What is the best way to achieve your goals and be the person you always wanted to become? Most likely, you’ve always been taught the standard three-step process: set a specific goal, create a plan and, most importantly, take action. Just start. Get going. Just do it. And then keep on doing it. One day in the future, you will be what you always wanted to be. In short, DO it to BE it (or have it).
Although this method may work for smaller, simpler goals, I believe it may not be the best approach for long-term goals. I call these “complex goals”. This article explains why, when it come to those difficult complex goals, it’s better to Be first and Do next. In short, BE it and DO it simultaneously to BECOME it.
So you have a goal? You want to have something, do something or be someone? You plan and you act. You do this, you do that. And you feel good (temporarily) because you have started and are on your way. You hope that when you’re done doing, you will be (or have) that which you wanted to be. You know that you have achieved your goal because you can now see it. You are there. It’s real. You feel it, and it feels great. The being is the result of relentless doing. You did, and now you are.
And what about the people who failed? Well, they must have not done the “doing” part. This is common sense. They did not do, and therefore they are not. In short, not doing leads to not being (or having). Although I agree with this logic, there’s another reason for failure that’s as important as not doing. After all, plenty of people put their heart and soul into doing and still fail. They take massive action, give it all they’ve got, and still fail. I’ve been in that position many times. In most cases, doing does not guarantee being. When this happens, we usually blame something and someone outside of ourselves. It was the economy, tough circumstances, lack of support, bad timing, bad luck, no money, the relationship, my parents, etc. Take your pick.
To reduce your chances of failure and virtually guarantee success, you have to start being right away. You should not wait to get to the end to be (or have) what you want to become. The feelings, emotions and state of mind you will have at the end of the journey when you reach your goal must be felt at the beginning. You must start to create those feelings and emotions from the start.(There are many ways to start this being process, such as visualization, meditation, affirmations, imagining and creative writing, just to name a few. I’ll write an article on this being process soon.)
It’s best to start with the being process right away. You have to incorporate it into your doing as soon as possible. When you create a plan to achieve your goal, you should also start the being process. Don’t wait until you achieve your goal to feel the accomplishment. Start feeling it now.
As long as you retain the vision of accomplishing your goal and the feeling it brings at the end of your journey, the goal simply remains a possibility at best when you begin. It is not real yet. It may become real in the future, but not right now. But if you start to feel and experience your achievement, then the new possibility already exists in your mind. It is real. If you close your eyes, you can see and feel it. It’s never far.
How and why does this work better? Because when you start with the end in mind, you bring that feeling of joy and accomplishment to every single action that you take, starting with step one. The distance between you and your accomplishment is much shorter. It feels like you need to close a gap between who you are now and the real, better you, rather than working hard to create a totally unfamiliar and new you down the line. It feels like it’s right around the corner. How can it be too far? You can almost feel it. You can almost see it.
This feeling is always there to motivate you and keep you moving forward. This feeling of “being” is especially helpful when the going gets tough. Without this mental and emotional energy of “already being,” it will become difficult to overcome obstacles and break through barriers to your success. I believe this is the reason most people (including myself) have failed. The fact that the end seems so far in the future and that feeling of accomplishment is nonexistent makes us give up or become distracted when persistence matters the most.
Let’s look at a health-related example. Nancy needs to lose 20 pounds and get back in shape to reduce her potential for health problems. She sets a goal of doing this in four months, at a rate of five pounds per month. She works full time, takes care of two kids, and barely has any time left to do something for herself. She sets out to eat healthier food, exercise more and follow a healthier lifestyle. She creates a plan. By the second week into her DOING part, she is bombarded by challenges and obstacles. Worst of all, the scale shows she has not lost any weight. A lot of doing, a lot of sacrifice, but no results. This is where most people give up and return to being their old selves. I repeat: being their old selves. Because, after all, this is who they are, and who they have been for a long time. It feels familiar. It feels normal. “This is who I am.”They have only one point of comparison, one vision of themselves: their old self.
But what if, weeks earlier, Nancy had started the process of being her new self, the thinner, happier, healthier, more energetic self? By this point, as she faced all those difficulties that challenged her doing, she would have noticed that her old self had weakened a bit and her new self had gained strength. Now she has a new point of comparison: her better, healthier self. She has the energy, attitude and positivity of her new self available to her, right now. As a result, what would normally feel like a failure suddenly feels like a temporary setback. What seems to be lost time looks like a necessary investment. What seems like useless effort turns out to be necessary learning. So, instead of giving up, Nancy doubles her focus, adjusts her strategy, and continues to move forward in a smarter fashion. She just needs to adjust her action plan. She notices that the full power of her new being is already supporting her, at this moment.
Have a goal? Need to start doing? Get the feeling of being, now. See and feel the end clearly, right now. Start being and acting as if you are already there, and have it. Bring the incredible power of already being to your doing, starting with step one. It took me years, but I think I finally understand that the song of goal achievement is not “do-be-do-be-do”; it’s “be-do-be-do-be”.