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5 Ways to Accomplish Your Biggest Goals to The Fullest

5 Ways to Accomplish Your Biggest Goals to The Fullest

If you’re like a lot of people, you have some big dreams.

That’s nothing unique.

Most people have dreams. Most people want to be successful. Most people have things they’d like to accomplish. So, how do you take action and actually reach your goals? How do you separate yourself from the people who continue to hold their dreams in their hearts and never take them to fruition?

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Here’s how to actually reach your biggest goals:

1. Streamline your life.

If you want to achieve your biggest goals, you’ll need space in your life to take action toward those goals. The way to create room in your life is to streamline your life. You’ll need to streamline your schedule and get rid of the unimportant junk to make time to take massive action toward your biggest dreams.

Start by eliminating time-sucking ’empty activities,’ the activities that don’t add value to your life. Carefully evaluate how you are spending your time and determine which tasks you can declutter from your schedule in order to create room to work on your big goals.

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2. Set goals that actually matter to you.

When you set goals that actually matter to you, it’s a lot easier to take massive action to reach those goals. Think about what truly matters to you and what you really want to accomplish during your lifetime. What impact do you want to make on the world? What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? Who do you most want to be as a person? What are you incredibly passionate about? If you’re not sure what lights you up, click here for a free workbook to help you find your passion.

3. Kill your procrastination habit.

If you want to reach big goals, you’ll need to kill your procrastination habit. One way to do this is to spend a few minutes each evening, writing out your schedule for the next day. When you plan in advance how you’ll spend your time, you’ll wake up in the morning knowing exactly what you’re going to do with your day, so you can be sure to take action toward your big goals.

Another great way to kill your procrastination habit is to “eat the frog every morning”. This comes from Mark Twain, who said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Your frog is the task you’ve been procrastinating. It’s the thing you dread, or the action step you need to take that’s out of your comfort zone. As you work toward reaching big goals, you’ll need to eat many frogs along the way. Make a point to eat the frog each morning, and you’ll make massive progress toward your big dreams.

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4. Develop a specific goal-attainment strategy.

It’s important to set specific goals, so you know what your target is. It’s also incredibly important to develop a strategy to actually achieve those goals. For example, if your goal is to run a marathon, what action steps do you need to take? What time of day will you do your training runs?  How will you make room in your life to fit in the workouts? How will you fuel your body? How will you persevere and get through long workouts on days you feel tired or unmotivated? What stretches and strengthening exercises will you perform to help prevent injuries? What training program will you follow, and who can be your accountability partner as you work toward reaching this big goal?

5. Find an accountability partner.

One of the best life hacks to reach big goals is surrounding yourself with people who are also working on big goals. As Jim Rohn said:

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

Are you spending time with people who are inspiring, encouraging, and uplifting? Surround yourself with people who help you become the best version of yourself, and ask someone to be your accountability partner as you both work toward bettering your lives. Knowing that someone is overseeing your progress can help give you that extra boost you need to take massive action on the days when motivation is lacking.

Hopefully you find these strategies as helpful as I have. Keep setting and working toward big goals, and take action every day toward the life of your dreams.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle / www.unsplash.com via hd.unsplash.com

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More by this author

Dr. Kerry Petsinger

Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

Feeling Stuck in Life? How to Never Get Stuck Again 5 Signs You’re Ready for a Career Change How to Find the Purpose of Life and Start Living a Fulfilling Life Don’t like your job? Here are some solutions. How People Make Decisions That Are Bad For Them

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

3 Techniques for Setting Priorities Effectively

3 Techniques for Setting Priorities Effectively

It is easy, in the onrush of life, to become a reactor – to respond to everything that comes up, the moment it comes up, and give it your undivided attention until the next thing comes up.

This is, of course, a recipe for madness. The feeling of loss of control over what you do and when is enough to drive you over the edge, and if that doesn’t get you, the wreckage of unfinished projects you leave in your wake will surely catch up with you.

Having an inbox and processing it in a systematic way can help you gain back some of that control. But once you’ve processed out your inbox and listed all the tasks you need to get cracking on, you still have to figure out what to do the very next instant. On which of those tasks will your time best be spent, and which ones can wait?

When we don’t set priorities, we tend to follow the path of least resistance. (And following the path of least resistance, as the late, great Utah Phillips reminded us, is what makes the river crooked!) That is, we’ll pick and sort through the things we need to do and work on the easiest ones – leaving the more difficult and less fun tasks for a “later” that, in many cases, never comes – or, worse, comes just before the action needs to be finished, throwing us into a whirlwind of activity, stress, and regret.

This is why setting priorities is so important.

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3 Effective Approaches to Set Priorities

There are three basic approaches to setting priorities, each of which probably suits different kinds of personalities. The first is for procrastinators, people who put off unpleasant tasks. The second is for people who thrive on accomplishment, who need a stream of small victories to get through the day. And the third is for the more analytic types, who need to know that they’re working on the objectively most important thing possible at this moment. In order, then, they are:

1. Eat a Frog

There’s an old saying to the effect that if you wake up in the morning and eat a live frog, you can go through the day knowing that the worst thing that can possibly happen to you that day has already passed. In other words, the day can only get better!

Popularized in Brian Tracy’s book Eat That Frog!, the idea here is that you tackle the biggest, hardest, and least appealing task first thing every day, so you can move through the rest of the day knowing that the worst has already passed.

When you’ve got a fat old frog on your plate, you’ve really got to knuckle down. Another old saying says that when you’ve got to eat a frog, don’t spend too much time looking at it! It pays to keep this in mind if you’re the kind of person that procrastinates by “planning your attack” and “psyching yourself up” for half the day. Just open wide and chomp that frog, buddy! Otherwise, you’ll almost surely talk yourself out of doing anything at all.

2. Move Big Rocks

Maybe you’re not a procrastinator so much as a fiddler, someone who fills her or his time fussing over little tasks. You’re busy busy busy all the time, but somehow, nothing important ever seems to get done.

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You need the wisdom of the pickle jar. Take a pickle jar and fill it up with sand. Now try to put a handful of rocks in there. You can’t, right? There’s no room.

If it’s important to put the rocks in the jar, you’ve got to put the rocks in first. Fill the jar with rocks, now try pouring in some pebbles. See how they roll in and fill up the available space? Now throw in a couple handfuls of gravel. Again, it slides right into the cracks. Finally, pour in some sand.

For the metaphorically impaired, the pickle jar is all the time you have in a day. You can fill it up with meaningless little busy-work tasks, leaving no room for the big stuff, or you can do the big stuff first, then the smaller stuff, and finally fill in the spare moments with the useless stuff.

To put it into practice, sit down tonight before you go to bed and write down the three most important tasks you have to get done tomorrow. Don’t try to fit everything you need, or think you need, to do, just the three most important ones.

In the morning, take out your list and attack the first “Big Rock”. Work on it until it’s done or you can’t make any further progress. Then move on to the second, and then the third. Once you’ve finished them all, you can start in with the little stuff, knowing you’ve made good progress on all the big stuff. And if you don’t get to the little stuff? You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you accomplished three big things. At the end of the day, nobody’s ever wished they’d spent more time arranging their pencil drawer instead of writing their novel, or printing mailing labels instead of landing a big client.

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3. Covey Quadrants

If you just can’t relax unless you absolutely know you’re working on the most important thing you could be working on at every instant, Stephen Covey’s quadrant system as written in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change might be for you.

Covey suggests you divide a piece of paper into four sections, drawing a line across and a line from top to bottom. Into each of those quadrants, you put your tasks according to whether they are:

  1. Important and Urgent
  2. Important and Not Urgent
  3. Not Important but Urgent
  4. Not Important and Not Urgent

    The quadrant III and IV stuff is where we get bogged down in the trivial: phone calls, interruptions, meetings (QIII) and busy work, shooting the breeze, and other time wasters (QIV). Although some of this stuff might have some social value, if it interferes with your ability to do the things that are important to you, they need to go.

    Quadrant I and II are the tasks that are important to us. QI are crises, impending deadlines, and other work that needs to be done right now or terrible things will happen. If you’re really on top of your time management, you can minimize Q1 tasks, but you can never eliminate them – a car accident, someone getting ill, a natural disaster, these things all demand immediate action and are rarely planned for.

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    You’d like to spend as much time as possible in Quadrant II, plugging away at tasks that are important with plenty of time to really get into them and do the best possible job. This is the stuff that the QIII and QIV stuff takes time away from, so after you’ve plotted out your tasks on the Covey quadrant grid, according to your own sense of what’s important and what isn’t, work as much as possible on items in Quadrant II (and Quadrant I tasks when they arise).

    Getting to Know You

    Spend some time trying each of these approaches on for size. It’s hard to say what might work best for any given person – what fits one like a glove will be too binding and restrictive for another, and too loose and unstructured for a third. You’ll find you also need to spend some time figuring out what makes something important to you – what goals are your actions intended to move you towards.

    In the end, setting priorities is an exercise in self-knowledge. You need to know what tasks you’ll treat as a pleasure and which ones like torture, what tasks lead to your objectives and which ones lead you astray or, at best, have you spinning your wheels and going nowhere.

    These three are the best-known and most time-tested strategies out there, but maybe you’ve got a different idea you’d like to share? Tell us how you set your priorities in the comments.

    More Tips for Effective Prioritization

    Featured photo credit: Mille Sanders via unsplash.com

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