How to achieve anything – Step by Step

Scaling a mountain - symbolic of achievement

How to achieve anything.

The biggest problem I see facing most people is that either they have left everything to the last moment and have now become desperate or they look at the ‘whole' problem and it has become insurmountable.

Obviously there is an easy answer to this – don't leave things until the last moment and only look at smaller projects.

Failing this what do you do?

There is an expression which says; don't put off until tomorrow what can be done today (or words to that effect).

It's not as easy as it sounds but it is doable.

Whenever you are faced with a challenge, meet it head on.  How challenges become insurmountable is when you leave jobs undone which could have made the process a whole lot easier.

I will use weight loss as my example but this can be used against any goals you may have.

I have a goal of losing around 30kgs (66 pounds) so I can get back into nice snug fitting clothes that make me look and feel good.

Now, looking at that goal sounds insurmountable.  Even the ‘weight loss gurus' say you can lose 1kg a week safely.  So it would take me around 30 weeks (7+ months) to lose all that weight.

Watch on a beach to show how precious time is.

That's a long time!

Even though it probably took me longer to gain the weight plus I have been overweight for over 15 years.

I wasn't sure if I could do this.  So I had to break it down and try not to get too disillusioned by focussing on starting to exercise without thinking about weight loss and seeing where that led me.

By exercising I figured if nothing else it should increase my energy levels (even though I thought my energy level was fine).

I chose to run as I have had good experience with running.

This was my first step to see where it would lead me.  After running for a little while (over the next two months) things started to change for me.

Even though this was a really tough call I felt really good after a run (that's a laugh, really, as my running was basically a shuffle) and I started to make changes to my diet.

I didn't realise that running would have this effect on me.  I didn't really like eating after a run so I managed to cut back on my food intake without feeling like I was on a diet.

This was an added bonus.

As I continued to run my diet choices were becoming better.  Now get this, I wasn't thinking about diet and how I should eat better, it happened just by making a change to my routine.  By adding running to my routine, somehow that changed the way I thought about my body.

I am only half-way to my goal and I have been at this for over 7 months but I am very encouraged by my results so far.

If my goal had been to lose all this weight within 7 months I would have been sorely disappointed and probably given up.  Luckily I just wanted to find out if exercise would make a difference to my overall well-being.

It did!  This led to other changes in my life…

Step by Step

Steps through a forestSo what I learned from this process is how to take each goal I have and break it down into steps.

Sometimes the steps don't look obvious and sometimes you will have to go against convention.  But, if you really want to get results you have to work out your own path.

When you are faced with a very large problem, one thing is for certain, you won't be able to handle it until you break it down.

Just start on one small part of the problem and keep chipping away at it.

What matters is you start.  It doesn't matter when you finish, it matters that you chip away at your problem day-by-day.

I find that most people get hung up on deadlines and in the end don't get anywhere with their goals.

Deadlines work when you are self-motivated.

A calendarIf you are not self-motivated then deadlines will stop you in your tracks.

It is better if you tell yourself the truth, then in that way, you will have the motivation to achieve your goals.

Try it for yourself.  Just find one thing that you are prepared to work on and start working on it.  Don't think about when it will be finished.  Just think about the bit you have taken on.

What will surprise you is that before long you will be completing the whole project without thinking about it.

It's a natural progression and doesn't require thinking about.  Just inch by inch you will have it done.  It's no big deal.

This is how a business is built.

Businessman walking between businesses while on a phone callWhen you start a business, you start with nothing and then over time you end up with a business which pays all your bills.

Day by day you keep building your business.  Nobody is able to build a successful financially secure business in less than three years. (There are always exceptions but usually, it's around the five-year mark that you are talking about a serious business)

Think about any skill you have acquired and how long that has taken for you to acquire that skill.

To achieve anything in life requires action.  There is no getting away from this.  Action speaks louder than words.

I know you may often hear said ‘take massive action'.  I disagree.  Consistent action is what is needed.  Something that you can do over a long period of time.  10 mins every day over one year is better than 60 hours in one or two weeks.  The former is easier and the effect is much longer lasting than a quick burst.

Also, it's said not to sweat the small stuff.  I am saying sweat the small stuff to get to the bigger stuff.

Start today.

Waiting until the first of the month or the beginning of the week or tomorrow just doesn't work.  Start on an odd day, an odd hour, a different time of year.

Make your starting date memorable.  Start now.

Today is the day

People often wait until everything is perfect before they do something.  That, in my opinion, is wasting time.  Start at the most inopportune time and start to achieve your dreams.

Don't worry, there will be plenty of reasons not to do something.  The reasons for doing something requires action.  Obviously the more action the better the result but only if you keep up that momentum.

Otherwise, any action is better than no action.

living the dream

How to achieve anything – Step by Step
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13 thoughts on “How to achieve anything – Step by Step

  1. I totally agree with you, Michael. Doing things step by step is definitely better than taking one huge step. Once we accomplish a baby step, we will be motivated to take another and another. Slowly climbing the ladder of success. If we fail at one baby step, it is easier to fix. Fixing a huge step will be difficult and demotivating.

    Procrastination, yes, is another road block. If we want to do something, as Nike says it – “Just Do It”.

    Having a positive mindset plays a big role too in achieving our dreams.

    All the best!

    1. Thanks, Sharon. I agree with your comment and a different way of looking at success. ‘Just do it’ is easy to say but not so easy to do for some people. 🙂

  2. Great article, Michael. As someone who tends to want to get to the bigger picture sooner than later (ultimately by skipping steps), its a good reminder that the only way to get where we really want to go is by having a consistent plan, taking action and pushing through the small stuff to get to the bigger stuff!

    Thanks – very enjoyable!

  3. I admit I am the type of person who would say “that will be tomorrow’s or next week’s project” or something like that..I’m wrong every time. Tomorrow or next week came..nothing happened. I’m still right where I left off. I did not think I could achieve anything. Reading your article is helpful. I agree, waiting until the “right time” was a waste of time. There never is any “right time”. The time is now.

  4. I really enjoyed your article and I really agree with you. Everyone can achieve what they want as long as they set their mind to it. I also find that people who believe in themselves and are confident are more likely to succeed in their goals. Keep on being an inspiration:)

  5. Thank you for your post! I totally agree with you on looking at your goals in steps rather than taking it as a whole. And like you said, the most important thing is that you start. Keep pushing forward little by little.

    I have found that the most helpful thing for me is creating new daily habits that keep my focus and move me closer to achieving my goals. Focus and consistency are the keys to success. That’s why I totally agree with you on taking action towards your goals in steps.

    I also appreciate you sharing your personal experience with losing weight. That helps me see that what you recommend really does work.

    Thank you!

    Weston

  6. This is so true. I am one of those people who look at the entirety of a project/ goal and think “that’s too much for me to handle.” It saps all my resolve and I end up doing nothing. Other times, I might think that something will take too long, like a year or more, and I find myself worrying that after that year, nothing will have changed.

    I have to constantly remind myself that the next year is going to pass anyway, no matter what I do. I can either use it to get closer to my goals, or I can sit still and regret it later.

    That first step is the hardest, but once you get moving, you gather some momentum and it’s not that bad. Then you just have to stick with it long enough to make it a habit.

    1. You have made some very valid points here Craig. Something is better than nothing as they years fly passed.

      Thanks,
      Michael

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