You could have asked me as a kid what I wanted to do when I grow up, and I would have told you something different every day. I didn’t really care what I wanted to be. There were so many good options out there, and they were all appealing. I ended up doing none of the things I thought I once wanted to do. On the other hand, I have friends who knew what they wanted to be at an early age and are doing it today.
It wasn’t until I got older that I had the big “I want to be this” moment. That was twenty years ago, and I’m still working toward it. Will I achieve my dreams? Of course I can, but only if I keep working toward it.
To be able to visualize the end point and move in that direction is really what this life should be about. Can you imagine not being able to answer St. Peter when he asks you why you should be able to go through the gate? As far as we know, we only get one chance on this earth. Would you risk squandering it on no definite purpose in life? Would you not make every day count towards achieving your great purpose?
Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of achievement. –W. Clement Stone
Let us back up a moment and get away from the grand design of your life. Maybe you haven’t found it yet, or what you have found is still a question mark. If you don’t know what the grand is, then maybe you have to go with the minute. Regardless of the scale of the goal, you need to have that definitive aim. You need to know what you are aiming at before you release the arrow. Otherwise, you might hit everything but your target.
To achieve your goals, consider DMAIC. This is a part of Six Sigma used to improve business processes. Take you goal, whether it to lose weight or build your dream cake business, and create a systematic approach to achieving it.
- Define – What’s your goal? To lose ten pounds.
- Measure – How will you measure it? Calories in vs. Calories out. Weight scale.
- Analyze – Take a good look at your performance? Use a tracker, journal, or both. What’s the quality of the calories coming in? What’s the quality of the calories being burned (exercise)?
- Improve – What corrections can be made? Review your analysis and find sustainable solutions, i.e. reduce sugar, stop eating late at night, work out earlier in the morning.
- Control – Ensure improvements are implemented and maintained. Keep track of these too and put in some control systems (alarms, family members and friends).
Success achieving small goals will lead to greater confidence in attacking bigger goals. But your chances of hitting your goals will be slim, if you do not know what you are aiming at.