The key to making a successful strategy is visualizing your goal, or a “preferred outcome” if you wish, and finding alternative, manageable ways of attaining it. That’s what they teach us in school so, if it can help millions of CEOs run huge, multimillion businesses, it can sure be applied in normal life, for tackling issues like weight-loss, career advancements, raising children or anything else that may be of interest to you. So, here are those managerial tricks you can start using today!
1. Set Realistic Goals
I would love the wake up one day and look like Rihanna but that’s just impossible! Hell, no exercising could help me have Alyssa Milano’s body either because we just don’t have the same body type. That’s exactly what I have in mind when talking about realistic goals. You’ll have to be objective and see things the way other people see them, only then you will be able to set a realistic, achievable goal. Don’t set the bar to high because you won’t be motivated to try for it and don’t set it too low either because, in that case, it just won’t seem worth it.
2. Set Realistic Timeframes
You can’t expect to drop 50 pounds in just two months or find an interesting new job you know nothing about. It’s going to take a while and you’ll have to sweat in the gym or attend a lot of seminars and courses, so have that in mind when setting a timeframe. Being objective is of vital importance here too – you have to give yourself enough time for the transformation to work, otherwise, you’ll just end up being terribly disappointed. Don’t give yourself too much time either because knowing that you have some extra days will make you’ll slack off and your goals will always seem unachievable and too far away.
3. Decide on the Tools You’ll Use
Will you make the pros/cons list? Will you keep a journal? Maybe you’re thinking about starting a blog, hoping the readers will motivate you to keep going? What is your goal and what ways did you choose to achieve it? Gym V.S Personal trainer, evening school VS. individual learning – I’m sure you get the point. Choices, choices… These are the so called “tools”, things that are supposed to help you stay focused and progress.
4. Sub-phases and Sub-goals
The main goal may be months or an entire year away so the only way to keep yourself motivated is to introduce sub-goals that are consistent with the main one. Let’s put it this way – if somebody gave you a rope saying you must use it to get to the top of the Empire State Building, you’d probably say, “No way Jose!” However, if the same person takes you to the entrance and says, “The elevator is out of order so use the steps and don’t worry, there is a chair for you to rest on each floor” you’d keep going until you reach the top. Well, that’s the whole point of sub-goals and sub-phases - to make the final goal seem less impossible and time needed to achieve it shorter.
5. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
If you’re saving money to go on a luxurious cruise, find some photos of those wonderful ships, magnificent landscapes and tropical palm trees and put them somewhere where you’ll be able to see them every day. If you’re losing weight, keep those skinny jeans in the same drawer with your regular ones and try them on occasionally even if you’re still far from the goal of finally squeezing yourself into them. Don’t forget your final goal or settle for anything less, update it if you realize it’s set too high or low but don’t give up.
6. Predict and Prevent
You wouldn’t go on a road trip without a first aid kit and a spare tire, now, wouldn’t you? Well, think of transformation as a road trip and try to predict things that may go wrong and figure out exactly what to do to prevent it from happening. Are you prone to cheating or simply “forgetting” that you’re on a diet? Throw away all those fast-food menus and give away all your coupons. You spend hours glued to the TV? Call your cable company and tell them you won’t need all those extra channels anymore.
7. Find Time to Feel Good about Yourself
Every phase you’ve completed is a small victory for you and you should feel good about it. It’s like that chair on each floor of the Empire State Building - you just have to stop and feel good for sitting on it because running past it means you’ll get tired and maybe even give up before you get to the next chair. Don’t deny yourself that wonderful feeling of knowing that you’re on the right path but don’t let yourself be absorbed by those moments to such a degree where you would just find anything to feel proud about. Enjoying that moment is a prize, the one you’ll get only after you’ve accomplished the previously set short-term goals.
Are you ready to start changing your life for better and what kind of changes would you like to make? I’d say these tricks are very applicable, regardless of the goals you wish to achieve. A famous economist once pointed out that everything is economy so, if that’s really the case, there is no reason why these strategies couldn’t be a good way to manage something bigger and more important than Microsoft or Apple – our own lives!