I work with a lot of incredible people. These are driven folks with big dreams, and I love hearing what they want to do to make a difference in the world.
If you can’t tell, I love big dreamers. I love people who dare to think outside the box and envision the world better because of what they have to offer. We need more of that in the world.
Noble causes should always be pursued, but if you don’t know how to tackle those big projects it’s easy to feel defeated before you even start.Click to tweet
So what do you do when your big dream feels… TOO big? When you’re so passionate about the possibilities and simultaneously stuck because you don’t know where to start?
There’s a reason why so many “dreamers” stay in the dream zone. A big idea can quickly dissipate as the reality of taking action settles in.
If your goal feels too big to approach, taking action can numb you fast. Nothing happens and you’re left with that heartbreak of not doing what you know you’re meant to do.
As much as I love big dreams, I love taking action even more.
So when it comes getting those big ideas done, there are four elements necessary to make your dreams a reality:
- The right mindset
- The right strategy
- Consistent action
- An ability to say “no”
So let’s talk about each of these briefly so that you’re equipped to tackle your dreams and reach your goals without losing momentum or getting knocked over by overwhelm.
1. The Right Mindset
In today’s world where we love “5 Simple Hacks” or “7 Easy Ways” – the hard truth is that success can’t be reduced to simple tips. Success starts in the mind.
Having a growth mindset is essential to moving toward a big goal. The reality of starting a business, finishing a huge project, or living your dreams is that you WILL have setbacks. There WILL be failures. It WILL require work.
You need the mindset that will carry on. You need to crave the ability to grow through the process.
Having the proper mindset means valuing hard experiences as part of the journey toward your greatest potential. It means being okay with not knowing everything, but being willing to do whatever it takes to keep learning more.No matter what your big goal is, you have to come at it with the mentality that it’s possible – that you can make it happen. And when things get hard you’ll be able to dig deep, get the help you need, and learn what needs to be learned to push through.
2. The Right Strategy
When your goal is big and daunting it’s easy to feel unsure about where even start – let alone finish. You can’t just push your way forward without a real plan.
The right strategy means knowing:
- Where you ultimately want to end up
- The big milestones that need to happen to get your there
- The smaller steps that get you to each milestone
- And an ability to prioritize those things so that you’re focused on “the one thing” that matters most. Too many people get sidetracked by the urgent-but-unimportant stuff that leaves you busy, but not productive.
Take some time to think about these elements and then create a map to get you from point A to point B.
As part of developing a strategy, it’s absolutely critical that you set some realistic deadlines. People tend to fall into one of two traps if they don’t:
- Not giving your project enough time to grow into something truly valuable… OR
- Procrastinating hitting your first (and subsequent) milestones because the end goal seems too far away.
Take some time to put together a plan. If your big dream is REALLY BIG, don’t be surprised if your plan turns into a 5 or 10-year plan. That doesn’t mean you won’t see a lot of cool changes and mini-goals reached on the journey. It just means you recognize that really big dreams take time… and that’s okay.
3. Consistent Action
Once you know where you’re going and you’ve taken your first step, it’s simply a matter of taking each next step. You don’t have to be perfect. There will be twists and turns and detours along the way. Your job is to keep on keeping on.
Enjoy the journey because that’s where the meaning and purpose really is.
4. An Ability to Say “No”
Finally, in order to focus on what matters most – you HAVE to know when to say “no”… or, at the very least, “not now.”
That may mean saying “no” to other tempting opportunities that sound fast and fun. If they don’t get you to your end goal, they usually aren’t worth your time.
That may mean saying “no” to the endless “should’s” that will inevitably try to steal your attention.
When it comes to starting or growing a business, for example, there’s a lot of talk about what you “should” be doing. Maybe you “should” have a FB page, spend time blogging, worry about SEO, etc.
Guess what? Unless it actually is going to help you reach your goal – you shouldn’t listen to the should’s.
When it comes to success, remember that 80% of your success will come from 20% of your efforts. Don’t lose steam or add to your to-do list worrying about the stuff that doesn’t really matter. Say “no” and focus on what’s most essential to get you to your dreams.
Go small to go big.