Techniques To Make You More Effective At Reaching Long-Term Goals

Most people have dreams. They want to reach some level of financial success, perhaps start a family, or have a dream house, car, or so on. What a lot of people do not have, I find, are the tools necessary to turn those dreams, things that you want, into goals, things that you are working towards.

These days, I have goals. I wanted to get a Ph.D. I did so before more 29th birthday, as a first-generation college student. Next on the list is getting into stellar shape so I can start enjoying the great outdoors more. One thing I have learned, in addition to a heck of a lot of philosophy, are tools that help turn dreams into goals, and goals into accomplishments. I want to share a few of them with you today.

Understand the difference between Strategy and Tactics

This one comes from military history and strategic studies. In those academic disciplines, a strategy is a broad concept that is used to direct the overall efforts of some organization, such as a military, towards a bigger overall goal. For example, the US’ strategy to defeat the Japanese in WWII was to pursue an island-hopping campaign.

Tactics nest under strategy: they are what groups or individuals do to meet the goals of the strategy on a daily basis. In the same example, the tactics were using ships to bombard coastal emplacements before landing troops via small boats.

The same distinction applies to our lives as well. If my strategy to get in good shape involves losing weight, then a tactic to adopt would be to simply not purchase calorie-dense snacks that would tempt me at night. Most goal planning starts with a strategy, but it is defining tactics that aid in the achievement of that strategy that make goals possible.

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