Recently some of my clients have been having some challenges bringing their big goal to life. They have amazing goals but there’s something in the way of getting started on them. (Self-value and self esteem aside.) These goals are sitting out in the ether as a compelling thought, a half started project, something they really want but there’s lots of uncertainty surrounding it. They are procrastinating and self doubting, feeling stagnant and not sure what direction to go in. Maybe that’s a theme for you at the moment. If it is I hope this helps.
Here’s a little case study of breaking down a big goal.
With this particular client we found fear and uncertainty around their goal. It was something that they really wanted but it felt too big and too challenging and they didn’t know where to start. It was easier to just go back to doing what they had always done.
Together we set aside some time and got big sheets of paper and permanent markers out and set up space on the floor. We set an intention for the outcome we wanted.
We then looked at the ultimate goal and asked:
What’s the BIG idea? Where do you want to be with it in 5 years time?
We put the answer to that question front and center on the page.
Then we looked at all the things that needed to happen to achieve that. Essentially that’s asking lots of questions along the lines of the following.
What does this thing look like?
What needs to happen to bring this to life?
How can you bring it to life?
What would you have to do to do to achieve it?
When would you like to have xyz?
Why are you doing it?
Who are you influencing and how do you reach them?
How do I do this?
What team members do I need?
What advice do I need?
We found there were 5-7 departments or groups that made up this big goal. We gave each of these departments their own piece of paper and started to mind-map/break it down further. We brainstormed under these headings what needed to happen to achieve ‘xyz’ in that particular area.
Essentially we broke the big goal down into 5-7 steps. We then took each of those steps and broke those down into 5-7 steps.
We then organized them into priority. If it felt too big we then broke that step down into even smaller steps.
We then took another big sheet of paper and made the beginnings of a to do list.
The secret here is to see nothing in the way of you taking action on what you want to do. By breaking the BIG goal down into small enough steps you are then able to do something towards achieving that goal.
For my client a simple yet powerful to-do item was to create some time to work on her project. She achieved this by planning meals in advance to save time when she got home from work and picking her daughter up. Her daughter got involved then and they have organized a month of dinners. It makes shopping so much easier and cheaper as well. That extra time has now been converted into her project time.
Step 1: get the overview of what the big picture looks like – get excited about it. Get it out of your head and onto paper.
Step 2: List or brainstorm what things need to happen to bring this into reality. Break the goal down to the major items or groups of activities needed. Marketing, finances required, producing the content etc.
Step 3: Give each of the major item areas their own sheet of paper and break those down into smaller steps – no idea is a silly idea.
Step 4: Take the highest priority area that you know needs to happen first and will make the biggest impact initially in getting the project going. Put this at the top of a new sheet of paper called the TO –DO list. List 3 things that you can do towards this. You can then take another area and do the same with that. Make sure you don’t feel overwhelmed…just excited about getting started.
Step 5: Put accountability in place. Have someone that is expecting you to check in with them weekly or fortnightly.
Step 6: Put your plan where you can see it.
A lot of small and consistent steps towards a goal is more effective than one big action with no follow through. It’s builds belief and momentum. Good Luck!