Do you have some aspirations that are beyond your current capabilities? It’s natural to dream of things that you want to do someday, but currently can’t. However, to realize your dreams, at some point you must stop planning and start taking action.
While planning is an important part of bringing your dreams to life, avoid dedicating more time to the mental preparation than to action. If you spend your entire life planning for the future, then when will you actually start living?
Try these strategies to help jumpstart your goal-achieving actions:
1. Actions speak louder than words. You’ve probably heard this statement before, but have you really considered the meaning? Taking action and achieving are more powerful than simply planning for the future. Start taking steps in the right direction while planning, instead of waiting for every detail of your plan to be complete.
• Keep in mind that you can accomplish your goals as long as you’re moving in a forward direction. It may take some time, depending on how large your goal is, but moving forward will get you where you want to be. Taking action, regardless of how small, moves you forward.
2. Consider the language you use. Which is more effective, “I am going to lose weight,” or “I am losing weight”? How about the difference between “I am planning on going to school,” and “I am currently attending school”? The differences in these statements may have a profound impact on whether you’re actually going somewhere, or just thinking about it.
• Try this: Rather than saying “I am going to lose weight” (which is something you could say for years without shedding a pound!), take action to lose a little weight; then say: “I have dropped a few pounds and I am still going!”
3. Break goals into smaller bites. Rather than creating a lengthy plan that will take several years to fully realize, why not break your goals into smaller pieces that you can achieve one at a time? Setting goals too far into the future can hamper your ability to take small steps in the right direction now.
• For example, say you want to lose 100 pounds. Try setting goals to lose 1% of your body weight per week until you reach your final goal. Achieving several weight loss goals over a period of time will help keep you motivated rather than struggling endlessly for that one far-off goal.
• Perhaps you want to achieve something over a period of time, such as graduating from college in four years. In this case, you can break your goals into quarters or semesters. This will help you feel a sense of success with your progress as you work toward the larger goal of graduating with a degree.
Sometimes you may feel challenged to build the momentum you need to achieve goals and get where you want to be in life. Raise your standards and expect action from yourself instead of just thoughts and words.
If you’re struggling to move from planning to actual accomplishments, try breaking your goals into smaller pieces. You’ll be amazed at how motivational a little success can be!