So now that you have decided what you really want and made a list of measurable goals (maybe even with some specific deadlines), the next step is to determine all of the individual action steps you will need to put in place to achieve those goals.
Mark Twain said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” In order to achieve a goal, it is best to chunk it down. Even when we think we know how to get from point A to point B, it can be very helpful to see things on paper, clear and concise. For example, if your goal is to upgrade your diet and eat healthier food, you must ask yourself specifically how you will go about doing that. Maybe determine things like: What day will you shop? What specific items will now be on your grocery list? How can you readily incorporate these foods into your daily life? Will you need to set aside a specific day to prep and cook? Are there any foods you need to eliminate from your diet? Write those things down.
Here’s another example. Say you want to see specific improvements at the gym. When breaking that goal down, perhaps ponder things like: Will reaching your goal involve adding another work out day? Where could you fit that in? Does it involve asking for guidance around a specific lifting plan? Does it require simply dedicating more time to mobility? Could you possible benefit from running more? Figure out what it is that will help you achieve whatever goals you have set for yourself, and write it down.
Once you have clear actions steps for each of your goals in place, it can be helpful to plan your day the night before by making a physical and mental to-do list (that will include these steps). By physically writing a to-do list, you can get up and start your day off on the right foot. You know exactly what you need to get done, and in what order. You can also prep any materials the night before to make your day run even smoother…i.e. have your food portioned out and ready to go, have phone numbers ready to make important calls, or have your bag packed and ready for the gym.
By reading over your to-do list before you hit the sheets, you can mentally visualize how you would like the next day to play out. It gives your subconscious mind a chance to work on these tasks all night long. Who knows, you may even wake up with a creative solution to what appeared to be a problem the night before! These things happen:)
Finally, after writing out all of your actions steps, anticipating how you will make them work, and planning around them for each new day, the most important part in achieving your goals is to begin to take action! Get started, and get into motion! Even if you don’t start perfectly, you can begin, learn what works best, make the necessary adjustments, and keep going. The point is, you have now started the momentum going toward what you would like to achieve. Thinking and planning are necessary steps, but ultimately, you have to believe in yourself and in the goals you have set forth, take a leap of faith, and jump in with both feet. Don’t “wait for your ship to come in” as they say…”swim out and meet it!”
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” Abraham Lincoln
Reference: The Success Principles by Jack Canfield