How to Plan and Achieve Your GoalsFeb 19, 2022
So now that you have your goal, you need the plan. To do this, look at where you are now and then look at the things you would need to build the life you are envisioning. For instance, you might find that you need a certain amount of money to realize your dream of traveling.
In that case, you need to look at the options available to you to make that money. Or maybe you want to achieve a certain milestone in your career and you realize that in order to get there, there is a specific amount of experience you would need to acquire first. How can you acquire said experience?
There are many similar examples of how you might go after a particular goal, but the thing to remember in every case is that you need to focus on the smaller steps that are just ahead of you. That might mean the next small promotion. It might mean a small upgrade to your home. It might mean developing any form of small income.
With that in mind, you’re then going to break these smaller goals down even further. Now the objective is to look at the smallest possible steps that you need to take on a daily or weekly basis to get there. So if your goal is to have a body like Brad Pitt, then that smallest daily step is simple: diet and exercise.
Look around, find an exercise and eating plan that works best for you, and then commit to sticking to that every single day without flaw. Likewise, if your goal is to be a top novelist, then your daily goal is going to be to write X amount of words per day. Make the goals easy to accomplish, but in doing so, make sure that they take positive steps in the right direction, even if they are small, baby steps.
This is the key thing, the primary directive. You’re going to imagine that vision and let it motivate you when the times get tough. All that matters is keeping your focus on the daily targeted of the number of words.
To help you visualize this, here is what it basically boils down to:
Dream/Vision (Overarching Goal) > Plan (Stepping Stone Goals) > Daily Target (Daily/ Weekly Goal)
Changing Your Thinking
So why is this shift in thinking so important? The answer is that focusing too much on a distant goal will make you too detached from what it is you’re trying to accomplish.
For instance, if your only ‘goal’ is to become a novelist, then you lack any real structure or any plan.
This is going to make it very hard for you to stick to. It’s very easy for you to get lazy, take shortcuts or even forget all about it. Even if your goal is more specific and time-sensitive, such as losing 30 pounds in 6 months, you are still too detached from it. Why? Because you might still think it’s okay to skip a workout or to cheat on your diet one day and then ‘put off’ the goal.
By the time you have one month left and you still have not lost any weight, you might give up. Or what if you stick to the plan as much as possible but you still don’t see the results you want? How disheartening is that? So, while the end goal is the target, it’s best to focus on just one day at a time.
You either succeed or fail. The choice is entirely up to you. It’s your responsibility and making excuses, lying to yourself, will not help. However, if you keep focusing on accomplishing the smaller, daily goals, you will find that the overall vision will be accomplished because you are steadily getting there with each step you take. It’s like building a house brick by brick, or taking a journey step-by-step.
Some Final Tips
Just to help you stay on track, consider a few pointers.
One: keep your daily targets easy to accomplish. Introduce them slowly. It is better to start to enjoy exercise than letting yourself get burned out by doing too much at once.
Two: keep track of the days you succeed and lose. Jerry Seinfeld uses this technique and calls it ‘the chain’.
Every day that he completes what he sets out to do, he puts a big cross on his calendar. This is rewarding and addictive in and of itself and his desire to ‘not break the chain’ is reportedly enough to keep him from giving up.
Three: use the most practical and proven methods to get where you want to be. You must believe in your plan.
Why are we willing to go into work every day but not work on a plan we enjoy and that could make us richer? Simple: because when we go to work we definitely get paid. You need a similar plan. Something that will definitely help you to get where you need to be.
And finally: don’t get discouraged if you miss one day. The aim of course is to keep going and not skip, but if you slip up, go easy on yourself and resolve to keep going as consistently as possible.