…according to me, anyway. this may not work for everyone but from personal experience I find the four steps below to be the simplest yet most powerful formula for achieving many types of goals.
about 6 years ago I decided I wanted to move out of the state I lived in. I was bored and miserable and felt I had given it a fair shot. It just wasn’t the place for me, even though I rather liked my job at the time. I was there for 6 years and it was time to make a break for it.
my goals? I wanted to be happy, in a place that was near the ocean, in a warm climate, and not too far from family. I wanted a place to learn and be creative. I needed more connection with people closer to my age and lifestyle. I was also single at the time.
So, I chose a place to go according to my criteria. I updated my resume. I collected a big handful of links where I could regularly search for job listings and apartments for rent. I created cover letters, organized folders on my computer to store everything, and committed several hours per week to searching and sending. I did a little each day.
I had NO CLUE how this would all turn out. I just knew I needed a big change to be happy. and I knew I had to do SOMETHING to make it happen. I also had absolute faith and confidence that I would eventually get there (where ever ‘there’ was). I felt fearless. I was going for it and I would succeed! This attitude was absolutely essential to my motivation, and commitment to my goal.
The result of my consistent first action steps would eventually lead me to something better than I imagined. I met my husband online, got a higher-paying job, and moved only one state away from my original destination! Each step I took led me to the next, and the next, and so on. So I didn’t need to know everything right off the bat.
here’s how I break it down:
- determine your ‘destination,’ where you want to end up – how do you want to feel, ultimately? do you want to be in a different place physically as well as mentally? and what are the circumstances that will make this feeling possible? write all this down in as much detail as possible. sights, sounds, smells, people/places involved, your ideal typical day.
- have some vague outline of a plan to get there – it doesn’t have to be perfect and you may not know all the details involved until you start doing the very first steps and working your way through. but at least figure out the details for your first few steps. do the research and determine how to begin on your particular path, even if you don’t know exactly where these first steps will lead you. don’t worry about that yet. and, literally, write all this down too. or type it, or draw pictures, or lay it out like a treasure map!
- DO that first step! – seriously start taking action. do a little every day or every other day, but DO it. make the time. wake up 30 minutes earlier and get something done. do it in little chunks. or big chunks. even break that step down into smaller steps to make it less overwhelming. then do one little thing each day. don’t worry about the end result, just DO!
- be flexible, open to other possibilities – it may turn out that your plan leads you down a new, unexpected path at some point. be open to this, see where it goes, and then determine whether it works for you, makes you happy, still takes you to that place you need to be. be open to changes and willing to explore each new possibility. you’ll know if it feels right or not, but always be open to it.
Another couple things I should throw in are visualization and attitude.
keep your goal in mind, make it real: visualize in great detail exactly where you want to be as if you’re already there. add sights, sounds, smells, people, place, etc., to your mental picture. make it all real in your mind. see yourself there anytime you stop and think about it, try to ‘see’ it at least once every day.
trust in the process, have faith and confidence in yourself. know that YOU WILL SUCCEED. tell yourself that you already have! most of all, BE FEARLESS! …and that reminds me of a quote I love…
“If we did all the things we were capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” Thomas Alva Edison
so go on, Astound Yourself.
writing this post was for my own motivation as well as yours, if you’re reading this. I have some goals to achieve (who doesn’t?!). this is my reminder to get off my ass and follow my own advice. so off i go…