Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 21, 2021

3 Essential Steps To Set And Achieve Big Goals

3 Essential Steps To Set And Achieve Big Goals

You have probably heard the phrase “Think big.”

Now let me complete it, “Think big, act bigger.”

Thinking big is great, and essential for making any progress in life. But if the thought is not followed by immediate action, it becomes first a wish, and then after some time, another source of frustration in your life. Another “I could, I should, I didn’t” that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Then, is it worth it to think big?

Advertising

Absolutely, but you must do it the right way if you want to achieve big results. After meeting some people who have achieved big things in life, I have discovered three steps that are essential to successfully unlocking the power of thinking big in your life.

1. Get comfortable with the “You” factor

First of all, you must dare to see yourself in the biggest situations and achieving the biggest goals. If the “you” factor is missing or blurry, the equation is not going to work.

Take all the time you need to find the reasons why you are unable to see yourself in better situations. This might be uncomfortable to do and may require some time and commitment. But if you open up, you will start looking directly at some of the personal elements that are limiting your progress.

Finding them and looking at them are the first steps toward making them vanish, and realizing that you already have all that you need to achieve whatever you want in life. If you clearly know your strong and weak points, you will be capable of finding a way that allows you to reach your destination with them. If you don’t know them, you’ll just see other people achieving what you want by using some of your weak points, and then you’ll just end up thinking that it’s impossible for you, given your circumstances.

Advertising

There are never two identical paths to the same destination. Never. The thing that will take you anywhere is knowing yourself. With that knowledge, you will be able to design the path most suited to the person you are. If you just follow the path of others blindly, you will either get lost along the way or struggle with trying to become like them. If you don’t know yourself or the paths others have followed, you simply won’t know how to start and will even lose faith about whether it is possible to reach the destination.

Remember, there is always a way for you to achieve your bigger goals. It already exists, but you won’t be able to see it until the moment you know yourself enough.

2. Think bigger

If the thought doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable, then you are not thinking big enough.

Whatever your thought or goal is, ask yourself, “If this was the last goal I would ever achieve in my life, the thing I want to be remembered by, would I do it bigger?”

Advertising

“What would I love to add to it?”

“What would my actions be in that case?”

You have to push your thought muscles further.

They work like any other muscles. If they get used to perform at a comfortable, average level, they tend to stay there. The more you push them, the more bigger thinking becomes your natural state. But you have to keep pushing them if you don’t want to get stuck and lose your drive and inspiration. The beautiful thing is to keep pushing perpetually, and verify for yourself that there are no limits.

Advertising

3. Take immediate action

The thought must be followed by immediate action. Otherwise, the possibility of it going rotten inside your mind increases dramatically. One of the worst things that can happen to you is to think about something big, see and feel yourself in that beautiful situation, and then not take any action and just let it wait on your “Someday” list forever.

There is no someday, there is now or never.

You are always taking steps towards one direction or another. 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.”

Featured photo credit: Ameer Basheer via unsplash.com

More by this author

3 Essential Steps To Set And Achieve Big Goals 3 Essential Things to Achieve Success (Hard Work Is Not One of Them)

Trending in Goal Getting

1 What Are SMART Goals (and How to Use Them to Be Successful) 2 Why Is It Important To Set Realistic Goals? 3 How to Start Taking Action on Your Goals and Dreams Now 4 10 Ways To Turn Your Big Dream Into Reality 5 How To Make Your Dreams Come True in 9 Simple Steps

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on April 14, 2021

What Are SMART Goals (and How to Use Them to Be Successful)

What Are SMART Goals (and How to Use Them to Be Successful)

As a track and field runner in school, every year I would sit down with my coach and set a series of goals for the season. Once we had set my goals for the year, we would create a training plan so I could achieve those targets. This helped me answer the main question here: “What are SMART goals?”

Before I got a coach, I used to run aimlessly with no plan, no target races. More often than not, I would end up injured and find my season ending after achieving very little.

Once I got a coach, though, I started winning races that mattered and began enjoying my sport. This annual process taught me from a very early age that goals are important if I want to achieve the things that are important to me.

So what exactly are SMART goals? This article will talk about why goals matter, how to use SMART goals effectively with your time and resources, and how these goals give you a clear, specific plan that works time and time again.

Why Do People Fail to Reach Their Goals?

Setting SMART goals and achieving them

is not easy, and many people fail. A study by Scranton University found that only 8% of those who set New Year goals actually achieve them, meaning 92% who set new year goals fail[1].

The problem is that many people see goals, such as New Year resolutions, as hopes and wishes. They hope they will lose some weight, they wish to start their own business, or they hope to get a better job. The problem with “hoping” and “wishing” for something is that there is no plan, no purpose, and no time frame set for achieving the goals.

Once these hopes and wishes come face-to-face with the realities of daily life, they soon dissolve into lost hopes and wishful thinking.

Therefore, in order to really achieve something, you need a concrete goal: a SMART goal.

What Are SMART Goals?

The foundation of all successfully accomplished goals is the SMART goal.

Originally conceived by George T. Doran in a 1981 paper[2], this formula has been used in various forms ever since.

SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. It has been used by corporations and individuals to achieve their goals and objectives and is a formula that, on the whole, works well.

Advertising

Use SMART goals to help you achieve more.

    The strength of SMART goals is that they set a clear path to achieving goals, and they have a clear time frame in which to achieve them. Let’s look at the SMART criteria in a little more detail:

    Specific

    For a goal to be achievable, it needs to have a very clear outcome. What you are asking is, “What exactly do I want to achieve?” The clearer the goal, the more likely it is you will achieve it.

    For example, if you just say “I want to lose weight,” then technically you could achieve your goal just by not eating dinner for one day—you would lose weight that way, even if it were temporary.

    You need to have a more specific goal: “I want to lose twenty-pounds by the end of July this year.”

    Measurable

    To achieve anything, it’s important to have measurable goals. T

    ake the example above: “I want to lose twenty-pounds by the end of July this year.”

    It’s measurable, as all you need do is weigh yourself on 1 January, then deduct twenty-pounds from that and set that weight as the target for 31 July. Then, each week you weigh yourself to measure progress.

    Attainable

    Being attainable means that SMART goals are realistic and that you have what you need in order to achieve them.

    In our example of losing weight, 20 pounds in six months is certainly doable. Your resources could include a gym membership, some at-home weights, or simply motivation to get outside and run everyday.

    If motivation is an area where you struggle, you can check out Lifehack’s Ultimate Worksheet for Instant Motivation Boost.

    Relevant

    For any goal to be achieved, you need to set relevant goals for your unique life.

    Advertising

    If losing weight is doable with the lifestyle you have, and if you believe it will lead to a happier, healthier life, then it is certainly relevant to you. It’s even more relevant if your doctor has pointed out that you need to lose weight to prevent health issues.

    Time-based

    Finally, you need a timeline. All your goals need to have an end date because it creates a sense of urgency and gives you a deadline.

    In our example of losing twenty-pounds, a timeline of six months would be specific, measurable, relevant, and would have a timeline. Furthermore, as you have what you need to achieve that goal, it is attainable—all elements of the formula for SMART goals are included.

    How to Reach a SMART Goal

    The problem I have always found with the SMART goal formula is it does not take into account the human factor. We need motivation and a reason for achieving these goals.

    If you decide to lose twenty-pounds, for example, you are going to spend many months feeling hungry, and unless you possess superhuman mental strength, you are going to give in to the food temptations.

    All SMART goals can be distilled down to three words:

    • What do you want to achieve?
    • Why do you want to achieve it?
    • How are you going to achieve it?

    When you simplify your goal in this way, achieving it becomes much easier.

    1. Visualize What You Want

    One way to make your goals achievable is to visualize the end result. When you write out your mission statement, you should be imagining what it will be like once you have achieved the goal.

    In our weight loss example, you would close your eyes and imagine walking down from your hotel room in Ibiza in July with your towel, sunscreen, sunglasses, and swimwear on. You would imagine walking past all the other sunbathers and the feeling you have, the pride in the way you look and feel.

    Try to invoke as many of the five senses as you possibly can[3].

    2. Identify Your “Why”

    If you take losing twenty-pounds as an example, once you have made the decision that you want to do this, the next question to ask yourself is, “Why?” The more personal your why, the better.

    Your why could be, “Because I want to look and feel fantastic by the pool in Ibiza this summer.” That is a strong why.

    Advertising

    If your why is, “Because my doctor told me to lose some weight,” that is not a good why because it’s your doctor’s, not yours.

    One way to identify your “why” is to write your mission statement.

    To help with setting achievable SMART goals, when working with my clients, I always ask them to complete the following mission statement:

    I will [STATE GOAL CLEARLY] by [DATE YOU WANT TO COMPLETE THE GOAL] because [YOUR WHY].

    If you want to write a SMART goal for the weight loss example, your mission statement would be written: “I will lose twenty-pounds by the end of July this year because I want to look and feel fantastic by the pool in Ibiza.”

    Never write a mission statement that is full of vague words. The words you use should be simple, direct, and clear.

    3. Figure out Your “How”

    Before you can begin achieving your goal, you need to create a list of steps you can take to make it happen.

    Write down everything you can think of that will help achieve your goal. It doesn’t matter what order you write these tasks down; what matters is that you write down as many action steps you can think of.

    I always aim for around one hundred small steps. This makes it much easier to assign tasks for each day that not only moves you forward on your goal, but also keeps you focused every day on achieving it.

    Once you have your list, you can create a to-do list for the goal and allocate the steps to different days so you create momentum towards a successful outcome.

    You can learn more about how to use SMART goals to achieve success and lasting change in this video:

    Bonus: Make a PACT

    There is one more part needed to really make sure you achieve the SMART goals you set for yourself, and that is something I call PACT. PACT is another acronym meaning Patience, Action, Consistency, and Time. You need all four of these to achieve goals.

    Advertising

    Patience

    Without patience, you will give up. To achieve anything worthwhile requires patience. Success does not happen overnight. Be patient and enjoy the process of stepping a little closer towards achieving your goal each day.

    Action

    If you do not take action on any goal, then even SMART goals won’t be achieved. You need to make sure you remind yourself of your goal and why you want to achieve it each day. Read your mission statement, make an action plan, and then take the necessary action to make sure you move a step closer each day.

    Consistency

    The action you take each day towards achieving your goal needs to be consistent. You can’t follow your diet program for a week and then have three weeks off. Jim Rohn said it perfectly when he said:

    “Success is a few simple disciplines practised every day.”

    Time

    Of course, you need to allow enough time between where you are today and where you want to be in the future. Be realistic about time, and don’t get disheartened if you miss your deadline. Readjust your timeline if necessary.

    The Bottom Line

    The key to success is to put everything together. When you connect all of these elements, you create an environment where achieving SMART goals becomes much more attainable.

    Whether it’s personal or business goals, when you have a strong personal “why” for your goal, your motivation to keep going stays strong.

    Start with your “why,” and then get started on the action steps that will take you all the way to the end.

    More Tips on Reaching Your Goals

    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next