Over the weekend, if you live in the United States, you likely celebrated the 4th of July.
Last summer I took my family to Washington D. C. and we visited the National Archives, where the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights can be seen. These three documents are called the Charters of Freedom. It was an inspiring visit.
The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. The document declared that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and no longer part of the British Empire.
Now, it has been awhile since I had a history lesson, but I just assumed the Revolutionary War ended around the same time as the Declaration was signed. Out of curiosity, I went and looked it up. I was surprised to find that the Revolutionary war started in 1775 and ended in 1783. I thought the ending of the war allowed the colonies to become free.
Nope, the 13 colonies had to declare their freedom first.
It took another 6 years AFTER the Declaration was signed for the 13 colonies to officially rid themselves of the British. WOW!
That is a long time to fight for freedom and independence. Was it worth it, you bet!
How many of you would fight 6 years for something you desired, a big goal or dream?
What about your big dreams and goals?
I can pretty much bet you don’t have a war mentality or even the mindset that tackling big goals requires a battle. You are going to have to fight for the time, energy and commitment to pursue your goals.
Some of you are probably thinking Tim is going over the top. A battle, really. Most of us have never experienced a real war, so the thought of treating a big goal as a battle might be a bit dramatic.
It might be, but if you have pursued a big dream, you know it can be a struggle. It is worth it, but you are going to have to fight for it.
Over the last 3 years, I went after my big goals and dreams. It was a battle. I quit my corporate job earlier this year and started a new business. It was over 3 years ago that I made my declaration to leave my current job and pursue work that made me come alive.
Here are five things I learned about pursuing big goals:
Make a Declaration
You have to be clear about what you want and why that is important to you. Name it and be as specific as you can. You need to understand the key motivations behind you goals. This is the anchor, the motivation you will keep coming back to when things get tough.
My big battle was a commitment to leave corporate America, where I had been working for the last 25 years. My motivation was to pursue significance in my work life, align my work with my passions, spend more time with my family and make a difference in the lives of others.
Develop a Plan
A tangible plan with specific actions and deadlines. Ensure you are taking some action every day. Even if it is a small action, every step builds momentum. I can assure you that George Washington made a plan when he was appointed to lead the 13 colonies into battle against the British. I had a process and tools to track the projects I was working, with a weekly review to keep me on track.
Get some Allies
All big achievements require support from others. Go share your big dream with 3 other friends. Preferably friends that will not only support you, but tell you when you are off track. If you share your goals with someone, you are far more likely to take the steps needed to declare victory. Did you know that France, Spain and Netherlands came along to support the 13 colonies in their quest for Freedom?
I shared my goal with friends, family and complete strangers. The more I shared, the more it became real.
Be Prepared to Give Something Up
Your commitment to the goal will be tested. It will get hard. Be prepared to be uncomfortable at times. Battles are an extended struggle and goals worth pursuing do not come easy.
I consistently gave up several nights a week and numerous weekends to attend training events that enabled me to do what I am doing today.
Get in Shape Physically and Mentally
If you are going to battle on a big goal, you need energy. This could be as simple as getting another hour of sleep every night or getting some exercise 3 days a week.
I improved my mental and physical state by exercising 5 days a week, which significantly improved my stamina to work toward my goal.
These five areas, in unison, worked for me. See, it never is one thing. If it was that easy, then everyone would be living out their dreams and achieving big goals consistently.
If you want to pursue your freedom by taking on a big dream, take the mentality that you are going into battle, because,
Freedom always requires a battle.
PS – If you find yourself struggling with a big goal, let me help you get pointed in the right direction. Go to my coaching page here, scroll to the bottom and request a Lay of the Land questionnaire. Send that back to me and I will give you a complimentary coaching session and recommend 3 actions you can take to get headed towards freedom