Approaches to Fulfilling Your Aspirations
We all have hopes and dreams - some realistic and some that may end up being unobtainable. Fulfilling aspirations is the realization and accomplishment of those hopes and dreams. They bring a sense of accomplishment, a sense of pride.
The key to personal development is understanding the key differences between obtainable and unobtainable goals. Once you've defined your aspirations that are obtainable and within your control, you can move towards the step of taking action. It will be at this point that you will need to implement a defined and well thought out approach to achieving each of your specific aspirations.
Common Barriers to Fulfilling Your Aspirations
There are countless barriers that may prevent you from achieving your goals. One of the most threatening is procrastination. But procrastination is often misunderstood. One study performed by Kenneth McGraw asked participants to complete a complicated puzzle. During the study, however, testers periodically interrupted participants to inform them that the testing was over. Participants were also informed that they could attempt to finish the puzzle if they wished. Despite the interruptions, around 90% chose to attempt to finish the puzzle.
This 1982 study attempted to prove the Zeigarnik effect, a theory developed by a Russian waiter. According to Bluma Zeigarnik, a Russian psychologist, waiters he observed in a restaurant seemed to perfectly recall orders that were in the process of being served, but immediately forget them following service.
Ziegarnik and Kenneth McGraw both studied a profound concept - tasks started have a greater likelihood of being finished. An important personal development lesson from these observations is that simply starting a task is a powerful weapon against procrastination. You may not be able to readily identify what or where to start. Your best chance against procrastination, then, is to just start somewhere.
Steps to Achieving Any Goal
- Commit to commitment One study at New York University tested the role of fantasy in fulfilling aspirations. Researchers believed that positive fantasies, rather than helping achieve goals, actually hindered them. Participants were asked to envision a positive outcome to a problem, then reflect on the negativity of the unresolved goals, or their current situations. Finally, participants were asked to contrast their positive fantasies with negative realities. Researchers concluded that such a technique was effective in helping participants take action when success was positively imagined.
- Don't let failed goals escalate If you've ever tried a diet, you might be familiar with a phenomenon that can quickly derail even the most faithful calorie-counters. If you slightly exceed a daily calorie goal, it might be very tempting to simply abandon the goal altogether and keep eating. As the goal is already failed, it's easy to reason that the day is lost. Such a practice can not only cause short-term goals to fail, but also endanger long-term goals.
- Focus on the overall goals and their parts The temptation in fulfilling aspirations is to focus on the long-term goal. You may feel like racing towards a goal to get the results you want. The key to meeting a long-term goal is to shift focus between individual tasks and the ultimate goal. When tasks are simple, work towards the long-term. When the going gets tough, shift focus to small, obtainable tasks.
- Don't act like a robot A 2001 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology study found that robotic behavior was a common and dangerous connection among study participants. We often behave out of habit, or by copying other techniques. It's important to step back once and a while and honestly assess whether your current activity is getting you closer to fulfilling your aspirations.
- Focus on effective goal setting Too many short-term goals can keep you centered on the here and now. Poor goals can wreak havoc on motivation. Overly specific goals can place more barriers in your journey to self-improvement. Even having too many goals can give you the temptation to knock out the easy ones first, ignoring the more difficult, long-term goals. Focus on the true desired outcome of your tasks, and practice good goal setting.
Everyone wants to accomplish their goals and fulfill their aspirations. The satisfaction that comes with achieving a challenging, long-term goal is often just as potent as the payoff associated with the goal itself. Once you get into the habit of accomplishing your goals, meeting future ones and fulfilling further aspirations will become even easier.
Many people need some additional inspiration and ongoing guidance in order to maximize their chances of fulfilling their aspirations. If you count yourself among this group, there's absolutely no reason to be ashamed. The programs offered by LifePath Unlimited can offer exactly the type of help you need. Don't hesitate to contact us for a Free, no-obligation consultation.