Overall, the steps to make achievements in all facets of your life are fourfold:
1. Think big. This is the stage of dreams, imagination and visualization.
2. Specify the details of every little action you must do to succeed. This is the stage of the action plan, which helps you to manage every effort to achieve real results.
3. Start quickly. This is the stage of action, without which nothing happens.
4. Continue each day. This is the stage of perseverance, which helps you learn from your failures and overcome challenges.
Don’t you think that these steps are simple? So why do such few people really get what they want from life? The problem often lies in the concrete actions that are needed to succeed. Most people have goals, and even ambitious ones.
Let’s take the example of Ben, who works in a large manufacturing company. He has held his job for several years, and is nearing the end of his twenties. Ben holds dear an ambitious goal to retire at the age of 55, but there is nothing concrete that he does in order to succeed.
Fortunately, a friend of Ben knows the importance of financial planning. He explains that by saving a little each year, not only can he fulfill his dreams, but he can outperform and can even retire at 50!
Ben is immediately aware that small actions at present can make a big difference to its future. Through their work, some life coaches help their clients who were not previously interested in their personal finances realize the importance of identifying concrete actions and perform them without delay. They were able to achieve important financial goals that have improved their lives.
So why do not we realize more dreams? Because we make often beautiful goals (step 1), but they remain so general that we do not go to the second step of specifying concrete actions to achieve them. These big dreams, because they remain abstract, eventually discourage us. We consider them inaccessible, and soon forget that we even ever had them in the first place.
If you learn to identify a vision, you will also learn how to gradually implement it. You will know clearly what you expect from your life and can explain to others how you work to make these goals a reality. You know how to examine issues that impact your relationships, your health, and your vision of yourself, your income, and your career. Your goals are clear. And this clarity is terribly important; otherwise you’ll never know what actions you need to take to achieve success.
Finally, the fact that you constantly ask yourself how to achieve your goals and long-term vision require you to think about your future based on the actions you need to perform. You will become more positive about your future because each “How?” leads you to answer that brings you closer to your dream life. Plus, you’ll be amazed at how you constantly succeed and find more ideas to make your dreams a reality!
Clarify Your Goals and Measure Them
The philosopher Peter Drucker once said that efficiency is doing things the right way while effectiveness is to make things relevant. To succeed, you need these two dimensions. Even if you never have time to accomplish everything you want, you’ll still have the time to choose and do what is most important.
One of the steps of continuous improvement is to give yourself goals. When most of these goals are clear, it is easier to identify the best actions to be done to achieve them. And if these actions are measurable – that is, when you know the actions and what its results are – you know beyond a doubt that you you’re on the right track. You also know when to correct your course.
The more your goals and objectives are specific and measurable, the more you’ll know you’re capable of achieving them. You’ll also be more efficient, and you will accomplish each action more quickly. To measure your actions, you can write them down. I’ve already talked about the importance of lists.
These lists are worth it because the mere minutes you proactively invest in managing your goals and actions can save you long hours of later redoing work and correcting heavy mistakes. The simple act of writing them down and rereading them often will increase your results.