Sir Edmund Hilary was interviewed once on conquering a mountain. He said, “As you look at a mountain you know there is no way you can conquer it; but you know you have to just put the left foot in front of the right foot and the right foot in front of the left foot and keep going until you reach the top.”
There is an old Chinese proverb which says, “The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step”. This proverb assists people and projects by focusing on the here and now, rather than worrying about the unmanageable future. It is the idea of one enormous goal that often puts people off and stops them from trying; like planning to climb a mountain without having tried to climb a hill. We set our goals so large we fail at them because we lose courage. Taking small steps (such as setting up task modules) is probably one of the most, if not the most, important factor when it comes to achieving the big goals. Such a game plan will increase your odds of succeeding. From the moment you set your goal and write down your overall plan, break down that plan into smaller, more manageable and achievable tasks so that you know what you are to accomplish in each area at a given time. The strategy behind this is that whenever you set big goals there is going to be a point before you start, or during the process of starting, when you will be overwhelmed. Setting small tasks will help you start with small successes that will give you a sense of achievement, get you excited to keep going and encourage you to work harder. Each step is a small success; it creates confidence and builds momentum.
Having a plan for each day, week, and month to reach your goal will not only keep you on track but it will generate excitement and provide a sense of direction that will allow you to focus your energy on opportunities to grow and improve. It is also a good way to practice self-discipline and positive habit development. Expect pitfalls and obstacles. Prepare a plan for getting back on track when they happen. Keep it simple and write it down.
Planning should be dynamic and active. Don’t let the planning process stagnate and grind to a halt. It is helpful to set up a planning board, divided into days, weeks and months to help you stay on track. It takes far less energy to continue a successful planning effort than it does to start one the first time.
During your hour alone set up your yearly planning board and fill in major deadlines you have set for yourself. Then in another colour set your tasks and activities, for each day and each week, which will take you step-by-step toward your monthly and annual goals. It makes any task easier, a lot more enjoyable and comfortable too. As you build your plan your future will unfold before you. Display it so you will see it daily and update it as necessary. Knowing your priorities will take away much of the pressure.
Action is essential to success but results are the only excuse for activity. You must know why you are taking certain actions and make sure they are on track toward the fulfilment of your goals.
For every plan you have there will always be obstacles on the way to achievement. Keep a good, positive attitude so that any obstacle does not remain a barrier between you and your goal. Recognise obstacles but do not fear them as they are an integral part of the challenge of life. Plans may need to be changed to overcome any obstacle but don’t let it change your goal.
Schedule extra ‘buffer’ time; this is for contingency purposes. It will come in handy at times when unexpected events occur which need your attention or when you under-estimate the time to be taken for a particular task.
Finally, enjoy what you are doing. This puts you in a relaxed frame of mind and keeps your mind positive toward your goal.
Your journey will take persistence and perseverance, but hang in there. E. James Rohn says, “If you constantly think of success, desire success and actively pursue the goal you have in mind, you will eventually be successful.”