Every January, we convince ourselves that this will be our year. We declare this proudly, and share our goals with the world, along with the determination that nothing will stand in our way. Maybe we even take the first tentative steps towards these big shiny goals and then…silence. Sound familiar?
Setting goals is great. I swear by it. However, setting big goals for the year ahead is not enough. Desire and the best of intentions are not enough either. Neither will all the support and encouragement in the world be of much help. Unless you have a certain magical, mystical failproof key which will bring it all together and lead to massive success. Now, at this point, most online celebrities will ask you to buy into a program or buy a book to get the answer. I hate that, because we don’t need to splash the cash on these unless we absolutely want to. Especially in an age where so much great advice and information is available online for free. We already have the key. It’s within all of us.
The name of this key? Careful planning and determined action. It sounds far from the catchy self-help marketing nonsense we get bombarded with, but that’s ok. It works, and that is all that matters. Alone, it works great but with some of the above it can work even better. The uncomfortable truth is that there are no shortcuts to success. You have to really want it, and really work for it.
While I stated that big goals are not enough, they can be a great place to start. It’s what you do with them next that really makes all the difference. Break these big goals down into smaller goals and milestones, each of which will take you one step closer to the desired end result. Add to this some reflection, through which you become aware of your strengths and weaknesses, and the resources available to you. This will help determine your course of action.
Now, you have a plan of action. You have a good idea of what you are capable of doing and how you can go about it. All that remains is to actually do it. Take those steps towards your small goals. Don’t focus on the end result, but just move forward one step at a time. At regular intervals, stop to review your progress so far. It is important to measure how far you have come, and how far you still have to go, as it helps you to remain focused and identify any potential issues which might affect your efforts.
If all you have is a big goal but no idea of how to achieve it, then it isn’t really a goal at all. It’s just a daydream which is never going to become a reality no matter how much you wish for it.
Without a plan, and some determined action, your goals will just remain a dream. You have a choice to make. Do you want to remain a fantasist living in a dreamworld, or are you prepared to wake up and work for what you want?