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How to Achieve Big Personal Goals

  • Posted on May 21, 2018


Ask yourself these two questions:

What one thing could you do (you aren’t doing now) that if you did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your personal life? What one thing in your business or professional life would bring similar results? The answers to those two questions tell which two big rocks you should start working on today. When you want to make substantial change in your life, don’t try changing everything at the same time. If you do, you’ll quickly burn out and little, if anything, will be permanently changed. Your best approach, when making major changes in life is making many small changes instead of one or two big changes. The small changes are best when they add up to a major change over time. This is about your ability to focus. You want to focus on the “important and urgent” as well as the “important but not urgent” You’ll find the time to do this by reducing the time you spend on the “urgent but not important” and the “not important and not urgent”.

Humans Are Powerful Beings

Among the many endowments setting humans apart from other creatures is our self-awareness, imagination, and conscience. These are important human elements that the 7 habits not only draws upon but also seeks to strengthen. When it comes to habit 3, taking action, a fourth human element comes into play. That of independent will.

Ideally, what you want to do is set a series of short term goals that build upon each other to become along term goal. For most people independent will only goes so far. When the major vision is too big or the reward is too far out, they lose hope and motivation. It’s important having that long term and major vision but the best way of accomplishing it is by breaking it down into smaller changes. Create a road map to your vision and break it down into small changes that you can accomplish on a daily and weekly basis.

Who you want to be in one year, five years, or twenty years should be evident in what you are doing today to accomplish that. Being accepted at a high quality university is a short term goal leading to a long term goal of becoming an attorney. Achieving high grades is another step in being accepted into law school. Finishing law school and passing the bar exam leads to becoming an attorney. Major goal achieved. Now move on to becoming a partner in a major law firm. Each of these steps is a big rock in itself. Working on one or two big rocks at a time, with the long term vision in view, is the practice of highly effective people.

Putting First Things First

E. M. Gray was a scholar in search of the common denominator shared by all successful people. While he found hard work, good luck, and astute human relations to be important, none of these is the common denominator. All successful people demonstrate the ability to stay focused on what is important to them.

In fact, the best way of defining successful people is those that accomplish in life what they most want to accomplish. Carefully consider your goals before embarking on breaking the big rocks into manageable tasks. If a real need in your life is earning more money because you can’t pay your bills on the income from your $11 an hour job, you have more than one choice. You could immediately increase your income by taking a second job. Or you could make a longer term goal of becoming better educated to qualify for a better paying job. Working two jobs for the rest of your life means not having much of a family or social life. Getting an education and better job means improving your overall life.

You may have an ultimate goal to retire to Jamaica but you first need a plan enabling that. Long term goals are excellent motivators to get you to work on what needs to be done today to accomplish what you really desire. If you’re older in life, retiring to Jamaica might meaning reducing your responsibilities so that you can retire. If you’re younger in life, it might mean earning more money or putting more away in savings. The important thing is that what you are working on today, next week, next month, and next year is moving you closer to what you really want to accomplish with your life.


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