“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” – Zig Ziglar. Stop and think about that for a minute. Truer words have never been spoken. Aiming is where everything starts every time. From Micheal Jordan throwing the basketball through the hoop to your four-year-old trying really hard to color in the lines. You have to have something to aim for. You need a target.
When I was about 13 or 14 years old a girlfriend and I decided to go horseback riding in the National Park behind my Dad’s house. We were so excited that we were allowed to go by ourselves. We packed a picnic and set off on our adventure. We had a really great afternoon riding, talking and snacking. Finally, it was starting to get late, so we decided to head home. We tried couple different ways but it soon became apparent that we were completely lost.
Neither of us wanted to admit it each other but I for one was starting to count how many water bottles I had left. After a little bit of riding around, we finally recognized A familiar looking old tree. So we headed in that direction and soon came across something else we remembered. This happened over and over again until we got to my Dad’s house. We were both really relieved to be home, that was a little more adventure than we were planning for.
Ultimately what I learned that day is you need a target, but more importantly, you need a place to start. We started at that familiar old tree then we followed that to the next thing and the next thing until we hit our target which was my Dad’s house.
Everyone knows that you need to have a target to be able to hit it. What sometimes people forget is that it’s not enough just to know what you’re trying to hit; you really have to focus on it and find a place to start. Here are my top five ways to gain focus on your targets.
- Write down whatever target you’re trying to hit. Make sure it’s clear, easy to understand and that you have a deadline, for example – I want to lose 30 pounds by Christmas 2016.
- Repetition is the key. Write it down every single day over and over again. You want this target to be concrete in your mind, for example – I take a few minutes each night before I go to bed to write down (on actual paper) all of my targets. This way they are in my brain right before I go to sleep and they can float through my mind each night.
- Think about the very first thing you need to do in order to start heading towards your target. (Look for the familiar old tree), for example – I will cut out sugar and fried food.
- Then you must act. Start on that very first thing and continue doing it until it’s done or until it becomes a habit, for example – The next morning when that Donut is calling to you, make the better choice and grab a piece of fruit.
- Once the task is complete, move on to the next thing you need to do and so on until you reach your target, for example – I will exercise at least 20 minutes each day. I will only weigh myself once a month. I will cut out gluten from my diet etc.
It is so important, not just to think, but to take responsibility and do. Not only do you need to know what you want but you need to know how to get there and then, most importantly you need to start on the journey. If my girlfriend and I would’ve just sat down by that old familiar tree we never would have made it home.
What target are you working on hitting right now? What is the first thing that you need to do to start on your journey? Share your thoughts in the comments below.