How to achieve a clear understanding of goals and avoid putting off action

Have you ever deferred working towards your dreams? If you’re like most people (including us), then you’ve definitely done so. The reason is seldom just being short on time or motivation. Most often it is something else – not knowing what your true objectives are.

A litmus test for the real goals

On many occasions Ivan has observed this interesting phenomenon in his behavior:

Whenever he puts off something for later it usually reveals one thing in the end – he doesn’t have a good idea why he has chosen the specific task at hand.

Not being 100% sure about our true intentions is the main reason for failing to start.

And it’s often that in such cases doubt has a role to play too.

The problem

It isn’t that something is too hard or complicated. Nor is it that we are short on motivation or energy. It simply means that we are not fully convinced that we need to go in that direction.

And vice versa – when we know for sure that something has to be done we will do it no matter what.

 “Clarity is power!”

These were the words of Juli Tonkin that got vividly imprinted into our brains the very first time we attended his seminar.

The system we developed is based on having a crystal clear idea of what we aim at in the long run. So, that’s where the second law of the system “Get Clarity” comes in.

The different levels of clarity

First, we need to define our dreams in such detail so that we know where exactly we need to go. And then we have to know how to get there.

Or to put it differently:
1. There is no doubt about what we really want;
2. We know perfectly well how to get it.

Level # 1: What a goal is and whether it is a true one

This needs to be taken care of at the very beginning when we build a Vision. It is the perfect moment to list the top priorities of your life for the next 30 years.

A straightforward vision will significantly reduce any confusion and uncertainty along the way. We would know what we strive for and how to make it possible.

An easy hack

There is this one question you should ask yourself while outlining your plan for the long run:

“Why?”

The answer will indicate if the given objective is truly in line with what you want. If you can’t come up with good reasoning then perhaps it isn’t something you should pursue in the first place.

It’s paramount not to compromise with our long-term vision. We have to differentiate between what brings in some short-lived satisfaction and what will stay valuable throughout our life.

If you know what you aspire to then you will know how to get it. Or do you?

This is true for us as well. If we can provide a very good answer then we will be able to figure out how to achieve it. For most people, this first level (what they aim for) is the bigger challenge.

But this is not always the case.

Not long ago Niki had a coaching session with someone who was struggling to come up with a good vision for health. This person had many and very good reasons to get in good physical shape. And yet, there was something amiss since in the end, he failed to follow through.

Cases like this take us now to the second important aspect of the issue.

Level # 2: Clarity on how to achieve our objectives

The strategies for a given vision are implemented within the 90-day goals. Every three months we have to set one objective in the chosen direction (optimally 3 visions per quarter). At this point, the work throughout the period is being split into small weekly steps.

The clarity at this stage is used in how we choose the right approach which will do the job quickly and without trouble.

One of the most interesting things here is what we learn about ourselves. We begin to observe and analyze our behavior, especially things we do subconsciously, i.e. our habits and routines.

Making good use of the information

We talked extensively about this in the series for the financial vision. It’s crucial to be fully aware of what we were doing (how and under what circumstances we were spending money).  The idea is to take control and to do that we have to build a system for managing our actions. The process is complete when we finally transform our actions into useful habits that can stay with us for life.

This technique applies to any of our endeavors. For example, Ivan is currently taking metrics of his sleep, food, hydration, and exercise. His aim is to build a better strategy for health based on the facts of the collected data.

Experimenting

We strongly recommend the following: if you are not sure how to proceed then try something new that seems like a good thing to start with. Keep in mind that some of the most consequential 90-day goals are those of experimentation.

For example, years ago Niki was thinking to take part in a startup IT company. But he wasn’t completely sold on the idea. As interested as he was, there were some lingering doubts. After some initial hesitation, he eventually made his mind. What he did was something like reconnaissance in force. He did set up several consecutive 90-day targets so that he gets a better understanding and some experience. In the end, he concluded it was a good idea (spoiler alert – it wasn’t).

Any delay is a serious issue

Unfortunately, it can easily be the case that we find ourselves sitting on our hands and do nothing more than to consider taking action.

A major role in this might be played by our limiting beliefs. They are responsible for low self-esteem when we perceive ourselves as not strong enough and without the required abilities and skills to succeed.

All of this will make the situation look unstable and fluid. Everything will seem way too hard and even impossible if not a complete waste of time and effort.

There is no guarantee that things will turn the way we expect them to. But we do have some say in this matter after all. It is what we do, aka our own actions.

The case of clarity vs action is very much like the “chicken or egg” question

We need clarity so that we find the right way. But it is also true that by changing course we will get a better idea where we are and therefore where we need to go next.

It’s almost always better to take a small step and see what happens. We can only learn from this experiment which is indispensable when deciding where to direct our efforts next. Plus, it will put much more detail into how we understand our long-term objectives.

Reviewing our vision at least once a year isn’t something done arbitrarily. The more often you stop and take a look around the better you would be able to see better what’s around you.

How to use the system

If you constantly change and improve your visions and objectives with the help of your Goal Buddy then – well done and good for you!

But if you feel that you need assistance in any shape or form then find out when our next workshop is. In just one day we can set up the system and put the whole thing in motion. We will take you through some great experience of making the entire process much more fun and effective. These are the past instances of success that contributed to our personal growth and sped The Wheel of Live for us. Then we look at the future to pinpoint what the challenges could be and how to deal with them. And in the end, we draw visions and the corresponding goals for actions.

It’s up to you – your goals as well as your life

A deeper understanding begins with finding out what you want and whether you truly want it. Next is to gradually start moving in the chosen direction and confirming if that’s really the one you intended. Over time, you will gain more experience of what your true goals are and how to reach them.

Let’s not forget that there is no ready-made solution here. There are many successful and inspiring examples but everyone should roll sleeves up and figure it out for themselves. Pursuing goals that are not truly yours won’t do you any good in the end.

Clarity of vision is something very personal and therefore ultimately our responsibility. It won’t happen overnight or without hard work. We have to persist in the quest for it.

 

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