5 Sacrifices to Reach Your Goals

We know that a critical part of achieving a goal is to take regular action each and every day to move closer to it. Making time for those activities generally requires that we make some sacrifices.

The following is my list of the top 5 sacrifices that, if you identify them as potential time wasters up front, should make your daily planning easier and greatly improve your progress toward your goal.

Turn off the TV

The statistics on how much time we spend, or rather waste, watching TV are astounding. The TV is a fine creation and a nice way to unwind and relax, but we all know that 15 minutes of TV can turn into 2 hours before you know it. There are plenty of ways to relax and unwind, and leaving the TV turned off will put more time back into your week for goal related activities that can change your life.

Beware of the internet

There, I said it. Advice to turn away from the internet, delivered on the internet (kind of ironic, ain’t it?). I’ll admit that surfing my favorite web sites and drifting off to research some less than critical idea on the web are two of my greatest time wasters, so much so that I just have to consciously make myself close the browser window.

Of course, this advice includes Google searches, surfing, FACEBOOK(!), YouTube, blogs and all the rest. We’ve got important work to do, things that can change our lives and the lives of others. Accomplishing those things generally doesn’t involve surfing the internet.

I appreciate how hard it is to manage this, and that’s exactly why it’s #2 on the list. It helps me to remember that we’re looking for progress, not perfection. Less surfing, more goal activity. šŸ™‚

Poorly Planned Day (no list, objectives)

Not having a to do list, agenda or set of objectives for the day is just another opportunity to end up chasing unimportant or unnecessary tasks, instead of those that will move your life and outcomes in the right direction. Having a list of key things you want to get done each day, and working on those tasks first until finished, dramatically improves personal productivity.

Saying “Yes”

Someone is standing in front of you, it’s not a big request, should only take 30 minutes, and you don’t want to say “no”. It happens to all of us, sometimes many times a day. If we say “yes”, we stop doing what we need to be doing, venture of in a different direction, and when we come back it takes 10 minutes just to get back into what we were doing.

The only useful antidote for this time waster is awareness. Staying aware of the list you created in time #3 (above), knowing the important things you need to accomplish today, are essential to making the right decision when someone is trying to divert your attention.


Stephen Covey describes the 4 quadrants of activities are those that are:

  • Urgent
  • Not Urgent
  • Important
  • Not Important

Most of the time, the telephone is classified as a Not Urgent, and frequently Not Important. I know that sales people and other professions are required to spend time on the phone with clients. Time spent talking to real clients about real problems is not what we’re talking about. This time waste involves time on the phone with friends, family, co-workers, you name it – just chatting or killing time. Iā€™m not advocating seclusion, just throwing up red flags for those things can can silently derail your progress and ultimate success.

I know that we each need time to relax, and that’s a critical part of a well balanced day. But web surfing, chatting on the phone, taking interruptions or zoned out on TV can be time wasters whose use result in diminishing who and what you can become. No one’s advocating that they be eliminated, but they are “high risk” zones and should be approached with extreme caution!

You have three great resources: Your time, your money and your energy. Use them all wisely.

Comments are closed.