For any goal to be successful, knowing how you are going to tackle it is key. This is where research comes in. The more specific you can be about the details of your approach, the better able you are to create a plan that supports your success.
The point of research is to gather as much data as possible right away. How long will the process take? What tools do you need? Are there specific guidelines or parameters? Is there a cost (overt or hidden)? How have others done it? Are there any dangers? How might this goal impact not just you but people around you? What additional information do you need to be successful?
The research process is especially important with large multi-step goals so you can easily envision the tasks and timeframe you will need to achieve your goal.
Fortunately, no matter how big or small your goal is, finding relevant information is pretty simple:
THE INTERNET IS YOUR FRIEND – It’s impossible to overstate how valuable the internet is as a resource for all kinds of information. Keto recipes, couch to 5K plans, upcoming events, reviews of books, financial planners, every kind of video tutorial known to mankind, instructions for at-home igloo construction – you can find it all. Start here.
NO REALLY, THE INTERNET IS LITERALLY YOUR FRIEND – In addition to instructions for all of life, you can find Reddit threads, Facebook Groups, Twitter hashtags and other community resources where you can connect with other people trying to do whatever it is you are working on. Find a forum and meet some people. Ask stupid questions, it’s cool. We all start somewhere.
ASK FOR ADVICE – I’ve never asked someone for advice and had them respond, “oh no, I really don’t want to give you advice about that.” Who in your community can guide you? Talk to them. If you can’t think of anyone in your community to talk to, try a mediocre white man, they usually have a lot of advice. (Just kidding guys, we love you.)
FIND A TEACHER – Sometimes goals require a bit more intentional guidance. If you can hire a teacher to work with you, do it! You get instant expertise and accountability all rolled into one.
FIND A MENTOR – Somewhere between teacher and friend, a mentor can help you navigate your biggest and most complex goals with personal experience and knowledge of the nuances and pitfalls you might encounter.
Prioritization tells you where to start, research helps you outline the contours of your goal, the next step is to schedule your goals!