Last week, I made a short post about negative self-talk. You can read it here if you haven’t already. We’ve all been there, but how do you get past those overwhelming thoughts and move in the direction of your goals? Jim Collins refers to Big Hairy Audacious Goals aka BHAG in his book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. It’s basically a vision statement which is created to focus on a single medium-long term goal which is audacious, likely questionable, but not impossible. Sounds simple right? Haha, yeah right!
But, let’s think out loud for a minute….how many of your goals are so big that they’re scary? Probably more that you realize. Isn’t that the reason why you develop negative self-talk? I’ve found that much of the negative self-talk I catch myself doing involves a fear that I won’t succeed. Below are some steps to help you move past the fear and into action toward your BHAGs.
1. Define what you want
Write it down. There is nothing more powerful than getting your thoughts down on paper. You can sort through your thoughts and begin to make sense of them when you see them written down. They even become real, when in your head they are easily pushed aside as dreams.
2. Define your why
What’s your why? When the time comes that nothing seems to be making sense this single point will help you remain focused. Why is eating healthy a goal? Why do you want to graduate college? Why do you want that promotion? Write down you why and remind yourself of it daily.
3. Take the first step
This might something really small like not drinking sugar filled soda or eating out for a week. No matter how small, start somewhere. Continue adding to your steps and filtering each decision through a filter that supports your #1. Every actions step taken toward your goal has a snowball effect. You will feel more accomplished and powerful the move you work towards that goal. Write it down.
4. Don’t get lazy
This one is important. We’ve all had goals before. We’ve all taken some steps toward them. Why are they not accomplished? We get lazy. Despite the snowball effect action steps have we can still get distracted and then lazy. Set aside time to work towards your goal. This might be waking up 15-20 min earlier to have some quiet time to journal and record your thoughts. This might be setting aside time every 3-4 days to prep food so you can pack your lunch and have dinner prepared. This might mean saying no to those shoes to set aside the money to save for the certification. No matter how small the action step is some action is better than no action. Write down what actions you’re going to take this week to support your #1.
We are all stronger in community, but community doesn’t always come easy. It’s hard to make time to pour into someone else and share your goals as well. I can’t name one thing significant/important in my life that happened by accident. My job, my marriage, my friends, my relationship with Jesus, I could go on and on…they are very intentional. Accountability is no different. In order to be held accountable you have to have people in your life that you’ve given authority to hold you accountable. This might be a community group online with similar goals, this might be a friend or mentor. No matter who they are, in order for you to be held accountable you have to be intentional.
There’s no doubt that when we accomplish goals we feel empowered. Don’t wait to start working towards your BHAGs! Just writing it down can be your first step.
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