Many of us have big dreams. We want to see what we’re capable of accomplishing. If we only have one life to live, why not go all out and attempt to achieve as much as we can? This is the thinking of many people, especially those who are still relatively young and haven’t been dealt with many setbacks yet.
Dreaming big is great but for most people, when it comes down to taking the action necessary to become successful, they don’t follow through enough to actually reach their goals. What’s the problem here? Is dreaming big a bad thing?
It’s not. Most people don’t dream big enough. The problem lies in the plan, not so much the dream. The execution is where most people fail.
When people get excited about theirs dreams, they often get too optimistic and end up wanting to do a hundred things at once. When the energy is high and the mind is in a highly positive state, the task doesn’t seem all that daunting. However, once it’s time to actually take action, reality sets in and they realize they have a TON of stuff to do and that alone can overwhelm many people to the point where they end up doing little or nothing at all.
Every big dream can be broken down into small steps. Since you can only do so many things at any given time, they’re not point overwhelming yourself with 100 things on your to-do list. When you can pin point the few actionable steps that will give you the most return on your efforts, you can then focus your energy mostly on those few things.
Sure, you may have to actually get 100 different things accomplished but of those tasks, what are the most important ones? Which few things are a must? Most tasks, as you will find, are shoulds but there will be a few that are absolute musts.
For example, if you want to grow your business, making a better sign or website or logo might be important and probably should be done but what MUST be done is getting more customers in the door or meeting more clients face to face.
If your goal is to lose weight, buying running shoes, workout gear, getting a trainer, all these things are necessary but what’s most important is actually exercising and eating less.
For those who can look at their dozens of tasks that need to be done without feeling overwhelmed, breaking things down isn’t necessary but for those who do get overwhelmed and lose their motivation just at the thought of all of the unfinished tasks they have on their plate, shrinking their plan down is crucial.
Let’s take another example. My goal is to build this site into one of the most popular motivation sites. There are tons of things I should be doing but right now, I’m focused on just one thing, and that is to produce useful content. There are other things I must do such as marketing and getting the word out about my site but for now, I need to build enough useful content in order to have something to market.The look of this site could definitely use a makeover but for now, it’s a should, not a must.
Focus on the things that must be done, then work on the things that should be done. If you create to do lists, a good tip is to work on the ones that have the most impact on your overall goal first. That way, even if you run out of time, you will at least have finished doing the most important tasks.
Most importantly, take action. Breaking big dreams into small actionable steps is only useful if you actually take consistent action.
I’ll end with this motivational video about dreaming big.