Procrastinating is what people normally do. Either there is a big goal or not, more often than not, people are inclined to put things off. According to a research, the reason behind this behaviour is that the goals are somehow not clear enough to see. Added by the lack of understanding on how to deliver the goals, a simple task, like contacting an old client, can take months to do. Even more unsettling is the theory from Robert Brault, the writer of the book titled Round Up the Usual Subjects. He suggests that most people do not reach their big goals and aim for less, instead, merely because the path leading to the lesser goals is more obvious than the road to the big target.
Considering the research finding and the theory, it should be clear for all of us that maintaining such attitude will not get us any closer to achieving the big dreams we have in life. Thus, instead of keeping things the old ways, here are the new steps leading us to attain our biggest goals. You can apply it to any goal you have in life: be it your financial or career goals, or your family and relationships goals.
1. Set clear goals
It is apparent that clarity is important. Without having a clear destination, the route we are taking might just be going around in circles. Therefore, deciding and setting clear goals must be the first priority. It means you’re clear on the next step or two. In addition, being able to see the goals clearly (in your head) will keep you motivated along the (possibly bumpy) road.
2. Dare to explore the unknown
It is commonly known that when it comes to trying and pursuing, we may have to do something that has never been done before. Unfortunately, researchers have found out that adults have higher tendency to the need for security and certainty compared to children. Many fear the unknown. But then again, stepping out of the comfort zone is required to succeed and in that case, being brave enough to explore the unknown is key number two to achieving your biggest goal.
Negative thoughts can be destructive. Far too often we ask ourselves negative “what if” questions like, “What if I fail?” Changing your mindset to think positively will motivate you to continue on your journey.
3. Brainstorm ideas on how
Now that the destination is clear and the fear of the unknown has been overcome, the third thing to do is to think about the possible routes to get there. As the saying that goes ‘there are a lot of ways to get to Rome’, there has got to be more than one possible trick to make dreams come true.
At this stage, it is normal not to have it all clear at once. Instead, to get the complete route(s), you need to be equipped with these elements: checkpoints, timeline, system(s) to keep things measured and focused. It is also okay if you can only come up with the first two checkpoints (for example), the clear goal(s) will guide you to find checkpoint three and the rest.
4. Be open to learn
Should there be the need of mastering some new skills, you should keep an open mind to learn new things. Back in the old days, learning typically involved the presence of a teacher. In this modern era, though, learning comes in various options: online courses, books, academic journals, online publications, tutorial videos, etc. With these many choices, you can choose one that is most suitable to you.
In spite of the availability of various learning options, some people have experienced faster improvement when they take formal or informal training and courses. Should speed be a priority to you and classroom situations match your preference, these suggested guidelines should be put into consideration:
- methods that provide constant, immediate feedback have been proven to accelerate progress
- methods that give opportunities for disciples to directly apply the newly taught skills boost confidence and proficiency
- methods with measurable assessments keep students motivated to make progress
- progress will significantly improve if the learning process is directly related to your interest(s), which goes with the quotation from Albert Einstein saying, “That is the way to learn the most, that when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don’t notice that the time passes.”
One of the institutions that has been known to apply at least the first three guidelines mentioned above is Missionary Training Center (MTC). They use the methods for foreign language classes and the results are so much better than other language courses that quite a lot of universities have adopted the methods. More surprisingly, even the U. S. Army has decided to cooperate with MTC to help soldiers learn foreign languages more effectively.
5. Apply skills, knowledge and experiences in real life
Napoleon Hill once said that “knowledge becomes power only when it is organized into definite plans of action”. For that reason, having clear goals, ideas on how, bravery to try something new and no hesitation to learn will all be in vain without actual implementation.
If you don’t direct your steps towards what you really want now, one day you will realize that you are further from it than you were before. Remember, “The best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago, but the second best time is NOW.”
6. Track the performance
This is a very important part for you to achieve your biggest goals, unfortunately often ignored. You can measure how well you are currently performing, how well you are performing comparative to your goals, and how you think and feel comparative to your goals.
Striving to accomplish big goals is not easy. Most people will give up on their dreams in order to have a clear path to lesser goals. The key to achieving your goal is persistence. Once you decide you want to achieve a big goal, make a decision to never ever give up.