Think Big but Work Small
How do successful goal achievers create lasting transformation? They think big first and often while also knowing when to focus and work small.
Big ideas without proactive action steps lead to empty promises or unfulfilled dreams. Random activities without a grand vision take you in circles and end up leading you nowhere.
Creating lasting transformation in your life – such as increasing your energy level and eliminating pain, wiping out debt and building your savings, or developing healthy eating habits and improving your health – requires this think big, work small approach.
Someone hoping to have a secure retirement by earning a higher salary without knowing where their money goes, cutting out unnecessary expenses, saving any surplus and investing in a 401k or IRA may prove difficult.
Or striving to lose 100 pounds by walking for 30 minutes every day, while still eating an unbalanced diet, consuming mostly processed foods, neglecting nutrient deficiencies, and eating excessive meal portions will most likely be ineffective.
Alternatively, renting space, purchasing display equipment, setting up an accounting system, ordering inventory, and hiring employees, without first producing a sound business plan is often irresponsible.
T-R-A-N-S-F-O-R-M for Lasting Effects
Most of us are either creative, big thinking types, OR detail-loving, check every box types. Generally, we aren’t both. You may though learn to do either.
Learn to think big and brainstorm ideas or learn to focus on the details just enough to accomplish what your heart desires. Achievement and enduring change come when we TRANSFORM.
T – Think Big
It’s when we allow ourselves to dream that dramatic life transformation occurs. Think really BIG here. No limits, no judging. What’s your heart’s desire?
- Been thinking you should get out of debt? Why not dream about the pursuit of financial independence to quit your job and travel the world instead?
- Striving to lose weight for your cousin’s wedding? Think bigger. Such as creating lasting change by transforming your eating and exercise habits to improve your health, prevent lifestyle disease and participate in a triathlon.
- Hoping to change jobs for better pay? Or do you really dream of starting your own business that will support your entire family allowing your spouse to quit their job and pursue their dreams too?
R – Resource Needs
What will you need to achieve your dream?
- Tools – Do you need equipment, software, email programs, accounting systems, or other supplies to accomplish your goal?
- Knowledge – Do you have the information you need or will you require a class or additional research? Will a book, online course, or other training be necessary?
- Skills – What skills will you need to learn or perhaps hire for? Writing, time management, meal planning, accounting, rock climbing?
- Support – Will you need assistance, an empathetic ear, an accountability partner, or coaching help?
“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” ~ Walt Disney
A – Act on Decisions
What are the concrete steps needed to move forward? How will you ensure that you make timely wise decisions and take action?
- Ask essential questions to dissect your big dream into smaller achievable action steps
- Develop a step-by-step activity list to acquire needed resources
- Set timeframes for making decisions and completing actions, then create daily/weekly/monthly schedules or to-do checklists to keep you on track and making progress
- Focus on high-value activities that utilize your strengths and talents, and enlist others to perform routine duties you dislike or don’t have time for
N – Notice and Name
See what’s working, what’s not working, and opportunities for improvement.
- You know what you do well, remind yourself of these strengths and create a list of accomplishments to recall how far you’ve come
- Identify any limiting habits or beliefs and turn them into learning opportunities instead
- Procrastination, pessimism, fears, over analyzing, sweating insignificant details, striving for perfection
- Challenge any weaknesses and obtain the knowledge or skills you need to overcome them
- Enlist the help of others to stay on task if needed
S – Systemize and Schedule
Establish systems and programs to support your structured plan.
- What do you need to do and when for your workout?
- What’s your system for paying your bills and saving money?
- How will you ensure you eat healthy meals throughout the day?
Be sure also to brainstorm potential obstacles or problems that may arise and cause delays or setbacks before they happen. Then take the time to outline a system for handling them. Know how they may affect your schedule in advance so you can deal with them effectively when they occur.
- What will you do if you suffer an injury, a delay in receiving money, or a partied too hard weekend?
- How can you ensure you get back on track and ensure this issue doesn’t derail your entire plan?
- Who can you call or count on for support?
F – Focus on Your Target
- Keep your goal in front of you
- Always know why you are doing what you are doing
- Think ahead and adjust your plan as needed
- Ensure your actions are moving you in the right direction
- But don’t be afraid to take a step or two back if necessary, to take additional steps forward
O – Operate with Integrity
Be honest with yourself as well as others.
- No one knows you more, no one will judge you more, and no one will be more pleased or disappointed in you than you – choose to honor yourself and be proud
- Actions do speak louder than words, walk your talk
- People will help, support, and do business with those they trust
- It may take months or many steps to build confidence, but only one misstep to destroy a relationship
R – Rethink and Reframe
Most plans aren’t perfect. Pull back often to evaluate and then reframe when needed.
- Are your actions providing value?
- Perhaps your original goal was too small, and it’s limiting you instead of motivating you
- Maybe you’ve been focusing a bit too much on growing your savings account and not enough on investing for long-term compound growth
- You are working out longer, and now you need to increase the amount of carbohydrates and protein you ingest for continued muscle gains and consistent energy
“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” ~ Bill Gates
M – Manage Expectations
- Frustration arrives and persists when we argue with reality
- Stress consumes us when we hold on to unmet expectations
- Lasting change takes time; I don’t know of any real quick-weight-loss nor successful get-rich-quick schemes that endure over time
Genuine and lasting Transformation
Big thinking requires us to remove assumptions and look with a new perspective.
Make bold decisions and take calculated risks. Surround yourself with other creative, motivated, trustworthy, and inspiring people to push your ambitions.
Working small is more efficient when you define specific goals and action steps.
Focus on maximum value activities. Keep your eye on the prize.
Both demand time, proper attention, consistency and a positive growth mindset to be worthy.
Lasting transformation of your finances, your body, your career, or your health is possible. I know because I’ve done it myself. I’d love to see you do it too.
Have you experienced any real lasting transformation in your life? Are you working on a transformation project right now? Do you need help to get started on one? Let me know in the comments below or contact me.
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