There is plenty of advice out there on how to accomplish your goals. Setting goals and working toward them is considered a basic prerequisite to any success in life, and so perfecting this process is certainly important. One way to help you actually achieve your goals lies in the perspective you have toward them.
In looking at your goals, you need to take a two-pronged approach. You need to consider them from both a longer-term and a more near-term perspective.
If you have what some experts call “big, hairy goals,” they can both fill you with exuberance and a desire to get to work on them, and they can also be draining as well when you think about how difficult they are to accomplish and the effort they will take.
That is why you always need to keep in your mind the reason why you chose this goal. Write it down. Thinking about why you want to achieve this goal, why it is important to you, will help you to stay committed to it.
In your mind’s eye, think about the path you will take toward achieving the goal, the steps you will take.
Then you want to shift your focus to the near-term – what you have to do now to move toward your goal. You want to break down your big goal to a series of smaller goals, and then consider the steps you will need to take to achieve those smaller goals. Breaking things down to smaller steps can help because smaller tasks are usually easier to work on than larger, more complex ones.
If your big goal, for example, is to learn a new language, you can break that down to smaller goals. One smaller goal might be to enroll in an introductory college language course, or if you would rather work on your own, to buy a language learning program, or work on the internet. Then, you want to think about the progress you want to make each month, for example.
You also want to take a more compassionate attitude toward your efforts. There are likely to be setbacks as you strive toward your goal. But rather than getting down on yourself when these happen and being critical, cut yourself some slack and take the setbacks in stride, as part of the learning process. The key is moving in the right direction.
So, in moving toward any goal, it is good to keep in mind an old and well-worn Chinese saying, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”
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