It is not about running towards your goal with giant steps. It is much more important that you take a path and follow it persistently. There are 3 things you need to master in order to get there:
A water clear mind is essential to make valuable decisions. A mindset is a kind of recipe for building and cultivating a clear mind. You should work intensively on your mindset, constantly questioning and expanding it.
I'll give you a few first Mindset recipes on the way:
Mindset Recipe No. 1: Take responsibility.
The things that surround you are there because you have made decisions. It is your responsibility that you have chosen your car, your apartment, your partner, friends, etc. at some point. If your car breaks down and has to go back to the shop for an expensive repair, there is no use getting angry. Accept that at some point you may have made the wrong decision for the wrong car.
Another example: one of your employees handed in the quarterly report much too late. Moreover, it is full of errors and very incomplete. Instead of getting angry about the report and your employee, you could also ask the question about your responsibility:
- Did you provide the employee with enough information?
- Did he/she have sufficient time resources to prepare the report?
- Was he/she even capable of preparing such a report in terms of personal knowledge?
Last but not least, it was you who hired or trained this employee.
By taking responsibility for the world around you, you break free from powerlessness and come into a position of action.
The car is not broken because the universe is angry with you. You simply chose a bad quality or bought a car that was too old.
The employee would certainly have delivered a better report if he/she had received better support.
By taking responsibility, you put yourself in a position where you can change the world. This is a very important position.
A hint: observe the people around you. Look at who is already taking responsibility for themselves and their actions and who may be constantly complaining about their misfortunes.
Instead of working towards goals, you should adopt a system that allows you to achieve goals. If you work toward one goal and then achieve it, you are good at achieving that one goal. However, as soon as you set your sights on the next goal, you start all over again.
If, on the other hand, you create a system for achieving your goals, then you can continue to use that system for all future goals. You can expand the system step by step and adapt it to your changing circumstances.
To work on a system means to explain the way to the goal. If you make this easy for yourself, then you just need to put one step in front of the other and you can be sure to get to your goal.
A well-functioning system takes into account all the components that are responsible for your development, your goals, projects and your well-being. You use it to plan projects, file tasks, store reminders and record ideas. To fully realize your potential, you need to understand how you function. A system is therefore a practical application of an instruction manual for yourself.
A well-functioning system is tailored to your personality and evolves with you. However, there are a few specific key points that such a system must cover.
I would like to invite you to adopt the following cornerstones to start your own system.
Core components of the system:
Unburden your brain
Your brain is a master at associating things and linking ideas. But in order to do this effectively, you need to free it from any ballast. So as a first step, clear out all the things you need to remember. Appointments, tasks, obligations: these things don't belong in your head, but in to-do lists, project planning and calendars.
Important: The moment you are confronted with a task or an appointment, write it down. Don't try to keep it to write it down later, but write it down immediately. The best way to do this is to always have a small notebook or your smartphone with a calendar and a note-taking app at hand.
Plan your steps
Determine what you want to do and then determine the concrete next step and formulate a task from it. It needs to be clear and completeable. If you have to do your tax return, then the task is not "Do the tax return", but for example "Find the invoices for the month January to June and put them to the scanner". The next task would then be "Scan the picked out invoices and save them to the tax return folder".
Any task that takes 2 minutes or less will be completed immediately. Otherwise, the effort to manage and maintain the task would be greater than the task itself.
Customize your system and develop maximum effectiveness!
I can quickly get excited about a new idea. In full mania, I can work on it continuously for the first 1 to 4 days and can hardly wait to put it into action. But I also know that I can quickly lose my desire for it and then my focus changes again. This can happen so quickly that I am often already busy with completely different things on the 4th or 5th day after such a high phase.
Because I know that this is the case with me and that I simply function in this way, I make use of this effect. There is no point in continuing to torture myself with the implementation of the idea after the downturn of this high phase. I would then only make very slow progress anyway and also use up the energy and resources for other things.
Instead, I use a trick: Still in the phase of full enthusiasm for an idea or a project, I break off just before the peak. I make a hard cut and occupy myself with something completely different. Usually with an activity that no longer has anything to do with the actual idea. For example, if I have an idea for a software or app, then shortly before the peak I occupy myself with something crafty. I like to tinker with old engines, weld something together or do intensive sports. I do this for several days. Only some time later - usually up to a week passes - I deal with the original idea again and start the next phase of work on it.
This helps me to move the actual peak back significantly. I can do this pattern over several rounds, and I use this time to advance the idea to the point where I have at least a prototype or get the idea to a stage that represents something tangible.
What you do is you. So if you want to do something else, be someone else. Forget habit culture, which meticulously dissects the lives of the super-successful and tries to mimic their daily routines in hopes that it will suddenly rain banknotes from the sky.
Habits are not ends in themselves. It's not the good habit that makes you a successful person, but the right habit to complement your life, system, goals and work.
You sit a lot in the office? Then balance that with sports. You work a lot with your head? A regular craft task can be the right counterbalance.
And yes: getting up early can help, too. Acquiring some new habits is seen as an exhausting process, learning them is seen as hard work. But it shouldn't be.
A simple trick
If you want to change something about your habits, be someone else. It's not the habit that changes you, it's you changing your habits.
- You exercise regularly because you are an athletic person.
- You get up early because you feel good in the morning hours and then bubble with ideas.
- You write a blog, journal or diary because you are a writer.
First and foremost, when you think of a habit you want to create, ask yourself: who am I then? Who do I want to be?
Certainly: there are methods to acquire new habits. The 1% method, for example, which involves building a chain of tiny changes and tying them to habits you already have. This works well and is effective.
However, a clear purpose and a purpose that suits you are essential to make such habits work in the long run.
Try to create a balance within yourself and pay attention to your needs. Unfortunately, we are not born with a personal instruction manual that explains step by step how we function. You can only figure that out for yourself and I am sure you have already developed a good sense of how you function. Now it's time to formulate that and pour it into a personal system for you.
So go ahead: develop your own mindset. Get inspired and create habits that suit you. And have the courage to constantly question yourself and create new changes.