Optimism. Confidence. Creativity. Strategy. Focus. These are the qualities instilled into the most successful military personnel for efficient, optimal, and frequent success. And they should be the very qualities you embrace to tackle your goals, whether you’re trying to make it through your work week, finally finish that novel, or get to the next fitness level. According to productivity guru Brian Tracy, victory can be yours if you stick to a few simple principles of military strategy:
Be Clear. It may seem obvious to some, but many people skip this step, even though it should be the very first thing you do! It’s easy to get bogged down by lofty and general ideals, but try to be decisive and specific about exactly what you want. Instead of, “I want to become a better painter,” try, “I’m going to finish one painting by the end of the month.”
Remain Flexible. While of course, the very point of structured and diligent goal-setting is to remove as many loose variables as possible, there is no denying that sometimes we get off path a bit. Don’t get stressed. Simply reevaluate the situation and modify your plan accordingly. Being too rigid only sets you up for failure.
Be Direct. When you have a clearly-defined objective or goal, it’s important to bring the same amount of directness to your execution. Do not overcomplicate things. Instead of trying to cram the tasks within your greater goal into the odd five or ten minutes you have throughout the day, try to set aside a single one-hour block to accomplish them with focus.
Cover Your Bases. The last thing you want after all the time and energy you’ve put into your goal is to lose ground over something preventable—we’ve all neglected to save a word document or two! It might sound a bit outrageous, but ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that could happen before I meet my goal?” If you’re able, take the steps necessary to ensure that worse does not come to worst.
Follow Through. So now you’ve got a clearly defined goal. You’ve mapped out specific steps to take in order to attain your goal. And you’ve planned for unforeseen obstacles. Now’s the easy part, right? Well, you may be surprised. Many people burn out after the initial excitement of goal-making. Following through on your plan is the only way to reach the end and successfully attain your goal!