We often hear about setting goals and achieving results. It’s a science. There are some basic steps involved. Forbes has made achieving your goals a simple four step process:
- Do the research
- Write SMT (specific, measurable and time specific) goals
- Get started
- Achieve and repeat
Most people believe, however, that the big goals aren’t so simple. By big goals we’re not talking about losing a few pounds or cleaning out the garage this weekend. A big goal is something more like writing a book, traveling around the world, or doubling your income.
The average person is effective at accomplishing their smaller goals using the formula above (or whatever method works best for them), but often struggles with “the big goals.” The truth is big goals aren’t any more difficult. They just require more time.
Big goals require a different strategy:
Keep track along the way
It’s important to measure your progress. Big goals take time, and it’s easy to become discouraged. It’s common for most of the results to occur near the end of the process. Perseverance is critical. Measuring your progress provides motivation to keep going.
Since big goals can take a lot of time, it’s important to know that you’re on the right track. Maintaining an awareness of your progress or lack of progress will allow you to change your approach as needed.
Set the priority
Big goals must be a priority. How many times have you set a goal, only to forget all about it in a week? Remind yourself of your goal each day. At the very least, read your goal once per day. Consider reading, writing, and visualizing it twice per day.
Keep a positive mindset
Mental garbage is the biggest obstacle. The thought of making a million dollars might sound great, but there’s also a part of you that feels like you accidently ate a bug. A part of you clenches when you think about accomplishing much more than you’re accustomed to accomplishing. This discomfort is a sign from our subconscious that it’s not entirely on board.
There are many techniques to deal with this discomfort. You can pray or meditate. You can focus on a positive outcome. You can reframe the situation. Do whatever helps you to feel more positive about doing what it takes to achieve the goal.
Positivity and visualization is important. If you can’t visualize the achievement of your goal and feel all in that it will happen, it will be challenging to achieve.
Focus on your habits
Generally if you are making a long term goal a priority, it’s going to take a while. You will need the time and self-discipline to follow it through from beginning to end. Ask yourself prior to starting about the habits you will need to implement to make achieving your goals automatic.
Avoid the belief that huge success is the result of a single, spectacular action. Small changes in behavior and focus can provide the same, impressive results over time. If you find yourself getting frustrated, keep a daily journal of the things you are doing to contribute to the achievement of your goal. It may not seem like you are making much progress, but when you go back and review your journal, you will be able to see how far you’ve come and how much closer you are getting.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, so it’s not fair to expect something amazing to happen in a week. Set a reasonable timetable and relax. Big goals are marathons, not sprints. Read biographies of those that accomplished impressive things. The time and patience spent by our heroes are impressive. Let there stories keep you inspired and motivated to continue.
Practice patience by learning to be patient in everyday situations. We all have plenty of opportunities. Waiting in line, sitting in traffic, or waiting at the doctor’s office are just a few examples. Just relax and breathe. Take time to visualize your the completion of your goal while you wait.
Make sure it matters
Only choose the big goals that are highly meaningful to you. A goal is much easier to achieve if you passionately want to achieve it. Some people bite off more than their motivation can chew. A big goal requires commitment, sacrifice, and time. Avoid goals that belong to someone else, or are someone’s idea of what you should do. You’ll only be wasting your time if you don’t take full ownership.
Big goals are exciting and life changing, but big goals are often avoided because of the perceived likelihood of failure. You may stumble along the way, and that’s okay. Just give yourself some grace, pick yourself up, and continue on. Reflect on what may have caused the stumble, and if it is something within your control, use the lesson for the future.
There is a process to making significant changes in your life. Be clear on your objective and create habits that bring you closer to that objective each day. Measure your results to stay motivated and ensure that you’re making progress. Remember – you’ve got what it takes to reach your first big goal!
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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