Has it ever occurred that you struggle to make the first steps or significant progress towards a goal? Self-motivation can only bring you so far when the dreaded procrastination thoughts start to fill your mind, and you end up putting off your goals until ‘someday’.
However, that ‘someday’ does not appear on your calendar, and slowly it gets written off and replaced by another plan.
Goals should not be exactly easy, no matter what kind of goals you are trying to achieve. Health, Financial, Relationship or Career goals should have a level of difficulty but still achievable.
“The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal, but lies in having no goals to reach.” – Benjamin Mays
Setting goals is the first step, but the second comes when we have to work towards them. Perhaps for the first day or week, you might be entirely fixated on working towards your goals. However, it’s easy to get to a point where it seems like you are getting nowhere and start to picture failure and the desire to quit.
That’s normal. Humans are somewhat wired to give up easily and to seek instant gratification aka the Pleasure Principle. We are ingrained towards immediate benefits and rewards, and when we do not get what we expect, we might feel anxious, stuck or worse give up.
Instead of thinking only about achieving the end goal, we should find ways to dissect the end goal into a series of small, achievable goals. Just like how the definition of dissecting describes the cutting up of a body or plant to study its internal parts, it can be applied to our goals.
By finding ways to break up the end goal into a collection of small, unqualified successes, those big goals might not seem that daunting anymore. For example, I have a large goal of writing a book within a stipulated timeframe. If I would think about the end goal, to complete the book in 6 months, it seems rather challenging, wouldn’t it?
However, If I started brainstorming and dividing the goals into smaller portions, I would have a better overview. I could come up with an ordered list of tasks, what to achieve and compare that against what is needed to attain my goal.
Depending on your timeframe, goal or steps involved in achieving your goal, breaking it down into smaller portions is the first crucial step. Afterwhich, the second step is to create an action plan based on each part you identified. Your action plan should include step by step instructions to get things done. Setting an action plan also allows you to see yourself physically making progress and gain momentum towards the end goal.
Ultimately, your goals should be prioritised based its importance and should be daunting but still feasible. Just like how you took the time to define a goal, take the time to review them in a routine. Be consistent in working towards your goal and take responsibility for sticking with your action plans.
Yes, you might face obstacles and setbacks every once in a while, but pick yourself up and keep going.