Why Writing Monthly Aspirations Is Important, But Practicing Them Is Even More Important
Written by Stephanie
December 23, 2022
Ambition, motivation, push, enterprise, passion: these are just five synonyms for the word ‘aspiration’. What one person calls aspirations, another might call goals or desired outcomes. They’re all a positive means to an end, right? Absolutely!
That is why some people swear on writing monthly aspirations. It’s a way of jotting down your wishes and adapting them as you go along. There is no denying that striving and yearning for new things or ways of improving our lives is innately human. That instinct is what got our prehistoric ancestors to venture out of the relative safety of their caves.
However, it is not enough to aspire. One must also do in order to achieve anything. Let’s look at some of the ways in which you can do just that. Otherwise, all you land up doing is wishing your life away – and that’s not good either!
The Importance of Actionable Goals
Make no mistake: the psychology of having goals is indeed important. They give us hope and inspiration. But you need to make the goals come ‘alive,’ i.e., be actionable. One thing is to wish you knew how to speak in public with confidence, quite another is to have the guts to actually learn how to do it!
The trick is not to make your goals mere aspirations and a long wish-list with no action. Mark Murphy delves into how to achieve this in his book Hard Goals: The Secret to Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. One trick that Murphy suggests is to turn a future benefit, i.e., what you would like to get, into the present. It’s a way of ‘living’ what you want to achieve right now. It means you don’t put off until tomorrow what can be done today.
How To Attain Goals Along the Way
The great news is that there’s actually such a simple way of ensuring that any goal you set is something that you can action and attain. It’s called the ‘SMART’ technique and it’s used by business leaders and corporations the world over to achieve their goals and objectives.
‘SMART’ stands for:
S= Specific: Your goal is crystal clear
M = Measurable: Your goal is measurable, i.e., it has a defined objective
A = Attainable: Your goal is achievable
R = Realistic: It is something you can realistically achieve
T = Time Bound: It has a defined deadline
The beauty of the SMART technique is its sheer simplicity. That is why it remains so popular in project management today. The graphic below demonstrates each of its five steps:
Turn Aspirations into Real Skills!
A terrific aspect about being an action-focused person is that it helps you develop what is called the ‘action habit’. Yes, achieving things can become a habit just like any other skill that you learn in life. Trust us, the more you do it, the more of a habit it becomes.
One thing that makes people back down from their goals is that they seem too big or unattainable. For example, you may have ‘two left feet,’ which is why learning to do the tango could be overwhelming. One way to overcome that is to break down your big, ultimate goal into a series of small or ‘baby’ goals. So, perhaps your first goal is to simply find a tango teacher or class you can attend. And for every baby goal, you can use the SMART technique, of course.
Baby steps achieved should also be celebrated, as they will encourage you to keep striving forward and taking the next goals. You can ensure your success by celebrating every minor victory. That means, yes, taking yourself out to a movie for simply having plucked up the nerve to sign up to learn guitar or a little Italian!
Achieve Skills Online!
An excellent way to turn your aspirations into actions is to do your learning online. This is especially true of a specific skill you’d like to master. That is why you should take your classes on a bona fide learning platform such as Yip. Being a ‘Yiper’ means being able to be a part of an exciting community of other learners and with so many different courses and skills to choose from!
They key thing in your online search for learning is to not get distracted! As we all know, time flies when you’re on the internet. That’s why this section could also have been titled ‘Beware the Time Bandits’ or ‘Down the Net’s Rabbit Hole!’ Having actionable, SMART-derived goals can help you stay focused.
So, as you enter a new phase in your life or simply wish to learn new skills, remember that aspirations are not enough. After all, research by the University of Scranton in the US found that 92% of people who set New Year’s resolutions never actually achieve them! Yikes!
Be bold and put your aspirations into action. Be brave and venture out of the personal cave that is your mind, your procrastination and all your fears. Imagine all that you can achieve by getting things done. Your prehistoric ancestors would be proud!