Score A Goal: Tips for Achieving Your Dreams
We all have aspirations. Here are some simple tips for turning your dreams, big and small, into realities.
Dream Big – and then Think Small
Reach for the stars. Let your goals be so grand that you’ll think yourself insane. And then step back and remember that nothing happens overnight. Every ascent to the top of a skyscraper is built on many steps up the staircase. If you try to jump to the top, you’ll never even get off the ground. Break your goals down into manageable mini-goals along the way to climb your way to the top. Make each step simple and give yourself realistic timeframes to complete them. That way you won’t get overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of your dreams, letting you move attainable step by attainable step towards seemingly unattainable goals.
Do A Little Every Day
When you make you’re manageable goals, set concrete tasks that you can work on everyday, and set aside time in your day to work on them. Don’t just say you’ll put some time in – decide exactly what needs to be done on a given day, and block it out on your calendar, write it in your planner, scribble it in your to-do list, whatever it is you need to do to declare time for working towards your dreams. Treat your daily obligations to yourself with the same respect you would treat you obligations to others, and give them the time they deserve.
Arrange for Accountability
Talk it up! Let people know what you’re up to. Discussing your plans with those close to you makes you accountable for actually turning them into action – after all, what will you say if they ask about it later, and you have nothing to report? Let your progress come up regularly in conversation; discuss your successes and stumbling blocks each step of the way, and you’ll feel motivated to have more progress to share. Just make sure you don’t tell too many people. Perhaps it’s the sense of satisfaction sharing your plans gives, but studies show broadcasting your goals far and wide brings productivity down, so keep it to one or a few of those closest to you.
Put it In Plain Sight
Keep your goals on the forefront of your mind by leaving little reminders everywhere. Invest in the gaudiest Post-it Notes you can find and leave yourself little witty notes anywhere you know you’ll see them. Set alarms on your phone to call you to action throughout the day. Leave out your running shoes, your guitar, your language tapes, or whatever the tools of your work are out where you can’t help but see them waiting for you. Place inspirational pictures on the ceiling above your bed, make a vision board, do whatever you need to do so that forgetting to stick to your plans is absolutely unforgettable.
Keep track of your progress. Try journaling – scribbling down what you’ve done in your quest each day will help you stay on the path. Take note of each success and vent the frustrations of each plateau. Not only will it help you get your thoughts in order and rethink your methods when necessary, it will help you make sure you’re staying on a steady trajectory by keeping track of every step along the way. Make sure that as you go you celebrate every small triumph – it’ll help motivate you to keep on going when you acknowledge how far you come. And when things get rough, don’t talk yourself down. Take a deep breath, recalibrate, and dive back in. If it wasn’t hard, it wouldn’t be so worth doing, right? Remember that, and you’ll keep going no made how slow the going gets. Good luck!