Do you have to achieve a big goal or maybe pull over a big project? Maybe writing a book, launching a new product, or even running a marathon.
When tutoring students recently, this question arises: how do you achieve the really big goals?
How do you overcome procrastination and push for complicated things to increase the likelihood of achieving your big goals?
In my experience, the best way to accomplish big goals is to break them down into smaller goals.
By small goals, I’m not referring to vague general items in your to-do list.
You need to create SMART short-term goals to help you achieve your long-term goals.
Each of your goals must be a small specific, a medium measurable, actionable, [Realistic, and a nifty IMED (SMART).
Break down your goals, write down what you want to do, how you will do it when it is done, and how to measure success.
You must write down your action items so you can track your progress. Here are some strategies I use to track my goals.
The most basic way is to start writing everything you need to do to accomplish your goals.
If you are writing a book, it might be a list of chapters, research topics, deadlines, and interview topics. Just put your main idea at the top of the page and start brainstorming.
Write everything down and rewrite the list to organize the project by due dates, importance, and ease of completion.
Pros: The simplest and most essential goal-setting method. You can see everything you need to do. It’s also the easiest to cross manage-just over as you complete each project.
Cons: need to be modified over time. If you’re not careful, your list may get messy. A multi-faceted project can be challenging to manage from a single record, which results in separate directories, some of which may be ignored or even forgotten.
Make an application
If you are tech-savvy and don’t like quality paper and whiteboards, then you can use one of the many to-do applications.
There are several available, like Wunderlist, Todoist, Remember Milk and Evernote.
My favorite application is cloud-based. If I check an item on my phone, I check it on my tablet, laptop, and anywhere. When I do something else on my computer, all other places will check the item.
If you don’t want to track what’s on the paper, try one of these applications.
Pros: No paper, which means you won’t lose your inventory or data. If you lose your phone, reinstall the app on your new phone, log in, and your list is back.
Cons: It may be challenging to develop habits. This is one more app competing for your attention, one more way to do things. One cool thing about Todoist, however, is that they figured out a way to gamify their to-do list. If you are used to FourSquare / Swarm, then this may be easier to start.
If you have a visual effect like me, and ideas keep popping up when you start planning, then simple lists won’t work. This is when mind mapping is super useful.
Mind maps allow you to create a central idea, then draw lines in different categories and draw subtasks in each group. As you brainstorm, every new plan is put in place.
For example, if you plan to hold a one-day meeting, the meeting is your central idea. You then need to split several categories, such as facilities, speakers, promotions, and technology. Each task is put into its class, and from there, you create your to-do list.
With a paper or electronic mind map like MindMeister, you can follow those randomly emitted neurons and create your target list.
I usually use my whiteboard instead of an application.
Pros: Great for visual and non-linear thinkers. Let you see your goals and see where most of the work will happen.
Cons: Unless you break down each subtask into sub-tasks, it is challenging to track tasks. It is also challenging to set priorities based on importance or date. After you have created all jobs, you still need to complete the work from your to-do list.
The secret to achieving big goals is to break them down into smaller goals!
If you want to achieve a big goal, your success depends heavily on your initial plan-almost the same as your actual job.
Break big goals into small goals and track them. You should also check out my productivity tips to get more done.
Now that I have shared my secrets, how do you think it will help you achieve your biggest goals? Let me know through the comments below.