How to achieve every goal - no matter how big
Do you feel a little lost when it comes to knowing exactly how you’re going to achieve a goal or complete a big project?
Do you wish you were working towards your business and long-term goals everyday?
Are getting lost in the everyday things that demand your attention, and end up spending more time on day-to-day tasks instead of the big picture?
You’re not alone.
As a business owner it is easy to get caught in a cycle of repairing and performing just to get to the next day or need. However, when we’re working for the nine to five we’re missing the opportunity to work for the 365.
If you’ve been following along with the How to build a plan you’ll actually stick to series (part 1) (part 2), you’ve come up with some goals and a list of things you need to work on to achieve them. Now you need to figure out exactly how those things are going to get done.
If not, no worries. You can apply the method I’m about to share to any big project you’re working on.
A journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step.
One of the main problems with trying to achieve big goals is the question “What should I work on today?”
The goal seems so big and distant that it’s hard for many people to connect the little thing they do today to the outcome in the future.
This leads to:
- Procrastination because you’re not sure what to work on
- A lack of urgency because you still have plenty of time to reach your goal
- A tendency to prioritize the urgent over the important
Break your big goal down
Look at your big goal or outcome. From there, size it down into several smaller goals or outcomes. We like to call this process “chunking.”
Start by chunking step-by-step.
It is important you chunk projects up into specific and logical steps.
If you chunk up a project into one or two parts spread out over a month with the hopes that all the days and little details or the “yada-yadas” will sort themselves out in the process, you will be disappointed.
It is all these in-between steps which bring you gracefully from your aspiration to your actuality.
Examples of Good and Bad Chunking
The Goal is: Sell More Products
- Host focus group
- Take results and brainstorm new partner products
- Take quantitative sales metrics at beginning of timeline for comparisons
- Introduce new partner product
- Promote product
- Introduce two new market strategies
- Monitor strategies for two months
- Look at numbers
- Continue to run more successful campaign
- Update social media weekly
- Compare end sales metrics to beginning
Why is it Good?
This gives you a clear idea of each individual step you need to take to meet your end goal.
- Make more products
- Sell more products
Why is it bad?
The plan is vague. It is missing key steps in between your end goal and beginning. It will take you longer to achieve your goals if you don't set up a clear and detailed path for yourself.
Let’s say you’re working on a 12-month goal or project. You should start by breaking it down into smaller goals or projects that can be done in a quarter.
Then break those down into smaller chunks that can be done in a month. Then break those down into even smaller chunks that can be done in a week.
Finally, take those manageable week-long chunks and create tasks you can do each day.
When you’ve finished that process, you’ll have made a direct connection between what you need to work on today and your long-term goal. You’ve figured out what the first step on your 1,000 mile journey needs to be.
I’m sure you’re thinking this will take some time to work on. Yes, it will. But, in the end, you’ll reach your goal faster (or at all) because you took the time at the start to think it through.
The other benefits of this "slowing down to speed up" approach are:
- Eliminate decision making fatigue
- Keep you focused on what matters
- Reduced stress
Avoid decision fatigue
Neuroscience tells us that our brains only have so much capacity to make decisions. And your brain doesn’t know the difference between a decision about which pair of socks to put on and deciding on the meaning of life. They both deplete your capacity.
By working through this chunking process, you’ve effectively made the decision about what to do next in advance. Then, on the appointed day and time, all you need to do is show up and do what you’ve already decided to do. Instead of wasting time and energy on deciding what to do next, you can put that effort towards productive activities.
Stay focused on the important stuff
People are hard-wired to react to what’s in front of them. In the absence of of a plan, that means you’ll end up spending your time on something that seems urgent in the moment. Your plan of what to work on keeps you focused on the tasks that will get you to your goals.
Know where you are
A big cause of stress for business owners is uncertainty. Not knowing how you’re doing or where you are relative to your goals will stress you out. If you're following this chunking process, you’ll always know where you are on the path to your goal.
Breaking It down
This can be an involved process and be a little overwhelming if you’ve never tried it before. Good news! We help business owners through this process every day..
If you are having trouble knowing exactly where your business should be going or what you need to make your journey successful, we can help!
Book a free 1-hour Breakthrough Consultation with us.