Achieving our goals is harder these days than in the past. Distractions such as cell phones, Facebook and Twitter keep us chasing shinny objects. It’s easy to squander countless hours watching YouTube videos of cats riding robotic vacuums or two year olds belting out Elvis tunes. Before you know it a half a day has elapsed and a dozen to-do’s are still not done.
So often we get overwhelmed with having so many things to accomplish we experience inertia. How do we harness our thoughts and put them into action? The main thing we need to remember is any action, no matter how small, is a step toward our goals. Always keep in mind the story of the tortoise and the hare. Even though the tortoise moved slowly he kept his eye on the prize and made it to the finish line.
How do we move in the direction of manifesting our goals? Goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. The first thing we can do is a brain dump sometimes called a mind map. Target areas of your life you want to set goals for such as spiritual, health, finances, relationships and work. Take a piece of large white paper for each topic and write it in the center of the page. In the blank areas around the topic write all the things you want to accomplish.
Let’s take health as an example. The accomplishments might be to attend yoga class twice a week, lose 20 pounds, get eight hours sleep and eat organic foods. Under each desired goal put all the strategies necessary to achieve that goal. For weight loss the strategies might be research the Paleo diet, clean the kitchen to get rid of bad foods, walk 15 minutes three times a week and find a walking buddy.
Now is the time to get out a big paper calendar and put it on the wall in your office. It really helps to have a visual reminder of our tasks. I use little sticky notes to plot daily goals. Don’t go overboard with putting too much on your plate. We don’t have to move 90 miles an hour toward our goals but we do have to take consistent action within realistic timeframes. One trick I use that works really well is to have just one “must do” item on my daily to-do list for a day. I try to get that task off my plate early in the day and with that sense of accomplishment I have lots of energy to continue tackling more items on my to-do list.
Where do we trip up and lose sight of our goals? I have addressed the problem of getting overwhelmed and that is a huge obstacle to success. To quiet our inner critic repeat words like, “I have all the time in the world.” Another stumbling block is to not get support in achieving our goals. We need to set up a system of accountability whether that is by having an accountably buddy, putting your goals out to “the world” in your blog or having a life coach.
Dreams without action are just dreams. Dreams realized equal a happy, fulfilled life. In the words of Steve Chandler, “Do it badly; do it slowly; do it fearfully; do it any way you have to, but do it.”