I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacation with better care
than they do their lives.
Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change.
Without specific goals, there will be no sustainable passion, purpose, or drive in your life. If your goals are too vague, you will find that it is much more difficult to reach your desired and intended results than if you had taken the time to properly prepare in the first place.
Plan your goals
You know the drill. Plan your work and work your plan. The planning phase of getting from here to “there,” moving from point A to point B, is the most important stage when it comes to achieving your goals. Planning might be easy or hard for you, but one thing is for sure, and that is without planning the end goal may not even come into existence at all.
While it is important that you set up your own system, one that works well for you, there are some simple goal setting strategies you can use to make your planning easier.
1. What do you want? Decide what specifically wish to achieve. Whether your goal is lofty or small, decide exactly what it is that you want. If you want money, how much? If you want to lose weight, how many pounds? If you want success, how do you describe your vision of success? How do you define success for yourself?
Don’t be afraid to take your time to figure out what you want. At some point you will need to sift through all of your thoughts and take specific action, but be as sure as you can that you are acting on what is truly important to you!
2. Specify. The details matter. Be very detailed as you develop each part of your goal. Instead of a goal like “I want to be better at sports,” consider a goal like “I want to perform exceptionally well during spring tryouts so that I can become an all-star point guard for my high school basketball team.” Just being “better” at sports is way too vague. There are just too many options and roads to take that your mind will not be able to focus on any one route to reach your goal.
3. You know what’s next… Write it down. Write down your all of your ideas and decisions. It does not matter if you use pencil and paper, a computer, or even your cell phone. What is important is that you are able to keep track of a large amount of specific information instead of trying to remember everything. After all, your goals only feel real when you can see them clearly in front of you.
4. Baby steps. Break your goal down into smaller do-able pieces. If you have a lofty goal, it will be immensely more manageable if you break it down into smaller increments. Smaller pieces will make your goal seem less complex. Plus, it will be easier for you to achieve your ultimate goal if everything is set out for you as mini-goals, instead of just one huge, seemingly insurmountable feat.
5. Rinse and repeat. Repeat the process. Once you have found a good system, meaning, one that works for you, it is then time to repeat the process. Clarify each of the other goals that you would like to achieve.
For example, if you would ideally like to “spend more time with your family,” which is waaaaay too vague, make a list of specific family activities you would like to do together, and then work out the details of how you can make those goals a reality.
Someday is NOT a day of the week!
One of the biggest reasons that people tend to keep their goals vague is that they are actually afraid of achieving them. It’s true! After all, it really is a whole lot easier and simpler to keep putting off your goals and do nothing, than it is to take specific action to achieve it. But then you need to ask yourself, what good is a goal that merely resides on paper or in your head?
Once you have decided on a clear and specific goal, it is time to take swift action to make it a reality. Do NOT wait for someday to achieve your goals.
There’s no time like the present… so let’s do this!