Accomplish your goals by putting your plans into practice
All people dream about something. All people aspire for something. Unfortunately, not all of them succeed in turning their dreams into reality. Sometimes it’s even surprising: after all, there are so many opportunities in this world, so many books with all those success stories, so many people with inspiring ideas. So what is it that keeps us from moving towards our dreams, even despite the strongest desire to act?
Actions: do you make decisions?
Imagine this: on a Sunday night you decide to set your alarm clock at 6 a.m. to get up early on Monday and be able to do more than usual. For example, to do some research on all those topics for a research paper. You were so sure about this, even inspired. But there’s not a trace of this inspiration when you hear your alarm clock going off. All you want is to hit the snooze button and sleep some more.
What’s the difference between a decision and determination? They both reflect our need for something, like getting up early, in the case above. The difference is your determination is not enough for action; you need to make a conscious decision. A decision that’s clear, distinct and firm. To want to do some outstanding research writing and to get it done are quite different things. You may just sit around doing nothing and waiting for the creative writing ideas to come. Or you can just start writing down all thoughts and ideas that come into your head, doing research on the topic and separate the wheat from the chaff.
Thoughts: what are you thinking about?
If you only dreamt once of how you would become a great professional and get a great job or how you would implement an important project… and never ever came back to that thought, it will remain nothing but a dream. But if you refuse to let it go and even as much as allow yourself to think it’s possible, making this dream come true will become more real. So how can you turn vague dreams into specific plans?
1. Think slowly
The more you contemplate an idea, the more it becomes a part of your everyday thinking. Even if at first you discarded it and went back to it much later. Something that you saw as a dream, a fantasy even becomes increasingly closer and more attainable… till it finally comes to that moment when you submit that work of yours for a professional writing contest.
2. Act quickly
Give yourself some time, but don’t drag your feet for too long: too much time may pass between the first idea to the first steps to bringing it to life. Your brain can’t always tell the difference between actions and your fantasizing about them, and your positive motivation may turn into empty daydreaming. So as soon as your idea starts seeming normal and attainable and you feel brave enough to make it happen, it’s time for turning dreams into reality!
3. Silence your inner critic
Have you noticed this strange thing that happens to you as soon as you start visualizing the results of your hard work? There’s some tiny inner voice saying “You don’t have what it takes, forget about it”. If you have, don’t try to chase it away. You already have this seed of doubt inside you and the more you try to extinguish it, the stronger it gets. If there’s some sparkle of doubt, don’t try to snuff it out. Let it burn out.
Attitude: how does perfectionism keep you away from your goals?
If you do want to go all the way from ideas to plans to real results, don’t think of how you can make that perfect first step. Cast away all thoughts about perfection. You only need to perfect something if this something is finished and ready. If nothing is ready, there is nothing to perfect. Besides, the very concept of perfection is very subjective.
Energy: do you have the strength to move mountains?
Even if your determination is already supported by clear and firm decisions, but you don’t have enough energy to make it real, your motivation will drop. But don’t haste to chastise yourself for lack of willpower.
Decision-making does take a great deal of energy, attention and certain actions. To be more efficient, you need to understand what drains your energy.
Here are some possible reasons and ways to fight them:
1. Fatigue – easily removed by giving yourself some time to relax and take proper care of your health.
2. Suppression of emotions – find what’s bothering you and spear some time to deal with it.
3. Lack of concentration – learn to focus on things that are really important.
4. Love for multi-tasking – divide your work into equal periods of time with short breaks in between.
5. Low motivation – a reward you promised yourself some time in the future must be closer and more real. Or give yourself smaller rewards in the process.
Whatever your goal is – having a career of your dreams, becoming famous or improving writing skills in order to become a popular blogger – you can reach them when your ideas meet the actions.