Do you seek instant gratification rather than doing what will actually help you reach your long-term goals?

Instant gratification gives you a false sense of productivity, like when…

  • Accomplishing trivial business tasks
  • Chasing social media likes
  • Investing in the latest stock
  • Online shopping

These activities may satisfy you temporarily. And when you want to get from point A to point Z quickly, looking for shortcuts can seem like the way to go.

The problem with instant gratification is that it can distract you from your long-term goals, vision, and purpose. It can pull you away from the daily tasks that will help you succeed.

Your big goals might involve starting a business, growing an audience, or trying to be healthier. It takes time and patience to build the foundation to reach those goals. Success won’t happen overnight.

If you’ve been struggling to stay on track, here are 5 tips that will help you avoid the pitfalls of instant gratification.

1. Define success for you.

Everyone has a different definition of success. Take time to consider what your goals really are and what reaching them means for you.

For example, do you want your business to be successful? What does that mean? Success for you might mean that you have a million-dollar business. You’ll know you’ve reached your goal when you’ve made a million dollars.

Chances are this will take longer than a week, month, or year. Having a clear definition of success is critical because it will be your compass for your decision-making along the way.

2. Set micro-goals.

Take your long-term goal and break it up into smaller goals that you’ll accomplish quicker. If your goal is to make a million dollars in your business, your micro-goal might be to land a client.

Setting micro-goals that align with your vision of success will keep you focused, energized, and confident about the work you need to do.

And don’t wait 20 years to celebrate your wins! Celebrate each micro-goal you accomplish. This helps remind you that you’re headed in the right direction. Each win means you’re closer to reaching your long-term goal than you were yesterday.

3. Surround yourself with a good team.

The company you keep is an important part of whether or not you reach your goals. Make sure you surround yourself with people who believe in your success, goals, and mission and will help you along the way. This is a great way to ensure you stay committed to your goals if you get off track.

Remember, iron sharpens iron. The better the team you surround yourself with, the better your results will be.

4. Define a set of metrics.

Think of these as your daily vitamins. What can you do every day or week that will bring you closer to success?

Defining a set of metrics ensures that your daily tasks align with your long-term goal so you don’t get off track. And accomplishing these tasks will keep you dedicated when your goal seems too far off in the distance.

5. Serve others.

Serving others helps you stay grounded, keeps you focused on the greater good, and reminds you of what’s most important.

Volunteering your time or expertise to someone in need allows you to think more clearly and stay motivated. Consider what you can give once you achieve your goal!

For tips on how to serve others, even when you don’t think you have the time, check out my article 5 Rewarding Ways to Serve Others Without Burning Out.

Long-Term Gratification

Don’t be afraid of hard work and taking time to build and rebuild your foundation. If you do these 5 things you’ll find yourself more focused, ready to succeed, and moving closer to achieving your goals. You may even reach them faster than if you tried looking for a shortcut.

Want more business tips? Check out The Company We Keep Podcast online or anywhere you listen to podcasts for short episodes where I give advice on business and leadership.