If you want to accomplish big goals, there a few steps that will help you start well and stay motivated.
Know Your Why
Start first by understanding why you want your goal . Simon Sinek described it best. He literally wrote the book on this topic, Start with Why. If you haven’t seen his Ted Talk, a link is provided below for you. It will inspire you to think more about why you do what you do.
The punchline is that people don’t buy what you do—they buy why you do it. If all you offer is accounting, they can easily go somewhere else. Offer small business owners something more, like easy education about what they can do that saves money.
The same is true for your own personal motivation. If you know your why, you will be more likely to accomplish big goals. Decide what really matters first. That will help you set goals that will matter for the long haul.
Tap into those decisions now to know your why. Why do you do have the goals you have? Knowing that will give you more fuel for the journey and keep you on the right track. It is your why that will speak to your heart and inspire those around you.
Picture the Outcome You Want
We all know that vision gives us hope, motivation and direction. President Kennedy painted a picture in 1961 about landing a man on the moon by the end of that decade. His vision shared the goal, the timeline and the parameters. It gave a visual of exactly what success would look like.
In planning a vision for personal productivity, Stephen Covey advises us to start with the end in mind. You can read the details in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. If you know the result you want, you can figure out what’s needed to get there. If the end in mind is something like 25 new customers in 90 days, you know prospecting tasks are important. Different tasks may be important if you have a different desired outcome as a priority.
If you can picture the outcome clearly you’ll better understand what it will take to make it happen. Picturing ourselves realizing the outcome shifts our minds and attitudes toward success. In his book, Over the Top, Zig Ziglar called it Changing the Picture. If we see ourselves in a new way, we break past our old limitations. Then we are can become people that do the things we need to do.
Break it Down
Your process to accomplish big goals is to break it down into steps you can do right away and measure frequently. The key is that the actions, habits or steps will become what you measure to track progress.
Debt-free speaker, Dave Ramsey, describes breaking down big goals as gaining small wins. Making payments on large debts can feel overwhelming if you can’t easily see the progress from your sacrifice. To counter this, you can pay extra toward the smallest debt first. This will give you a chance to see faster progress.
If you have a large goal, break it down into the tasks that will get you there. How many calls must you make to get 50 prospect meetings? If you want to lose 50 pounds, how about focusing on the actions it takes to lose one pound first? If you want to develop someone for leadership; start by determining the key qualities you want to see in her by the end of the year. Break that down into behaviors or actions that may represent those qualities.
Whatever the goal, break it down into tasks that will achieve a desired result. These are the things you’ll measure to track progress.
Discern What to Measure
This may be one of the hardest things to do. It is too easy to lose track of time and feel validated by busy-ness. Without tracking your progress, you may not notice how much is not getting done. Lack of measurement can cause you to veer off track.
A good rule of thumb is to trust the process. Honor the priorities you’ve set according to the previous three steps. You pictured your desired outome based on your why. Now break your large goal into manageable steps or activities. It is critical that you maintain the discipline to follow through with those tasks consistently. The key is to measure your success rate by tasks completed.
Consitently Track Results
Did you make the calls every day? Was feedback consistently offered? Whether you completed what you promised yourself is one measurement. If you didn’t, what got in the way? How will you adjust?
The next measurement is what resulted from each activity. Did 50 calls result in the percentage of meetings you expected? Can you identify what worked and what didn’t? What about the feedback meeting with your employee? Did you learn anything knew about his or her perspective? What’s bothering them? What do they need from you to do better?
Taking the time to measure keeps you focused and more likely to stay motivated. Big goals that take a long time will easily be lost if you don’t have small wins along the way. It is human nature to feed off of accomplishment. Your accomplishment is your consistently completed actions. This will motivate you to keep doing the right things.
Working with a coach partner is a great way to work through processes like this and accomplish big goals faster.
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