What a parfait can teach you about reaching your big goals.
Having big goals is fun! But the more ambitious the goal, the scarier it feels. Big goals feel almost "impossible" to achieve because they require knowledge and experience that goes beyond our current reality. Ironically, that is the whole point of having goals!
Goals are alternative realities created by our imagination and represent what we wish our lives could transform into.
In many cases, these alternative realities require us to hold knowledge and resources we do not have in the moment we imagine them. This is the huge gap between our current state of being and the desired goals. Within this gap lives a great deal of anxiety, doubt, and confusion which cause us to fall in a state of "analysis paralysis". We often abandon our biggest goals before we even try to reach them. Today I offer you the best technique to actually reach your goals no matter how big and far reaching they are: the layering technique. As you continue reading, I want you to imagine a delicious, layered parfait dessert. Here is another picture to inspire you:
The Layering technique
The best strategy to getting anything done is to break down your goals into tiny little tasks. I call this the layering technique; a process that allows you to start by executing the most immediate task you can think of doing that will move you one step closer to achieving your goal. Imagine your goal is a delicious parfait dessert, each layer is a different task. You can have as many layers as needed and each one must be laid out separately. Just like a parfait, you can take your time to enjoy and savour the layer (task) you are working on.
Whenever I have a new goal, I feel a little overwhelmed because I don't have all the answers about how to make it a reality and the layering technique never fails me. Let's take for example the day that I decided I wanted to have my own podcast. I knew absolutely nothing about how to make a podcast. I just knew that I wanted podcasting to become my reality. So I started by taking the tiny small steps I could immediately take the moment I imagined the goal. At the end of each step, I would have an idea bout what the next step could be.
I did NOT have all the lawyers figured out BEFORE starting to work on my goal. I only knew what the next immediate task should be, and that is all I focused my attention on.
Here is an example of all the layers I used when I created the Schmooze & Booze podcast: Goal: To have a podcast with someone I enjoy talking to. Layer 1: Ask the people I enjoy talking to if they would want to have a podcast with me. (Fun fact: only 1 person said yes: my cousin Salima.)
Layer 2: Schedule a Google Meeting with her to talk about it.
Layer 3: Brainstorm a name and a concept.
Layer 4: Figure out how to actually have a podcast by researching on YouTube and reading blogs about it. (The research stage is key in developing the rest of the layers.)
Layer 5: Select a podcast host, create an account and select a payment plan.
Layer 6: Create a logo using Canva.
Layer 7: Establish roles and responsibilities for myself & Salima. Layer 8: Put recording days in our calendars.
Layer 9: Brainstorm a list of topics.
Layer 10: Create an Instagram account.
Layer 11: Have the proper gear: mic, headset, editing software.
Layer 12: Do a test recording.
Layer 13: Record our FIRST PODCAST!!!
Layer 14: Edit the MP3.
Layer 15: Upload on our podcast host.
layer 16: Share on social media and tell my friends about the podcast.
Layer 17: keep going! Now I am a real podcaster!
Voila! In a matter of four weeks, I went from sitting on my couch with an idea to listening to my first podcast on Spotify! The beauty of creating small tasks that can be immediately accomplished is that we don't have much risk of failure. Each tasks feels like a small victory. Each step illuminates the way forward to know what the next micro-step should be.
I encourage you to try the layering technique for your current goals. You will not only advance closer to success, you will also feel less stressed about having to figure it all out from the beginning. You will feel confident each time you accomplish one task (small victory) and you will gain new experience and insight as you go. Just trust the process. As you start advancing through the layers, you will learn the things you need to learn to know what the next task should be. This is how you can make anything you want happen. Once you achieve your goal, treat yourself to a delicious parfait dessert!
Read out loud: I GOT THIS!
The Make Things Happen blog is published every Sunday. Make sure to come back next week for more advice on how to be successful in your business by developing the right mindset, skills, and tool kit!