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As we round off another year, many of us are reflecting on what we have achieved in 2022 and thinking about goals for next year. Our journey toward personal and professional growth is never complete yet achieving proficiency in anything can be challenging for several reasons.

The hardest part of learning anything is often repeatedly practising it until you get good at it. Others find that starting out is quite challenging. It's simple to be impressed by talented musicians and painters for their work, but you don't often witness the years of practise, effort, and mistakes that brought them to their level of proficiency. Due to their inability to clearly map out a path towards achieving their desired outcome, many people are unable to reach their full potential. They desire results but lack the means to get them.

What do you want to accomplish in the future? Would you like to learn to play an instrument? Do you want to learn to speak another language? Do you want to further your education in a demanding but rewarding field? Now consider why you haven't done it yet. Year after year, most people give themselves the same excuses: it's too difficult. They have no idea where to begin. They lack the natural talent that others possess. They do not have enough hours in the day.

These excuses all have one thing in common: they serve as justifications for why they have already defeated themselves. If you find yourself falling into the same self-fulfilling cycle of mediocrity, the solution can be as simple as a paradigm shift and a plan. These simple but effective steps can serve as a guide to help you achieve what you know you are capable of.

1. Narrow your focus

You must be familiar with a talent before committing all your time to learning it! Although learning to code or play an instrument are excellent objectives, they fall into extremely wide categories that have a lot of variance within them. Playing the viola and learning to play the drums are very different things. Start with a specific objective in mind rather than listing all your desires. Pick one talent to master, then apply what you learned there to the other skills you wish to study next.

2) Set a lot of small goals as well as a few big ones

Many people make the mistake of setting a few grandiose goals that, while sounding great on paper, can turn out to be far more time-consuming to achieve than they anticipated. This causes frustration and a false sense of failure. It's important to keep the big picture in mind but remember: Rome wasn't built in a day. You must first build a village before you can build a city. The same concept holds true for any skill you wish to master. Consider breaking your goals down into individual chapters, or even pages, if you want to learn how to write a novel. Motivation has its own inertia: it's difficult to get started, but once started, it's difficult to stop.

3) Take regular steps

You'll notice that the size of your steps isn't specified. You don't have to practise the piano for four hours every day to get good at it. Excessive practise, in fact, can work against you - the law of diminishing returns will eventually kick in. Consistent practise is more important than lots of practise. Maybe you can only work on your coding project for thirty minutes a day. That's all right!

What matters is that you are self-disciplined enough to work even when you are tired and don't want to. Consider it like going to the gym: you can't skip two weeks and then work out extra hard to make up for it. If you want to master a skill, you must be consistent in your learning.

4) Establish a support system

Even if experiencing your personal achievement is inspiring in and of itself, having the support and encouragement of those around you can be even more inspiring. Having buddies that share similar interests and are focused on the same objectives is frequently advantageous for bodybuilders. When times are tough, they offer assistance and counsel that can help you get through a difficult time. On the other hand, you will eventually get the chance to guide and mentor others close to you. You'll be surprised at how much more you get out of your commitment and practise if you surround yourself with individuals who share your motivation. Along the process, you might even pick up a few new things.

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