One of the things I see time and time again is that people do not distinguish between goals and action plans. The thing is, not doing so can get you stuck just about quicker than anything else. Its fantastic to set big hairy scary goals, in fact its the only way we ever get even close to living our potential. But when it comes to action plans its got to be easy and do-able, otherwise, chances are it won’t get done.
Here’s how I define the difference:
A goal is a result – so for example it might be a book completed, a weight loss target achieved, and income goal met or even a car owned.
The action steps are the things you need to do to achieve that result. Once you have set the goal you need to break it down into action steps and deadlines for those action steps to be completed.
In fact you can make it easier on yourself by breaking your goals down into smaller steps as well – that makes them so much easier to tackle. So for example, say you were to set a goal to lose 100 pounds by this time next year. That’s a big goal and your Inner reptile is going to go on high alert as soon as you set that as a goal so how about breaking it down a bit – how many months are we talking about – 12 of course. So your real goal is just over 8 pounds a month – is that actually do-able? There’s no point in setting a goal that is not ever going to be achievable. Experts tell us a two pounds a week weightless is healthy and sustainable so yes, its do-able. But its still a big scary number so lets break it down further – that works out at 2 pounds a week. Does 2 pounds feel less daunting that 100. Of course it does. So focus on the two pounds and the 100 will take care of itself.
You can do this same thing with income goals – say you want to earn 20k a month (Euros, dollars, pounds, it doesn’t matter!). Its a big scary number in any currency if you are nowhere close to earning it. So break it down – what’s the most you’ve ever earned in a day? Can you see yourself doing that? You know you can because you already have. Ok now focus on doing that again and again until you have achieved your 20k,. It doesn’t even need to all be in one month to start with. Once you have achieved the number all you have to do now is work on the timescale.
If you focus on achieving it all in the first month you will scare your Inner reptile silly and we all know what the consequences of that are! And here’s the real problem, the more often you fail, the stronger the Inner Reptile’s hold on you will become. It won’t matter how strong your affirmations are, or how powerfully you visualise, your Inner Reptile is stronger and he will make it his mission to keep you safely where you are!
So now you have an easy goal to focus on that, if you do it enough times will take you to your big goal. Now look at the steps you need to take to achieve that goal. Break them down and down until you have really simple steps that you know you can do. This is your action plan. The biggest most unachievable-seeming goal is just a series of simple action steps and the easier you make it on yourself, the faster you will achieve your goals.
And if you want to make it even easier on yourself find yourself a coach to keep you accountable! Its no secret that the most successful people in the world all have coaches!
Goal achieving doesn’t have to be hard – its just one of those old reptilian tricks that makes us think that way!