7 Simple Steps to Achieving Your Biggest Goals
There is no shortcut to success. That’s the first thing we must realize before we set out on any new adventure. If we want to achieve our goals, we have to make the right decisions and focus on small steps that will bring us closer to the ideal outcome.
After all, we are responsible for how we want to live our lives, and if we wish to achieve our biggest goals, then we first have to grasp the main idea of what we want to achieve so that we can focus on the details.
That means that we first have to take hundreds if not thousands of small steps before we can reach our goals. These seven steps are crucial to achieving our goals:
- Stop focusing on the outcome
- Take small steps
- Make mistakes
- Shift your mindset
- Create good habits
- Visualize your goals
- Choose the right people
#1 Stop focusing on the outcome
We often get too caught up in the outcome of our goals to be able to focus on what we need to do to achieve them. When we get caught up in the idea of our ambitions, it’s easy to focus on the bigger picture rather than what we need to do to get there.
The thing is that if we focus on the outcome, then we’re not focusing on the journey — and what will take us to the next step. We can’t fast-forward to the good parts of life, even if we sometimes wish we could.
I learned this pretty quickly when I started writing on Medium. It’s not possible to start writing and hope for a breakthrough in your first month, or even your second. You either have to plan your journey, or you hope to get extremely lucky
This is a platform that requires hard work and dedication before you see any major successes or achievements. There are a few lucky people who manage to become successful at the beginning of their journey — sometimes their first week. But if we all expect to immediately succeed, then we’re creating expectations that can lead to disappointment.
#2 Take small steps
All our decisions and steps will add up to become the bigger picture, and we will eventually reach our goals if we stick to them. Every choice we make plays a part in achieving our dreams, so if we make the right ones, then we’re guaranteed success.
It sounds easier than it is, but if we acknowledge that all success stories started with one right decision, then our dreams become a lot more feasible than if we wouldn’t break it up into small steps.
If we simply focus on what we need to do today to get us one step closer to our goals, then we’re already well on our way to success.
#3 Make mistakes
It’s good to acknowledge when we make mistakes so that we learn what went wrong where, and what we can do to avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
This is something a lot of people refrain from doing because they view mistakes as failures. What we should do instead is view our mistake as a guide that will help us find the right answer.
On the contrary, if we stick to the belief that we’re always right, and can’t accept when we make a mistake, then we won’t grow or improve. These are a few things we must keep in mind when something goes wrong.
- Acknowledge where you went wrong
- Take responsibility
- Don’t be defensive
- Accept the consequences
- Don’t try to hide your mistakes
- Apologize and be sincere
- Figure out the next step
If we’re starting a new business and make a mistake, we have to be willing to own up to it. If we pretend like nothing is wrong — then our employees will lose faith in our maturity and ability to run a business.
To make the right decisions, we first have to make mistakes. That is how we’ll gain experience so that we can learn and make the right ones next time.
“Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions.” — Mark Twain
#4 Shift your mindset
On the road to achieving our biggest goals, we will often find ourselves in a whirlwind of thoughts that say “I can’t do that”, “I’m not qualified”, “I don’t know what I’m doing” or “this is a ridiculous idea”.
Sure, some of our dreams might be unrealistic, but we shouldn’t let that stop us. Any goals we set out to achieve — if reasonable — are completely attainable. What will happen if we think these destructive thoughts is that we’re telling ourselves that we can’t do it, which is only setting ourselves up for failure.
We have to learn to trust ourselves and that we are capable of achieving our goals. After all, we are our own biggest critics, so it’s not uncommon to think that our dreams and aspirations are completely bonkers.
Burdening thoughts may also be why a lot of people give up on their goals and stop chasing their dreams. They tell themselves that they can’t do it — and they believe that to be true so they give up.
That is the only time we truly fail.
#5 Create good habits
Removing bad habits and replacing them with good ones is the most productive way to begin our journey to reach our goals.
All we have to do is stick to something long enough. That is how it becomes a habit and a part of our routine. Good habits can include anything from making our bed in the morning to exercising daily. It’s completely up to our lifestyle and what we want to achieve.
If we don’t give ourselves anything to work towards, then we risk living our life in autopilot, which won’t get us anywhere.
Additionally, if we want to remove bad habits from our routine, we first have to figure out what they are and determine their triggers. They don’t have to be holding us back, but if they are not beneficial to our goals or life, then it might be time to move on from them. Here are a few ways to break bad habits:
- Identify what they are
- Determine the triggers and remove them
- Decide if it’s best to transition away or go cold-turkey
- Find a good habit to replace it with
- Keep track of progress
- Reward the small victories
For example, if we want to quit smoking, we first need to remove any triggers from our routine. That might mean that we have to throw away the lighter in our pocket or avoid people in our friend group who smoke.
Regardless of what the habit is that we want to break, it’s good to keep track of the process and reward ourselves when we make progress.
The reason why we need to replace bad habits with better ones is so that we avoid the possibility of revisiting them. If we fill the gap in our routine with a good habit, we also eliminate the possibility of changing the bad one out for another, equally destructive habit.
#6 Visualize your goals
We don’t always have a clear vision of where we want to go in life. Sometimes we have a vague idea of where we want to go, so we start blindly working towards that goal. The problem with this is that we might end up making the wrong decisions because we didn’t exactly know where we were going.
By taking some time to visualize our goals, we create an image in our minds of the ideal outcome. When we know exactly how we want something to turn out, it becomes easier to work towards it.
It might become easier to work towards our goals when we know what we want and expect. It’s a great way to understand your desires and have an image to work towards.
#7 Choose the right people
Lastly, we also have to make sure to surround ourselves with the right people. If we have a friend who wants to bring us down, they will only slow us down and make us second-guess our every move.
We often reach out to the people around us for feedback, and if it’s not constructive or helpful — then we risk losing out on certain opportunities because we believed they were right. Because ultimately, the people we care about and value in our lives will have an impact on our final decisions.
This is why we have to surround ourselves with people who are willing to support and stick by us. Good people are also incredibly valuable to our journey because they have a different perspective and might help us clear our vision of our future.
It’s important to find people who understand where we want to go, and also believe that we can get there. We have to cut the people out of our lives who don’t support or want the best for us.
“There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.”
— Ray Goforth
If we focus on these steps, and actively work to implement them into our lives, then we are well on our way to success. By living our lives on autopilot, years can pass without us getting any closer to our goals.
By taking small steps each day towards our goals — and believe that we can achieve them — then we will be able to reach them faster than we may have thought.
It all comes down to the decisions we make and our view of our future.
I have tested these seven steps myself, and I have found that they dramatically decrease the time and stress that usually goes into achieving my goals. I used to have no idea where to even begin when it came to reaching a goal of mine, and I feel that these steps help me get started.