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Published on January 4, 2021

6 Strategic Ways to Aim High and Achieve Your Goals

6 Strategic Ways to Aim High and Achieve Your Goals

Learning to aim high is ideal for any leader who has the ambition to win big. Unless winning small is your target, aiming high is the only option you should consider as an impactful leader looking to make a mark in your field.

How exactly can you strategically aim high, achieve your goals, and benefit from the fruits of true excellence?

It is hard to go wrong when developing small micro habits, executing daily tasks, tracking your progress and thinking long term[1]. Self-improvement is directly related to one’s ability to aim high because of the fluidity of the capitalist system[2].

I’m not aware of any professional who aims high and stops learning and developing new skill sets. Life evolves, and skill sets get obsolete. New demands are born. Challenges arise. Therefore, proactive continuous leadership improvement is necessary, expected, and beneficial to us all.

Gordon Tredgold, Founder and CEO of Leadership principles, stated that the secret to success is aiming high, following by starting small and keep going. He goes further to say that, “Big success are often just an accumulation of small successes.”[3]

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In this article, you will learn why small micro habits, executing daily tasks, tracking your progress long term, continuous self improvement, and the accumulation of small successes are powerful strategic footsteps for aiming high in the workforce.

Why You Should Strategically Aim High

Simply put, aiming low and failing isn’t worth living for. What a waste of time and talent it would be for anyone to ignore strategy and avoid aiming high and risking failure over success.

Learning to aim high must be your only stance when setting up life career goals if you truly want to live with passion and purpose.

6 Strategic Ways to Aim High and Achieve Your Goals

To aim high and achieve you goals, you must be strategic. Do these following activities, adapt them to your field, and test and see if they work for you. The following is exactly what I do to keep achieving high and living a life of purpose and continuous achievement.

1. Developing Small Micro Habits

You must first develop the ability to start micro habits, like curating your sphere of influence[4].

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The people you associate yourself with make a big difference in your life. Dr. Jose Valentino Ruiz-Resto, a University of Florida Music Entrepreneurship faculty member and Multi-Grammy and Emmy Award Winner, once said, “When you associate yourself with winners, you become a winner.”

Who is in your immediate sphere of influence? It’s important to know the answer to this because they will influence both your personality and path in life.

Other small but important micro habits are taking actions when others don’t, observing patterns, and starting each day by asking: “How can I change my life today?”

2. Executing Daily Tasks

In order to aim high and succeed, you need a plan and a course of action. The goal, in my current position as Department Chair, is to build the very best department of media production among Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the state of Alabama. My plan is to develop the necessary infrastructure, e.g. having modern facilities, an up-to-date media curriculum, a place for students to congregate, etc.

In order to accomplish all of this, I must execute a variety of daily tasks, including answering emails relating to the vision of the unit, speaking with students in order to gather important youth insights, revising old and writing new syllabi objectives, and creating partnerships on campus to increase cross-collaboration.

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Even if you have big, long-term goals, the daily tasks that you engage in each day will ultimately be what allows you to achieve them. Don’t get lost in big ideas and forget the importance of small tasks.

3. Tracking Your Progress in the Long-Term

Aiming high is almost always synonymous with aiming long-term. Achieving the extraordinary is a lifetime pursuit that takes time and must be measured against a particular standard overtime. Malcolm Gladwell, author of the book The Tipping Point, stated that “Researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: 10,000 hours.”[5]

While some scholars disagree with the actual number (10,000 hours), they do agree that a considerable amount of time is required for expertise to be developed. Leaders who aim high and succeed keep an up-to-date spreadsheet with data tracking the time spent on each task, along with progress made.

Project analytics is critical in the process because when variables are measured over time, trends (positive and negative) emerge, leading to insightful conclusions. This can help you adjust your goals as you go.

4. Continuous Self-Improvement

Tiger Woods, in his quest for self-improvement, “would get up in the morning and run four miles. After that, he’d go to the gym to lift weights. Then, he’d hit some balls for two or three hours, go play around, and then work on his short game.”[6]

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Some may consider his routine insane, but none disagree that Tiger Woods aimed very high and succeeded in his golf endeavors. He has been known for always trying to improve, even after winning multiple major open golf championships.

It’s clear to me that Tiger understood kaizen, the Japanese philosophy and practice for continuous improvement. It’s without question a requisite for aiming high and succeeding.

5. Accumulation of Small Successes

Aiming high and succeeding starts with taking the first step and accumulating small victories along the way. Let’s take the example of a journey to get a PhD. A PhD isn’t earned quickly or all at once. It is achieved over time through small successes.

It starts with getting accepted to a PhD program, followed by becoming a PhD candidate, passing coursework, to eventually being able to take “the comps” and start working on a doctoral dissertation. It is only after the former that a candidate has the chance to complete the degree through a dissertation defense.

Another great example comes from Chrysler. The great Lee Iacocca revived Chrysler Corporation in the 1980’s[7] by accumulating small successes which allowed his to acquire the Jeep Division of AMC in 1987. Great corporate leaders aim high and succeed by accumulating small successes along the way, and you can, too.

Final Thoughts

To aim high is a philosophy worth pursuing. When implemented with sound and previously tested strategies, success is within reach. Above are just some of the strategies you might want to put in practice in your leadership bag of tricks. Higher standards emerge from such principles, and success follows the results.

More on How to Achieve Success

Featured photo credit: Joseph Chan via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Dr. Luis C. Almeida

Department Chair

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Last Updated on March 2, 2021

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Overcome Your Fear

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Overcome Your Fear

The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success.

1. Become Aware of What’s Outside of Your Comfort Zone

What are the things that you believe are worth doing but, are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts but, your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

2. Become Clear About What You Are Aiming to Overcome

Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your look? Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

3. Get Comfortable with Discomfort

One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

Here’re some tips to help you: How to Overcome Your Resistance to Change for a Better Self

4. See Failure as a Teacher

Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Check out these 10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On.

Also, grab The Foolproof Guide To Reaching Your Goals This Year. It’s a free guide that can help you to learn from your past mistakes and failures so you can move on to reach your goal. Get your free guide here.

5. Take Baby Steps

Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps: The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

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6. Hang out with Risk Takers

There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. Almost inevitably, their influence will start to have an effect on your behavior.

Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful.

7. Be Honest with Yourself When You Are Trying to Make Excuses

Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

8. Identify How Stepping out Will Benefit You

What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

9. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

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If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

10. Focus on the Fun

Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

Final Thoughts

It will seem really scary at first to get out of your comfort zone. But as I said, you don’t need to jump right out of your comfort zone at once, you can take baby steps gradually.

As you slowly push past your comfort zone, you’ll feel more and more at ease about the new stuff which seemed so dangerous to you.

Take the first step and I’m sure you’ll make it!

More Tips to Help You Face Your Fear

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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