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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?

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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.

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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?”

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“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.

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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.”

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Last Updated on June 18, 2019

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Making Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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