We all dream of achieving our ambitions and goals in life, making our lives beautiful!
Why is it that we are unable to achieve them? What's the issue?!
What Do Most ‘How to achieve your goals in life?’ Articles Teach You?
The same standard thing:
- Identify your dreams.
- Convert your dreams into goals in life and then into deadlines.
- Start working towards them.
- Achieve your goals one by one.
While the above standard steps to ‘achieve your goals’ might seem simple and straightforward, in reality, it is not really the case. Most of the time, this standard approach does NOT work.
Here are two obstacles that we face when we try this approach:
Obstacle 1: Big Results Take A Long Time To Achieve.
Let me tell you a small story, from my life –
I became an International Master in chess when I was 13 years old.
And, when I tell people this, their usual reaction is, “Oh, you are so talented, if you could do it so quickly!”
On the outside, it seems very doable and easy.
But what they don't know is that it takes years and years of effort to reach a certain level of mastery.
Similar to other sports athletes, my chess practice started when I was very young – 6 years old. Although 13 years might seem young, it had actually taken 7 years of hard work.
Even though this statement is pretty obvious, we tend to not pay too much attention towards it, as it can indeed be demotivating.
You’d have probably already heard this fact – ‘The chances of you winning the lottery is about the same as being struck by lightning’. This fact holds a lot of advice.
People still always look out for easier and faster short cuts to success. This is the very reason why tricksters are able to make money by selling “get rich quick” schemes (that really never work)!
Do not look for short cuts that lead you to success. Big results take a long time to achieve – and there is simply no way around this.
Obstacle 2: It Is Biologically Natural For People To Think Short-Term.
During ancient times, human life was filled constantly with uncertainty, danger, epidemics, and other threats to life. Then, having quick and short-sighted thinking was actually beneficial.
It was only recently, around 100-200 years ago, that we’ve started to feel more secure and safe. However, our biological instincts have been programmed to live in the ancient world that was full of uncertainty.
This is exactly why we wish to have success and achieve what we want as soon as possible because, in the ancient world, you would not know if you’d have a future.
This not only results in our restlessness but also leads to an interesting phenomenon –
© Bill Gates
This is because we don't want to think about the distant future; we just want to achieve everything RIGHT NOW!
As you must already know, in reality, this is not quite possible.
Have you seen investment graphs? When you invest your money, they show how your capital would grow.
Image Courtesy: aol
In these graphs, the beginning they might not look too appealing, as the figures are small. But your investment will only start yielding BIG results many years later (10-20 years).
This is where the problem lies.
Let’s take the case of setting goals for this year –
If you set overly ambitious goals, it wouldn't quite motivate you because, deep down, you know that it is simply impractical.
On the other hand, if you set realistic & easy goals, it will not motivate you to work harder, push yourself and overcome challenges.
Therefore, the standardized approach of goal setting (that we discussed earlier), does not really work.
So, WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?
How Do You ACTUALLY Achieve Your Goals in Life?
Set a long-term vision – YOUR DREAM.
Simultaneously, continue working on your current goals.
The long-term vision will empower you.
It will motivate you.
It will keep you excited to wake up every morning to achieve your current goals.
Here are the steps to take:
1. Think about all the things you wish to accomplish within 10 years from now.
Write down everything.
There can be more than 50 items on the list.
It could be your financial, relationship and materialistic goals, also even your social and health goals.
2. Mark the super important ones – those that pull you out of bed every morning.
A long list of goals is not only hard to remember but it is also difficult for a long ‘To Do List’ to motivate you. Prioritize your goals.
So, mark the top 1-5 most important ones which have the power to make your life truly beautiful.
This shorter list of top goals will drive you, and make you feel enthusiastic to achieve them.
3. Set your quarterly goals – YOUR CURRENT GOALS.
Plan the steps you can take this quarter to move towards your top 1-5 goals.
Also, from the list of all your 10 years goals, think about the goals that are achievable within 3 months.
Always have a long-term vision at the back of your mind. This will keep you motivated.
Simultaneously, set short-term (quarterly) goals that are measurable and that you continue working on every day.
P.S. Share 1 of your goals in comments below. Make it your public promise, and you’ll push yourself to hit this goal no matter what!