When I first started speaking and writing, I traveled to more than 60 events in a single year. It exhausted me. Friends in the industry told me this type of travel was essential, but I believed I could find a better way to grow my business. I chose to ignore the naysayers. I made a plan to cut travel by over 90% and within a year and a half, I was sleeping in my own bed almost every single night.
My friends were thinking small. We all do this. We let limits dictate our dreams. In the case of constant travel, I’m thankful I knew how to think big—even when others stated their disbelief.
In a previous post, I defined three steps to start thinking big. Below, you’ll find four more tried-and-true steps to keep thinking big.
Step 1. Outline what would have to be true.
It may be difficult to lay out the path from goal origin to goal achievement. Don’t give up. Simply ask yourself, “What would have to be true for me to achieve this dream?”
To drastically reduce my time away from home but maintain a profitable business, I needed to keep traveling for 18 months. This time would allow me to build new revenue streams and narrow my focus to local speaking engagements. By introducing new services and products, my team and I filled the gap left from conferences and events. Outlining what would have to be true made the goal attainable.
Step 2. Decide what you can do to affect the outcome.
Once you know what must be true to reach your dream, you can start checking off tasks. Focus on specific, daily actions.
Imagine you’re driving on an unlit road in the dead of night. It’s pitch-black outside except for your headlights. You can’t see everything, but you can see enough to keep moving forward.
This is how progress happens. Don’t overcomplicate it. Think about what’s next and go do it.
Step 3. Set a deadline.
To transform a dream into a reachable goal, you need to set a deadline. This will provide accountability. If you feel your hair raising at the mention of a deadline, rest assured this is the part everyone resists.
When do you plan to deliver on the goal? It could be by year-end (December 31) or it could be more near-term (October 15). It can feel risky to commit to a specific time, but without an end date, you will never get there. A goal without a date is just a dream.
Step 4. Review your goals daily.
When you lose visibility on your goals, your dream dies. Most ideas don’t simply fail. They get buried in the busyness of day-to-day life.
Incorporate a goal review into your daily ritual to stay focused on what you want most. I follow the system we developed in Your Best Year Ever. I have 10 to 12 goals for the year and 2 to 3 for the quarter. I review those on a daily basis.
This process reveals daily opportunities to move in the direction of each goal. Daily actions may be as simple as sending a text, scheduling a call, or writing an email.
We often lead clients through an exercise called Five Minute Wins. Here’s how it works: We set the timer for five minutes and let people knock out as many actions as possible before the buzzer. The results are amazing. Most participants complete somewhere around ten actions. It’s almost always worth the time.
Achieving big requires thinking big. Make it happen by outlining what has to be true, deciding what actions affect key outcomes, setting deadlines, and reviewing goals daily.