How can you achieve your goals through 3 simple actions?
Changing your life, daring to put yourself forward, improving your working environment. Who would say no to a better life? Who wouldn’t want to have more time and more resources? Who wouldn’t want to dedicate themselves to the thing they really love doing?
In reality, change is scary. Particularly when the goals you’re aiming for are so far away from your everyday existence that it seems impossible to reach.
It’s very difficult to achieve your goals overnight, but you can gradually move closer to them day by day, one step at a time, by taking 3 simple actions each week. Don’t you think this sounds like a much easier way to do it?
Here’s a bit of practical advice you can put to use immediately.
Start from the end
Know your purpose and identify the point in time by which you want to reach your goals. Be realistic and count on your strengths: if you’re not doing any physical exercise at all right now, it’s going to be hard to transform yourself into a professional marathon runner in just 2 months.
As an example, you could think about what differences you would like to see in your life one year from today. You can also consider longer periods, of course.
Now, move backwards through time towards the present. What are the steps you’ll need to take to get what you want? What will you have to do to reach your goal? To achieve it in one year, what will you need to have done in 9 months’ time? How about 6? 3? One month from now?
Don’t just think about it, pick up a pen and paper (or your iPad or laptop) and write. Remember that deciding to change isn’t enough. You need to actually do it.
“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” ― Bruce Lee
If your goals are very ambitious and you think achieving them will take too much time (30 years, for example), don’t just let it go. Instead, ask yourself how you can move closer to them, year after year. Transform your goals into lots of smaller objectives that will gradually make up the full picture. Don’t let fears or excuses stop you!
Identify 30-minute-long, concrete actions
Come up with 3 concrete actions, each around 30 minutes in length, that you can take over the next week. They have to be specific, measurable and verifiable. Don’t just say: ‘I want to learn something new about online marketing’, ‘I want to earn more’, ‘I want to be in better shape’, etc.
Be specific in the actions you identify, so that anyone reading them would understand what needs to be done.
For example, if your goal is to promote one of your products online, the actions you’ll need to take might be:
- Find at least three informational sites (with at least 1000 registered users, for example) on the theme of online promotion, and sign up for their newsletters;
- Read at least 3 articles from these sites;
- Put at least one of their recommended strategies into practice.
If one or more of these actions requires a lot of time, set yourself the goal of spending AT LEAST half an hour on it over the entire week. You can spend half an hour on it this week and then another half an hour the following week.
If the actions you identify are too big or too demanding, you’ll end up procrastinating and not doing anything at all. And that’s not what you want, right? So, keep things simple to make sure you succeed.
The two main instincts that drive every human being are: avoiding pain and experiencing pleasure.
The more pleasure something gives you, the more your brain wants it and motivates you to obtain it. The more pain something causes you, the less you’ll be inclined to want it.
Would you rather do something pleasant or something you dislike? The answer seems pretty obvious. So how can you make yourself do something that on the surface you don’t like doing? Simple: make it enjoyable!
Here’s how: at the beginning of each week, identify a reward that you’ll only be able to collect once you’ve finished all 3 of your actions for the week.
It could be something you enjoy but no longer allow yourself to do, or something you’ve wanted to do for a long time but never yet felt you deserved. Here are a few examples:
- Eating your favourite meal
- Going to see a good film at the cinema
- Going out for dinner with your partner
- Taking a trip somewhere
- Buying that sweater you’ve been wanting for so long
- Getting a manicure
- Having at least an hour of ‘me time’
- Reading a good book
- Meeting up with someone you haven’t seen for ages
You can choose whatever you want, as long you enjoy it and find it satisfying. Ideally, it’ll be something you don’t have the chance to do very often, so that you really appreciate it and feel as though you’re rewarding yourself.
At the end of the week, check on your progress. Have you completed all 3 of the tasks you identified? Great! Now collect your reward. Isn’t it nice to be able to enjoy life a little? This will keep you motivated to achieve future weeks’ actions!
If, on the other hand, you haven’t managed to complete all 3 actions, or you’ve only been able to do so partially, ask yourself how you can improve for the coming week. Remember that when you’ve finished these tasks you’ll finally be able to savour your reward!
Persevere, AND be flexible
This may seem like a contradiction, but it isn’t.
First of all, persevere. Once the initial week is over, identify 3 NEW actions to take for the coming week, as well as the prize that will be there waiting for you at the end. It’s important that the 3 actions are different, or that there’s something more to them compared with the previous week’s actions. You don’t want an easy ride, do you?
If, on the other hand, you haven’t yet managed to finish the previous week’s tasks, try to find an alternative path, or subdivide the actions into smaller parts that can be completed over two or more weeks. Keep persevering, week by week.
You also need to be flexible, to keep evaluating and, eventually, to be able to adapt. At least once a month, go back over in your mind all the actions you’ve taken over the previous 30 days. Are you where you wanted to be? Are you achieving what you wanted to achieve?
If the answer is no, consider how you can adapt your timetable, or how your goal has changed. Does what you originally wanted still make sense? Or have you realised that your true goal was something different, and that’s what you now want to focus on?
That’s how you achieve your goals
- Start at the end, by clarifying the goals you want to achieve and the point in time by which you want to achieve them;
- Identify 3 concrete actions that you can take over the next week, each at least 30 minutes in length;
- Think of a reward that you can allow yourself to collect once you’ve taken the three actions (and not before);
- Persevere and be flexible, keeping in mind your main objective and your reasons for doing what you’re doing.
Identify your reward and the 3 actions you’ll take over the coming week. Then take them. Within a month you’ll have completed 12 new tasks. Within 6 months, 72. In a year, you’ll have taken 144. Imagine just how much you can change your life!
So, what are your 3 actions for the coming week?
Best of luck,