Everyone has goals. Some are big and lofty, while others may seem like small desires. No matter their size, your goals can become a reality if you believe in them and develop a process to reach them.
Goals are incredibly important to success. While most of us know that, the pressures of everyday life can make it difficult to focus on our ambitions. This issue can lead to frustration and a feeling of being stuck.
So what does it take to achieve your goal and make unbelievable things happen?
Here are the simple ways that will help you to attain your most epic ambitions seem possible.
- Know Your “Why”
Most of us realize that reaching a goal is an achievement worthy of pride and even praise. Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “Know your ‘why’.” Your “why” is your reason for pursuing a certain activity or objective.
Having a vision or a why is actually quite crucial to efficient goal-setting. Believe it or not, setting objectives without attaching them to an overarching concept can actually be demotivating. Simply reaching a series of unrelated targets might be satisfying in the short-term, but it can actually cause frustration in the long run. You may begin to wonder what you’re really gaining from your work, dedication, and time when accomplishing a set mark doesn’t seem to have taken you anywhere or gotten you anything of significance.
Remember, your vision is your life’s purpose. It’s your passion, your values and your inspiration. Your vision is your why. Having a vision is what helps to motivate you throughout the hard times.
- Know The Difference Between Vision And Goals
Vision is what gives your goals direction. It’s a clear picture of what you want your future to be. In determining what you want your future to be, you’re actually defining your life’s purpose. It is integral to achieving the kinds of lofty goals and big dreams you truly desire.
While goals should be incredibly specific, a life’s vision can be broader.
In fact, your vision can be as simple as the desire to lead a healthy life, filled with love and one in which you are financially comfortable. A vision doesn’t have to be incredibly detailed to be effective… It does, however, need to be clear. For example, knowing the type of job you’d like to have and the sorts of activities you hope to perform in that gig might be enough to give you insight into the education and skills you’ll need to develop. Those two specific items can then be added to your list of goals.
On the other hand, goals are actually smaller parts of your vision. They’re what you declare you will need to accomplish to attain that greater dream of yours. Goals are not less important than the overall vision itself. However, they really can’t be efficient or useful without an overarching purpose. Your vision is that purpose. It’s the reason behind all of the goals you set.
So now you can see that a vision is the framework that goals fit within. It is the catalyst that drives your goals. Your vision is your why. Goals are the pieces that fit into the larger puzzle that is your vision. Each goal fulfilled brings you one step closer to your purpose and the life you dream of living.
- Your Vision Must Be Clear
Lack of clarity in your vision is a sure-fire way to struggle when working to achieve your goals. That vision is your map, essentially. If you don’t have a thorough understanding of your dream, you’re likely to get lost on your way to reaching it. A cloudy view of one’s purpose is one of the biggest contributors to goals that go astray. It’s easy to become distracted and to find yourself veering off course if you’re wishy-washy with regard to recognizing your ultimate plan. You’ll significantly increase your chances of fulfilling your dream when you are crystal clear on just what that dream entails.
Establishing a clear vision helps to provide you with a sense of purpose and even aids in cementing your overall identity. You’ll have a greater sense of who you are when you feel confident in your understanding of where you want to go. This increased self-knowledge and full awareness of what you desire out of life will provide the motivation you need to stick with your goals. Start living your vision. Practice seeing your future self and begin acting as though your dreams are already a reality.
- Make A Plan
A plan isn’t that difficult to develop when you break it down into its smaller parts. Remember, you’ve done the tough brainstorming in creating your vision. Now you just use that vision as a framework for putting the pieces in place. Your plan will give you detailed information on what needs to happen in order to achieve your greater target. It’s your plan that lays out each step you’ll need to take. Work the plan, and you’ll achieve the dream. When you hit a bump in the road, you don’t have to stress out. Simply refer back to your plan, then find the quickest way to move back to it. Your plan is the foundation for your life’s purpose.
- Break It Down
Now it’s time to get down to the essentials of building a strong strategy. This is time to get specific. It’s okay for your vision to be a bit broader. It can be built upon and refined over time as the details begin to fall into place. These details are what’s needed in order for everything to come together. Tips to help you implement specifics into your planning include:
- incorporating time frames
- deciding who will help you, or be affected by your actions
- figuring out what resources you’ll need
- determining where to obtain those resources
- knowing how you will measure your progress.
Adding as many particulars to your plan as possible will increase its chance of success and help you to stay on course.
You should be recording your plan, either with pen and paper or digitally. You’ll want to refer back to it as a reminder or as an accountability tool to be sure you’re on track. Break it down further by writing an action plan for each and every goal you decide to pursue. Knowing how you will get there is half the battle. Don’t let this intimidate you. Writing out a plan for each goal isn’t overwhelming. It actually helps you to narrow your focus and avoid that feeling of an endeavor being too big to conquer.
The important thing to keep in mind is to be as specific as possible, to research anything you don’t know or fully understand and to list it out step-by-step. Being clear about your goals and their progression is just as crucial to your success as your clarity of vision.
- Make Your Goals Time-Bound
Once you’ve set a specific goal or two and started to create your plan, you’ll want to continue breaking it down by adding a time frame to follow. Skipping this step is what allows so many of us to let even our most-wanted ambitions fall by the wayside. Knowing when you want to accomplish your task and setting benchmarks for completing each step along the way will increase your chances of seeing it through until the end.
For some people, even the idea of setting a time frame can send them into a paralysis of fear. It really is a simpler thing than it seems. Just use your best judgment to make a guess of the date of completion and benchmarks for your goal. This doesn’t have to be set in stone. You can adjust them accordingly or change them entirely if need be. So you can actually expect to make some changes along the way as you monitor your progress. Try not to get caught up in thinking everything has to be ultra-precise. Specific is good. Rigid is a recipe for disaster.
- Break It Down into Daily Tasks
To take even more of the pressure off of setting deadlines, you can actually add something to your to-do list each day when it comes to your plan of action. You’ll feel so much more proactive and productive when you do this. Setting up daily tasks is a particularly effective strategy for those who are easily overwhelmed by giant-seeming goals. It’s all about working the plan, remember? Taking very small actions each day might be a more manageable way for you to approach your plan, and that’s perfectly okay.
In all honesty, it’s actually a great thing. Setting daily to-dos gives you laser focus. Completing one small piece of the puzzle is fairly easy, but the confidence you gain after getting a few things checked off your list can be incredibly motivational. You’ll want to keep the momentum going by completing more and more ticks off of your to-do list.
- Work the Plan and Revise as Needed
Different sized goals require different evaluation periods, but in general, every few weeks should be a good interval. Check your progress every three weeks or so by pulling out your calendar, journal or digital app. See what you wrote down as your goal posts and determine whether you’ve reached them or if you’ve somehow fallen behind. This step may require a bit of analysis, which is fine. Take the time you need to figure out what may have impacted your progress. Even if you’re right on schedule, it’s a good idea to assess the actions that led you to be so successful. That way, you can repeat them.
Dreaming big and reaching those lofty goals of yours really is as simple as creating a plan and working it daily.
By adhering to the structures set forth in this guide, you’ll soon find it’s not nearly as intimidating as you once believed. It can even be incredibly fun to set challenges for yourself and to knock each one off your list.