Simon Sinek, is the author of the 2009 bestseller, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (View Simon’s TedTalk Here). Sinek’s lessons have been more than inspiring for me, they have been life changing. Sinek does an excellent job of explaining the importance of starting with “why.” I have learned that finding your reasons for doing something is just as important as what you do. Many of us have big dreams to accomplish certain goals. Some of us are motivated because we want to make life better for our children, to help others that are in need, or to help make our planet healthy again. We all have different whys or motivators, but a vast amount of us stop there. I am going to share 3 tips on how you can start with why then find your how, so you can turn your vision into action.
Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
The acronym S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. I am often asked about the steps that I took to start IMar Learning Solutions; setting S.M.A.R.T. goals is one thing that my partners and I did. There are a lot of other options out there to choose from in the goal setting market, but I prefer the S.M.A.R.T. goal strategy. The S.M.A.R.T. goal strategy helps you to outline your path to success and forces you to think about the small details that can make or break your success. Check out our FREE S.M.A.R.T. Goal mini lesson from our Critical Thinking Academy to start creating your outline for accomplishing your dreams.
Begin With the End in Mind
“Begin with the end in mind” or backward planning is a planning term that educators, administrators, and business leaders use when creating roadmaps for success. Beginning with the end in mind means that you know what your goal is (could be based on your S.M.A.R.T. Goal) and you create checkpoints and set dates for completion of each task. For example, as an educational leader, our team creates a campus improvement plan each year. The campus improvement plan is filled with details about how the campus leadership would like to see the campus move forward towards completion of our goals. A lot of campuses have the goals they want to accomplish but they don’t always plan how they will accomplish these goals. They will wait until the event is a month away to actually start putting the pieces together to make sure the event is a success. My team dissects the campus improvement plan. We look at all of the events that are coming up for the school year. The team uses a white board and writes out all of the months of the year, the events that are scheduled for that month, we brainstorm the individuals that would fit best to help the event to be a success and think about all of the materials and tools that will be needed. Unfortunately, we are not psychics and cannot predict every obstacle, but planning backward allows you to lean on your team’s experience, expertise, and creativity to help avoid any issues through proper planning.
No matter what your goal is, if you are not passionate about it then find a new goal. You must be passionate about completing your goal because your why depends on it. If you are passionate about accomplishing your goal then you will make the necessary sacrifices that will make your how a reality. When you are in the how stage of your progress, this is when your grit, courage, and faith will be tested. I will not tell you that you won’t fail along the way. But, if you focus on why you have to accomplish your goal, and create a how to plan, then you decrease your risk of failure and increase your chances at success.