If you want to achieve your goals, you need to shift from dreaming into doing. Many people are afraid of this shift, simply because of the change that will inevitably follow. However, if you want to be successful, avoiding change is no longer an option. It’s not a “nice to have” skill–it’s a “need to have” skill. Those who aren’t willing to embrace change will find themselves ultimately unsatisfied and left behind. Here are a few simple things you can do to put your goals into action and prepare yourself for the change that will follow.
Identify Your Motivators
Start by exploring your intrinsic vs extrinsic motivators. Intrinsic motivation refers to those heartfelt desires from deep down inside that drive you. These actions seek rewards that are naturally satisfying, like developing healthy habits, building stronger relationships, or developing a passion. Extrinsic motivation is based on factors outside of yourself. You pursue extrinsic goals to attain rewards like money, status, or a good reputation. Both intrinsic and extrinsic goals are worthwhile, so long as you understand the difference and avoid chasing empty, unfulfilling goals.
Let Go of Perfection
Many people avoid certain tasks or delay going after goals because they want everything to be perfect immediately. However, when you strive for perfection, you beat yourself up over every little mistake and put off dealing with difficult problems out of a fear of failure. You must be able and willing to fail in order to try new things and ultimately effect change. Leadership guru John Maxwell has said, “The more you do, the more you fail. The more you fail, the more you learn. The more you learn, the better you get.”
Taking action requires you to let go of “perfect”. It means giving yourself room to make mistakes and to learn and grow from them. Understanding perfectionism as a cause of procrastination can help you recognize those habits and work through them.
Think Through Your Entire Journey
Your plan doesn’t just involve the end result, it involves the journey as well. Mentally go through the steps it will take to get to your end vision. By doing so, your mind will automatically start solving problems it finds along the way. Once you know where you’re going, possibilities begin to appear. The key is to then translate those possibilities into action, as that is when you produce the real fruit of your labor and move closer to the end goal.
Remember, without action, all you have are ideas. Until you begin taking action and creating change, you will never be able to attain your goals. As you identify your motivators, let go of perfectionism, and think through your journey, you’ll be able to realize the steps you need to take and fully embrace the change coming your way.