Saturday, January 7, 2012

Dream Big, Start Where You Are

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When it comes to setting goals, most people shoot themselves in the foot by setting goals without immediate steps within their reach. They thereby set themselves up for failure. For your goal to be achievable you have to be able to do something about it today, not tomorrow or when things line up. There should be a link between your goal and where you are right now. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, says a Chinese proverb. That step should be within your reach today, not tomorrow. A plan is the bridge to your dreams. If the bridge is such that you cannot gain a foothold right where you are, it may end up a pipe dream. You may locate your boat, but with no gangway to board it, you may find yourself watching it sail away while you are left stranded on the shore. A lot of New Year Resolutions end up in a puff of smoke because folks could not get on board (gather momentum).

You ought to think big, but it does not end there. The journey to your destination should be such that you can start and continue moving. After getting inspired to start, you need motivation to keep going. Nothing motivates more than taking one successful step after another. It gives you momentum to keep going forward. Hence it is critical to cut your first steps according to your current ability. Step out of your comfort zone gradually. Warm up first before you start to run. Your goals should stretch you, but gradually.

If you want to run a marathon, you have to start gradually. You cannot simply wake up one morning and start running. You main focus at the onset will be the state of your health. You need to see your doctor to have a physical examination to certify you fit to start. You will be advised to start gradually and slowly build up your fitness level, which will be reflected in your resting pulse rate. This means your focus will not be primarily on running the marathon itself, but it getting yourself ready to become a marathoner so that you can run one. The same applies to goals. After setting the goals, the next activity should be training and preparation. This involves focus on personal growth and development. It involves learning. To achieve what you have not achieved before, you need to become who you have not been before. To become who you have not been before, you have to grow. When you grow as a person, you upgrade your capability to perform and get results at the next level.

Most of our goals belong to the next level. To reach those goals, you have to step up your game and play at that level. It begins with starting from where you are and upgrading yourself. You need to know what steps you need to take immediately and how to go about it. For most goals, the first step is the commitment to learn. Hence the first step is usually the decision to start signified by getting a book on the subject, reading it with a commitment to action. Every high achiever one day started from ground zero. There is hardly any goal you set for yourself that no one has gone that way before. Even when your goal is truly unique, the principle for attaining success is the same. A lot of people before you have overcome challenges to achieve their goals. The story of their journey is shared somewhere in a book, audio or video product, seminar or the internet etc. There are virtually unlimited resources you can access o learn, and know how to start in such a way that you set yourself up for success not failure.

Dream big but start where you are. Never leave the site of making a goal without taking action immediately. Your goal setting should coincide with taking the first action immediately. Do not allow your goals or dreams go cold. Strike while it is still hot.

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