People with ambitious goals will face unavoidable obstacles and challenges. That is a reality of being driven and chasing dreams. However, one of the biggest dream-killers has to do with people quitting and stopping the pursuit of their dreams altogether. When do most people quit? It's not in the middle, after days, months, and years of attempting to reach a goal. Most people stop at the start. By failing to start, they fail to make their dream a reality.
Why is it so difficult to start working towards a difficult goal? Our CEO, Gene Zannetti, said it best with this formula: K - A = N. Knowledge - Action = Nothing. (See the video he made on that here) It doesn't matter what you know, if you don't apply action, you will see no result. It happens all the time. You over-analyze the problems and challenges, you worry about steps leading toward the end of your goal, you consider how daunting the task might be, and slowly, the dream disappears.
The bigger the task is, the more at-risk you are to stop before you start. No matter how driven you are, it is crucial to take intentional steps toward putting your plans into action. If you plan to act, you will get moving and be much more likely to find success. Here are 5 ways to put your dreams into actions before you get caught up in the hype.
1) Write down a step-by-step plan. Break your project down into smaller, manageable pieces. Then, immediately get working towards completing the first step. It will get you started before fear or anxiety kicks in and small tasks will make your bigger project seem much more reasonable.
2) Keep track of past successes. Certificates, trophies, letters of recognition, A's on tests hanging on your fridge, and any other reminder of your past success will help you face a difficult challenge. It's important for our confidence to remember the wins you have achieved to help you launch into action on a new project.
3) Lawyer speak. You always want to build the case for yourself. When starting a new goal that seems too hard to achieve, talk (or write) to yourself as if you are a lawyer defending all the reasons why you can, and should, reach your goal. Instead of narrowing in on the difficulties, it will force you to advocate for yourself and focus on positives.
4) Accountability. Get other people involved in your dreams from the very start. Conversations that start: "You know what would be cool... If I was able to..." should end with statements like: "Here's how I'll need help... I need you to check in with me and make sure I..." Create a support system for your dreams so if you aren't feeling up to the challenge, you will have trusted friends and family reminding you that you are and expecting you to make real, tangible progress.
5) Envision the win. What will this accomplishment help you do? What goal will you set after you achieve this one? What will the defining moment look like when you reach your success? When you answer these types of questions, you will have your "why." People with purpose become champions, while people without purpose become jaded, almost made-it's. When your purpose is clear and you know why you are attempting a big challenge, the challenge itself loses its intimidating effect. Instead, it just serves as another reminder of why it is important for you to get started!
It doesn't matter what your dream is or what aspect of your life it is about. Want to learn a new language? Excel at a sport? Ace a standardized exam? Ask your crush out? Use these five steps and get to action!