1. ANSWER THE QUESTION WHY Make sure you can firstly answer this very important question. The stronger the better! Why do you want to meet the objective? What’s in it for you and/or everybody else? Why are you doing the project? Why do you want the qualification? Why do you want to lose weight? If you want to inspire yourself or anyone else this is extremely important.
If you don’t believe me please see one of the most popular TeD talks of all time by Simon Sinek http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action?language=en
2. ADOPT A POSITIVE MINDSET. We must always strive to adopt a positive mindset. Theodore Roosevelt once said “Believe you can and you’re halfway there”. If you don’t believe you can do it you’ll never take that very important first step.
Recently myself and 2 friends completed the Victorian 7 peak cycling challenge (over the season we cycled up Mt Buller, Lake Mountain, Mt Baw Baw, Mt Buffalo, Falls Creek, Dinner Plains and Mt Hotham). A year ago I would NEVER have though this possible!
3. MAKE THE GOAL ACHIEVABLE. – WORK OUT HOW! The objective in question must be something which is seen (by you and/or others) to be achievable. High level objectives must be broken down into lower level objectives, where we can see exactly what needs to be done. We must get to the level where we have a ‘step by step’ plan to achieve the objective. If not, it’s just a pipe dream!!!
Regarding our 7 peak challenge, we all realised early on we needed to be quite a bit stronger in the hills, so a little bit of training was involved. Changes(not cheap) were made to our bikes gearing to help us struggle up the steeper sections, and then of course, we started with knocking off the easier ones to build confidence and momentum, always just focusing on the specific goal at hand.
Here’s a slightly better example!
A few weeks ago I watched a quite unbelievable documentary called ‘Touching the void’. In it a mountaineer called Joe Simpson survives against the most incredible odds. Joe and his climbing companion Simon Yates are climbing the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes when on the decent Joe falls badly and severely breaks one of his legs. This all happens high up in the mountain in what could be considered to be ‘very’ bad conditions! It’s a long story but basically what happens is Simon, in order to survive is forced to cut the rope with Joe attached below him. Joe falls 150meters down the mountain ending up at the top of a large big crevasse. Simon assumes Joe is dead and with no option makes his own way down the mountain back to the camp, of course devastated about having to cut the rope and the death of his climbing partner & friend.
Joe unbelievably survives the fall and then with no option lowers himself deeper into the deep crevasse in the hope there might be some way out and if not, his wish was the end would come quickly. Amazingly he does and he finds his way out of the crevasse and down the mountain, and then, with a shattered leg, no food, no water, for 3 days he craws 5 miles over the most treacherous terrain imaginable back to their base camp.
In the documentary Joe tells us that what he did to survive was to continually set himself small incremental achievable goals. Get to that next rock. Get to the top of the ridge! He did not think about the big picture as this would have been too overwhelming, his focus was just on achieving the specific goal at hand. Once achieved he then set the next goal and on he went! His belief coupled with these incremental goals helped him to achieve what seemed impossible!