Everyone has dreams and aspirations. Many of our dreams start when we were younger and more naive, and they often evolve into realistic goals as we grow older- sometimes we drop these goals altogether. These goals help us focus and give direction to our lives. Having these targets gives some semblance of control over your own life, giving you initiative and something to work hard for. These are all great, as it’s a step closer to being fulfilled as a human being.
However, as we all know by experience, having goals doesn’t automatically mean that you will achieve them. This doesn’t mean that you should just give up and let life take its course: ultimately, you’re still in control of your own life. You just need to have agency and put a foot forward in controlling your own destiny.
Perhaps you’ve read self-help books that encourage people to achieve their goals. Unfortunately, many of the advice given is rather vague and unclear. They’re mostly motivational and less instructional, and in a sense that’s okay. We all have different ways of achieving, and oftentimes, we will find out what they are along the way. But having practical advice that you can follow helps, and here is some realistic and practical advice that you can do:
Chunk Your Goals
The most common mistake many people make is aiming too high. While aiming high is good, not having a clear path towards it simply makes the process seem like an impossible task. It’s best to approach your goal in chunks.
If your dream is to be a CEO, the first step is to ask “CEO of what?”. Do you have a product or idea that will help humanity improve? You can even scale this goal down even further by asking: “How can I help people around me right now?”. Always look at the present first; we live in the now, and we can only do so much to affect the future.
Chunk your goals by making short-term goals that will ultimately lead to your dream. Let’s say your goal is financial freedom, then a more realistic first step to that is perhaps “pay off my mortgage”. You can then look at the many potential ways to achieve this: maybe you need to refinance your mortgage or look for a higher paying job. Whatever your goals may be, knowing the first realistic step goes a long way in achieving the final goal.
Develop More and More Skills
Goals aren’t simply achieved by constant hard work. It does help, yes, but real life is more complicated than that. You need to work smart as well, as much as you work hard, even. And working smart means arming yourself with the skills necessary to face your tasks.
It’s not too hard to take a critical look at the industry or field you want to excel in and pinpoint the skills needed to improve. Honing your fundamentals even more, regardless of industry or discipline always leads to mastery, and mastery leads to success. Always ask “how can I improve more?”. Don’t be afraid to put investment in your learning as well, since you are your best tool to achieve your goals.
Outside of the usual skills your field requires, it’s also good to develop communication skills as socializing and interacting is an integral part of human life. It also helps to know financial management, as we can only function as much as our resources allow it.
Log Your Journey
Keeping a diary may sound archaic in this era of social media and the Internet, but writing down your process is paramount to the success of your journey. Writing your thoughts and feelings, and your actions then and actions in the future will allow you to maintain a sense of self and solidifies your identity. It also reminds you of your goal and helps you to stay focused.
You can also use the diary to make improvement plans and targets for yourself; be objective and write down your mistakes. You might find that writing down your mistakes and errors will help you in doing better the next time around, as you will be processing the ideas that you make. As a matter of fact, it’s great to write down whatever plan you may have as seeing them has written in front of you will better help you find out if it has holes that you can fix.
Keeping a log of your thought process and daily activities also helps you become more disciplined as you’re more likely to follow a routine that you set for yourself. This is invaluable as it will help you boost your focus, constantly remind you of the short term goal you assigned. The next thing you know, you’ve achieved the goal for the month and you’re on your way to achieving your biggest dream.