Photo credit: Sabri Tuzcu, 

Every one of us has a project we’ve never completed. We get so excited and prepared to accomplish a goal such as getting in shape or finally tackling a home improvement project. Yet, after starting with such fervor, our energy wanes. We begin to lose sight of the goal and make excuses for our lack of progress.

Soon enough, those brand-new workout clothes are sitting untouched in the closet and your garage is filled with unused tools and supplies.

Other remnants of unaccomplished goals come as emotional and mental baggage and this affects the way that we approach our goals. We can’t understand why the finish line is always out of reach, so we make excuses, accept mediocrity, and continually give our power away.

We tend to “play small” in many ways because we’ve accepted that we can’t have the things we truly desire.

Why do we start things and never finish? What drives us to make commitments with which we don’t follow through?

It’s largely because we act in response to our emotions. Making decisions and leading ourselves is not logical, it’s physiological. When we buy a $1,000 piece of workout equipment, it’s not typically because someone offered a solid business case and return on our investment. Making an impulsive purchase is similar to making a commitment to change without a plan to follow through.

We’re so focused on the “what” that we don’t think through the “how”.

The other challenge is a lack of accountability. When we don’t remain accountable for our actions, we easily get derailed from accomplishing our goals. Change can be challenging, and without choosing to live intentionally and on-purpose each day, we can quickly fall back into old habits.

While derailing from our goals is common, it’s not a guaranteed conclusion.

Here are five techniques that will help you make the necessary changes to live a life you love:

Have clear daily intentions. Daily intentions are the actions and behaviors that you’ve determined are essential to reaching your goals. With defined actions in mind, you can measure your effort toward completing each of those actions daily.

Remain grateful. In the hustle of life, we’ll often focus only on the things or relationships that we don’t have. Writing down just a few things per week – even the simplest things – forces us to be mindful of the good things in life we’d otherwise take for granted. If you really want to stretch yourself, express gratitude for someone you don’t particularly care for and see if you can find something to appreciate!

Respond, don’t react. What are the things that push your buttons? When we encounter these “triggers” our first response is rarely the one that serves us best. If you understand what causes your emotional hijacking (i.e. giving away your power, reacting instead of responding, etc.), you can spot trends and disrupt patterns that aren’t serving you well.

Live a less judgmental existence. Every person inherently judges. Whether declaring something as good, bad, right or wrong, passing judgment places a finite label on things and limits our options. Non-judgment leaves us open to influence, allows new insights to emerge, and gives us infinite possibilities.

Share your progress. The importance of setting goals is no secret. Well-crafted goals are a reflection of what we truly want. Keeping accountability is a significant factor for those who set out to as well as intend to achieve their goals. Being accountable to something means that you’re willing to make commitments and be responsible for your actions. Accountability builds trust, promotes ownership, and inspires confidence.

Regardless of what we want for ourselves many of us simply state our goals, but fail to set deadlines and track our progress towards achieving them. Sharing your progress can significantly increase your chance of success, while garnering support from key stakeholders in your life. Find someone who understands your goals, reminds you of your daily intentions, encourages you through tough patches, and celebrates your victories.

Utilizing these five techniques every day will help you achieve a heightened state of self-awareness, accountability, and ultimately, success. Even just one of these things can change your life, but when using them together they become exponentially more powerful in crafting how you “show up” in life — both on good days and under stress.

One way to keep these techniques fresh on your mind is by integrating them into your digital life. Try using Coach Companion, an app that combines goals, accountability, and strategy into one easy-to-use digital platform. Coach Companion is a tool for all who are looking for new and effective ways to achieve success in things that are important to them.

Often times, when we find that we aren’t achieving the results that we desire, we realize that the goal isn’t the challenge… it’s the strategy that needs to be evaluated. And because we all define success differently, it makes sense that we would each have our own methods and processes for creating our strategies and the associated metrics to track our progress.

At the end of the day, there are two options…make progress or make excuses. What are you going to do? Comment below and let’s keep the conversation going!