Most people spend their lives striving to achieve big goals. Whether it’s the career path you want to spend your life working on, or a well-adjusted family, or even just your physical fitness, everyone has something they want to work on. These goals are enriching, and help you lead a fulfilling, satisfying life.
Unfortunately, the small things can get in the way. You may have trouble getting ahead in your career because you have a hard time managing your home life with your work life, or you may not have time to exercise regularly because of work. When this happens, you aren’t getting the most out of yourself, and you may be spending your time in ways that you don’t value. Fortunately, you can try these 21 steps to maximize your full potential.
1. Reflect On Your Life
Once you’ve set into a routine, it can become difficult to break out of it. You may have decided what career you wanted right out of college, and it wasn’t a good fit. Or you may have chosen not to have a family, only to find yourself wanting one later in life. When you feel stuck in one place, or questioning your decision, it’s time to reflect on your life. Look at the things you value and want, and try to come up with a plan to do more of what you love, and to set the goals you want to achieve. This is the first step to maximizing your full potential.
2. Write Down Your Goals
Once you’ve decided what your goals are, write them down. When you’re juggling your work and home life while also trying to maintain your personal health, it can be easy to forget things. Writing down your goals not only keeps you from losing sight of them, but it can free up your mind to take the steps now to work on them. If you keep your goals only in your head, you may spend more time thinking about them and less time working on them.
3. Identify Your Strengths & Know Your Weaknesses
If you work in sales, you may assume you’re good at sales and not much else. But you have many strengths, and by identifying them, you can unlock your full potential. You may be better with numbers than you thought, or you might be a powerful writer. By learning and honing your strengths, you open up more paths to achieving your goals.The Harvard Business Review mentions this as a common thing that people overlook..
Being aware of your weaknesses is also vital for maintaining your full potential. You might accept a promotion into a management position, only to find out you have a hard time being the boss. You may accidentally put yourself into uncomfortable positions when you don’t know your own weaknesses.
4. Define Your Role Models
As adults, it can be hard to figure out your role models. We often think of them as being for kids, but role models are for anyone who wants to grow, and you should always be trying to grow. Identify the people in your industry, or even in your life, that inspire you. Distill the things about them that inspire you, and learn how they unlocked their full potential. Follow in their footsteps to achieve your own goals.
5. Be Optimistic
According to a Gallup Poll, up to 70% of Americans are not even trying to put their best in at work each day. If you’re stuck in a bad place, or if you think you aren’t moving forward, take a step back and remain positive. Negativity is conducive to failure, so being positive is key to unlocking your full potential. There will always be obstacles and road bumps on the path to your goals, so stay positive optimistic when things get tough.
6. Focus on the Big Picture
It can be easy to be caught up in your day-to-day tasks and to put too much stock into small things. Sure, it’s important to keep your daily projects up to par, but it’s even more important to remember what your bigger goals are. You’ll achieve your goals and better prioritize your tasks when you always keep the big picture in mind.
7. Make a Plan
Plans are essential to achieving any major goal. If you’re shooting for that big promotion, you don’t want to just wing it, which is why productivity guru Justin Ledford insists on the power of intention and planning. By planning your steps out in advance, you don’t have to wonder if you’re heading in the right direction each day and you’ll know which steps to take, allowing you to better tap into your full potential.
8. Start Learning
Your mind should never be still. Knowledge is power, and anyone trying to unlock their full potential will always be looking for more skills, information, and abilities. When you have your goals set and plans made, begin learning all of the new skills you’ll need. Even if you don’t think you need them, learning is a powerful tool for achieving big things.
9. Take Action (Are You Consuming Information? Or are You Taking Action?)
It can be easy to spend all of your time daydreaming about what you want in life or reading success stories about people who did what you want to do. While it helps to research and to look for inspiration, none of it matters unless you take action. This is the process of self-actualization, and studies have shown this to be very difficult for adults. Try to catch yourself when you spend too much time planning or looking up the best way to go. You’re the master of your life, so take action!
10. Manage Your Time. Don’t Multitask – Focus
Productivity culture often puts you into situations where you’re tempted to multitask. You might be checking your emails while you write a report, or you might be on a conference call while crunching some numbers. When you multitask, you end up doing each thing poorly. You miss important details, and you’re at risk for overwhelming yourself. To maximize your full potential, focus on one thing at a time, and do it the best you can.
11. Embrace Change
Change is inevitable, so always be prepared to embrace it. You may have a sudden change in management, or learn a new approach to something you’ve always done a certain way. Instead of backing off, or of trying to stop the change, welcome it and try to learn from it. You may even find yourself being the one to initiate change. By embracing change, you can incorporate the best tactics for achieving your goals, and Psychology Today reports that it can even lead to greater satisfaction with life.
12. Be Persistent
Persistence is incredibly valuable when it comes to unlocking your potential. If you fail at something, don’t give up. Instead, get back on the horse and try again. Mastery comes with patience and repetition, so keep trying. Even when it comes to big things like negotiating a raise, or trying to get a promotion, be vocal, clear, and persistent. Perseverance is a virtue and is vital to achieving your goals.
13. View Failures as Learning Experiences
Failure is inevitable, and it can be a crushing experience. But out of failure comes knowledge, and you can learn so much from these experiences. You can find where you went wrong, learn how to plan for the next time, and you get a little closer to perfecting what you were trying to do. You only have so much time, so you get closer to unlocking your full potential when you learn from your mistakes.
14. Greatness Isn’t Achieved Overnight
The saying Rome wasn’t built in a day rings true when it comes to maximizing your potential. It can be frustrating when you want to hit it big now, or when you just can’t wait for the day where you achieve your goals. But it’s important to keep yourself paced, and not to rush through things. Spend each day trying to make your projects as good as possible, and never skimp on the quality. Just remember that you’ll get there one day, and to take your time.
15. Tap into Your Creativity
Work culture seldom promotes creativity, but you can come up with some great solutions when you become more creative. You may want to dedicate more time to unpaid work, so being creative with your income is vital. Or you may have a tough schedule for a few weeks, so being creative with your time management will do wonders. Thinking outside of the box is just another part of achieving your potential.
16. Get Support
It’s tempting to try to do everything on your own, but it’s not always possible. You don’t want to overwork yourself, or else you might burn out. Make sure to ask for help at home when you need more time at work, or for help at work when you need more time at home. You can achieve much more when you aren’t alone.
It might seem counterintuitive to take a break when you’re trying to maximize your potential, but rest and relaxation are important parts of being productive. When you push yourself to your limits, you’ll end up doing less work, or falling flat on your face. Strategically plan time to relax and recharge, keeping you focused and ready to go.
When you’re shooting big, it’s easy to become resentful of not having what you want. But look at the things in your life that are important, and be grateful for them. You may want a better job, or a bigger house, but there was a time when your current job was the one you were after. Whether its your friends, family, career, or your health, express your gratitude and keep working on your goals. Staying grateful puts things into perspective, and gives you the clarity you need to achieve your goals.
19. Stay Committed to Yourself
Offer a helping hand when someone needs it, but don’t get caught up in someone else’s life. To maximize your full potential, you need to stand up for yourself. Even if a superior at work begins leaning on you for their projects, be helpful without sacrificing your own work. This way, you can keep focused on what matters to you.
20. Remind Yourself Why You Wanted to Achieve the Goal in the First Place
When things get tough, you may find yourself questioning your decisions. It’s important to remind yourself why you’re doing this, and to move onward. When you forget your motivations, you limit your potential, and may give up on some of your projects altogether. Come up with a saying, or even a mental image, of what you want your life to look like, and remember that you need to get through the hard parts in order to get there.
21. Enjoy the Journey
Don’t become too competitive, bitter, overworked, or resentful on your path to achieving your dreams. Life is too short to not be enjoying it, so look at the path to your goals as something to enjoy, not something to get through. Take time each day to appreciate yourself and those around you. Let yourself be impressed by everything you’re doing. When you enjoy the journey, the destination becomes that much better.
Unlocking Your Full Potential
Whatever your aspirations are, it’s vital to be committed to your goals and yourself. It may be a long, hard path, but doing big things takes