We all have goals and visions in our lives, constantly. All of us have high ambitions and dreams, but only few people actually realize them. Their secret lies in taking many small steps, and by doing so, getting closer and closer to achieving that one huge goal. It’s the goal achievement strategies of successful and happy people!
The S.M.A.R.T. Strategy
Resulting from Peter Drucker’s 1954 book “Management by Objectives”, the S.M.A.R.T. strategy was first mentioned in the 1980s and has since changed the lives of millions of people! It is based upon the following five components:
Your goals should be simple, yet specific, so you clearly know why and what you want to achieve. This also helps you to identify and structure new goals progressively.
This step is crucial for staying motivated and tracking your progress. Make sure you know what types of resources you will need to accomplish your goals and when they will be accomplished. Being aware of that and actually realizing you reach your goals can give a tremendous boost in self-confidence and motivation!
This is perhaps the most crucial step in this strategy. Your goals must be realistic and attainable. They should definitely challenge you, but still remain possible to accomplish.
Here, it is very important to identify the relevance of your goals, do they matter to you and your path? DO they seem relevant to your other goals (once again, progression)? Do they fit your time frame?
- Time bound
This last step closes the circle, by giving your goals clear time structures and deadlines. The step actually helps you to finish your goals and not get stuck with them, thus loosing focus on your long-term goal.
Small Goals Matter!
Start by setting and then achieving small goals with the help of this strategy. It is meant as a form of training for you to actually practice a result-based goal achievement. The more goals you achieve, the easier it will become to reach others. Over time, your goals can also become ever bigger, as you will feel more and more confident to achieve them.
One of my favorite goal achievement quotes originates from an ancient philosopher:
“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying small stones.” – Confucius
Nobody can move an entire mountain, nobody can reach a gigantic goal in one go! If you would try, you would quickly exhaust yourself and possible drop the entire endeavor. This happens all too often; people have a grant idea, they make plans, they start their journey towards that grant goal. What happens next is not only extremely common, but also an extreme loss of creativity, potential and financial resources. As they focus on the enormous end-result of their ultimate goal, people start to engage themselves in every possible aspect of said journey to achieve that goal. They start on ten, maybe twenty different ends at once, trying to move forward as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The outcome yields the exact opposite of that intention! The more the simultaneously started elements are building up, the more complex they become. Hence, the more difficult it is to handle them. You suddenly start to get tired and annoyed with what you are doing. But wasn’t this whole thing meant to be fun and liberating?
Thinking Small and Taking Small Steps
The more that wall of frustration and perceived powerlessness gets, the smaller you feel and the more likely it is for you to give up. As a result, you might tell yourself that you “just aren’t meant to do this”, that you have “bad luck”, that “you just don’t know enough about this” or that it is “safer to keep doing what you’ve always done, instead of trying something new.” And these are perfectly normal mechanisms of protection!
But think of it this way: If you are taking it slowly, one step or goal at a time, you will simply not reach that ultimate level of exhaustion or frustration! I can guarantee you that! Hence, you will never give up on your big goal. Instead, you will start to see that progression that builds up over time. It will not be easy in the beginning, that is certain! But the empowerment you will feel from having these constant micro-successes will make it easier and easier!
Conclusively, you will have to switch your mind and start to think small, in order to achieve big things in life! It is the, by far, the best of all the goal achievement strategies out there! Once you put that switch into action, the ramifications are amazing and very rewarding.
Feature image by samsommer on Unsplash