goals.
Recommitment is the idea of continually dedicating oneself to a cause or activity. It is time to check up on those resolutions and goals that we set back at the start of the year. In May, we are almost halfway through the year. It is the perfect time to be encouraged to keep going, and re-dedicate ourselves to our goals so that when December 31st arrives, we can be proud of our efforts and bask in the glow of our achievements, knowing we are that much closer to our dreams.