The LIGHT approach: HOW
Once you’ve set a goal (see “The LIGHT approach: GOALS”) defining where you want to be, you need to work out how to get there.
Breaking a goal down – maybe into smaller goals, and, ultimately, into key actions – makes a scary challenge seem more manageable, which creates greater confidence. Having a sense of measurable progress is motivating and rewarding, which really matters if your goal is a long term one. And knowing your "how" means you're focusing on getting closer to your goal, rather than it seeming ever more distant as you flounder around, trying to work out what to do.
If you don’t think you can or need to define steps to achieving your goal, then I would suggest that you’ve not set a big enough goal – maybe you’re identified an action that would move you towards a goal that you’re not yet ready to acknowledge.
Even a seemingly straightforward goal can be broken down into tasks that allow the goal setter to move towards that goal in a focused, controlled way. For example, someone with the goal of running 5k before work three times per week for a month could have tasks to set the alarm for 6.30am on a running day; go to bed no later than 11pm on the nights before running, and get their running kit ready the night before running.
Our “how” is always very subjective and personal. Even if we have exactly the same goal, our “hows” will be very different. Thousands of people might aim to be a millionaire before they’re thirty, but they’ll all be in different situations with different strengths, abilities and approaches – some will focus on saving, some on investing, some on entrepreneurial schemes, some on marrying into money, some on securing an inheritance, some on crime….
It’s important that your “how” is defined by you. it’s the way that YOU will achieve YOUR outcome, based on who you are, how you think, what you’re good at, where you are in life. Your “how” allows you to move forward in your way to what you want.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t follow an approach recommended by others – if it feels like a good fit for you, then go for it! But if you don’t succeed, it’s not because you can’t: it’s because you need a “how” that works for you. You are unique. To paraphrase Frank, you’ll do it your way.