The process of achieving big goals in your life consists of several crucial steps. As the benefits and rewards from achieving a big goal do not come immediately, a different approach is required.
When achieving big goals, you need the motivation and desire to stick at it for several months or even years. It involves cultivating success habits and following success principles. It is important to combine this with consistent and effective action that continues until you achieve your big goal.
In this article, I cover the 7 secrets to achieving big goals. You will also learn what a big goal is and why it requires a different mindset to other goals in your life.
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What is a big goal? I would define a big goal as something like starting a new business, changing career or losing a significant amount of weight. It could also include gaining a new qualification, especially if you’re doing this part-time whilst maintaining a job or career. It’s any goal that is going to be life-changing for you and is probably going to take months or possibly years to achieve.
So here are 7 ways to help you achieve your big goals.
1. Measure your Progress
With a big goal, the reward doesn’t come until you’ve either completed the goal or you’re close to the finish line. This could be quite a while into the future. In the meantime, you will want to break the big goal into smaller steps so that you can measure your progress. You can then check whether you are achieving the smaller steps or not.
That’s how you will measure your progress and check that you are getting closer to achieving your big goals. Also, give yourself a small reward when you complete each step. What gets rewarded gets repeated.
Perseverance is the ability to keep going when the results are not immediate. This is often the case with larger long term goals. To create and fuel perseverance, get a clear vision of the end result and remind yourself of it regularly. This will really help you do the work involved to achieve this goal.
Also by measuring your progress (as mentioned in step 1), you will enjoy seeing the completion of the smaller steps. This will confirm that you are on the right track and will help you to keep persevering.
This is the flexibility to change tack. If you continue doing the same thing, you’re likely to continue getting the same result. Now it’s important to do the same thing consistently for a while because it can sometimes take time to get results. I feel that 6 months is a good timeframe to evaluate if what you’re doing is working. Measure your progress and be prepared to change when a different approach is required. Your Why can stay the same, but sometimes the How needs to change. So it’s important to be flexible and to do different things whilst always keeping your end goal in mind, so you don’t go off track.
There is a balance here between being flexible and dabbling. When being flexible you give your approach a reasonable chance to succeed before changing tack. You can then make an objective decision on whether to try a different approach or not.
Dabbling, on the other hand, is trying something for a couple of months until something that seems better comes along. This happens a lot with diets, exercise programs, and online business opportunities. Doing something new is exciting, it gives you hope, a dopamine hit or adrenaline rush! This motivates, inspires and gives you the energy to take action. But it doesn’t last. You need to keep going long after these feelings disappear to determine objectively if what you are doing is working. So make sure you don’t dabble!
4. Quieten the Noise
When attempting something new, or that stretches your comfort zone, your subconscious mind will try and protect you. It does this through negative self-talk. Or by questioning why you’re doing this big goal or the work involved. Negative thoughts and self-talk then lead to negative feelings such as doubt, fear or a sense of not being good enough or worthy enough.
When this happens, remind yourself that this is okay and quite normal. It happens when doing new things, challenging yourself and striving to be more.
Here are some other great strategies to quieten the mental chatter. Use these when negative thoughts and self-talk continue to dominate your mind.
- Mentally say the word “STOP” when you notice a negative thought. You can even say “STOP” out loud if you prefer.
- Put a rubber band on your wrist. When you notice a negative thought, pull the rubber band and let go, so it snaps on your wrist. It will hurt a little. But it will force your mind back into the present moment.
- Imagine turning down the volume of a negative thought. Visualize using a volume control knob or remote control device to reduce the volume of the self-talk.
- Replace any words such as “should”, “have” or “must” with softer words such as “could”, “can” or “choose”.
- Ignore the thoughts and take action anyway. This works great with negative feelings too, such as procrastination. Simply ignore the feelings and take action anyway. Act and the feeling you want will come.
I also encourage you to focus more on your goal and your dream. This is key to achieving big goals. Your brain then has less time to think about worries, fears, and doubts. And the same for when you experience negative feelings such as procrastination or a lack of motivation. Again, just ignore these feelings and take action anyway.
Remember, you have a choice over which thoughts and feelings to listen and pay attention too.
5. Daily Habits
This is a big one! It involves taking consistent action on your goal every day. First thing in the morning can be a great time. You’re fresh and there are fewer distractions. That’s when I take the most action on the big things in my life. It’s a great way to start the day. I love the feeling of having done something towards the most important goals in my life early in the day.
Most people tend to overestimate the number of things they need to do in a day and underestimate what they can achieve in 2, 3 or 5 years. Take consistent action for months or even years at a time and amazing things start to happen!
Initially, you need qualities such as motivation, perseverance, and tenacity to get going. However, as you keep going, it will become a habit. Once you get into the habit of working on a particular goal it becomes easy to do the work involved consistently.
Related Article: How to Set and Achieve Your Goals
Big goals rarely go to plan and sometimes they take a bit longer than you would want them to take. I struggle with this one because I like things to happen fast! However, it is important to accept and be grateful for where you are now and the progress you have already made.
With patience comes calmness and clear-headedness, two things you really want when you’re working on achieving big goals.
7. Never Give Up!
I’m sure you’ve heard this many times before. Never give up on your ultimate goal or dream. This can be the single difference between someone that is successful and someone that’s not. The people that fail simply give up, often extremely close to achieving the goal.
Sometimes you will need to make a dramatic change in direction to achieve your ultimate goal. That’s okay. If you have given something a fair shot, sometimes a dramatic change in approach is necessary. You will always retain the learnings, experiences, and how the previous approach helped you develop as a person. You can never lose that. So change your approach if you need to, but never give up on your ultimate goal or dream.
So these are my 7 tips for achieving big goals. I hope you found these useful. I wish you every success in applying these strategies to the big goals that you have in your life right now.
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