Goals…The toughest simple task!
Would you ever board an airplane without knowing where the destination is? I have a feeling that some of you who follow my blog absolutely would! That’s because The Goal Guide has the most adventurous, risk taking, group of readers you’ll ever be able to find on this planet! In all seriousness though, most people would not board that plane. I’m going to suggest that going through life without having goals is similar to boarding an airplane without a final destination. You’ll end up somewhere, just not necessarily where you want to be!
I used to be one of the passengers who was on a flight without a destination and it felt awful. Though I was doing great at work and received many promotions, I always seemed stressed and it felt like I was carrying a ton of weight on my shoulders. I knew that I had to get many things done, but always seemed to find an excuse about how resting is more important and that I can get the task done tomorrow. I’m sure you can guess where this is heading, but when tomorrow came, there were many new tasks that I started thinking about and creating excuses to convince myself why I shouldn’t complete the task today. It was the same endless wheel of doing work without really knowing why I’m doing it and where I want to end up. All I knew is that this had to stop!
Jim Rohn said “if you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” That statement resonated with me to the point that I started to design my life plan. The feeling I have knowing exactly where I’m going is truly incredible and I wish that you can experience the same thing I feel. As simple as the task of goal setting is, many people don’t really do it. I wonder why? My personal belief is that there are a few things stopping them from setting their goals:
- Fear of failure – It may seem easier to not try than to try and fail. Let’s face it, if we don’t set goals, we’ll never fail at attaining them.
- Fear of success – Some of us are conditioned to believe that we’re not able to achieve success. We sabotage ourselves to not become successful on a subconscious level.
- Not knowing want we want – Many of us don’t really know what we truly want to achieve in life, we don’t know our purpose. Therefore, we aren’t able to set goals to help us get there.
- It seems complicated – Have you seen the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound) Goals model? Many of us just don’t believe we have the time or capacity to sit down and think about our life and actually create a plan. It looks too difficult!
I’m sure there are a few more reasons why people don’t set goals, or if they set them in January, never look at them again. When we’re going through the school system, we’re all taught what to think, never really how to think. Isn’t that true? The teacher stands in the front and lectures on what happened or how something is done and then we read a few chapters on the subject. However, in order to establish goals we can’t think with the same thought process that got us to where we are today. We must use the creative, imaginative, side of our brains. If we use the same thought process which got us to this point in our life, and believe me, everything we have accomplished to this date is the result of our very best thinking, there is no way for us to ever achieve more.
To achieve what we haven’t yet achieved, we must think what we haven’t yet thought!
When I look at the “Achievable” part in the SMART goals model, I tend to disagree with it. I understand why it’s there (one reason is that you can’t spell “SMART” without “A”) from a business and motivating people perspective. However, when we’re setting our personal and life goals, it’s not necessary. As leaders in business we want to give our sales people reachable targets, however, when we set our own goals, I believe reachable targets may sell ourselves short.
Les Brown said “reach for the moon, because even if you miss you’ll land with the stars.” That’s kind of the mentality I’m suggesting we take when we set our personal goals. It’s ok to not know how we’re going to achieve them. What I suggest is we picture ourselves reaching the highest possible point of success. Can you see what that looks like? Do you know what you’re doing when you’ve achieved your highest level of success? Can you see where you are at that point in your life?
I challenge you to dream it, see it, and imagine it as big as you possibly can! Now start setting your goals, and make sure they scare the hell out of you!
Though setting goals seems simple, it’s actually very tough to think about them, write them down, and review them, in order to measure progress. However, if you can discipline yourself to do it, I guarantee that your life will change. You may be saying “yea right” at this point, and that’s ok, I would be as well. I mean, how can writing down goals change my life? It’s actually very simple. The way it changes our life is by getting us to think about the things we want and need to accomplish. When we start thinking about those things, we start taking action towards them. It all starts with thinking and visualizing. Earl Nightingale mentioned “just like a woman who’s not thinking about baking a pie, will never go get the recipe.” A person who’s not thinking about success and the things they want, will never work towards achieving them!
So, if you’re still reading, I like to thank you and share with you the steps I take to set my goals. This process (don’t be frightened by that word) has literally changed my life and I hope it helps you as well. I like using the One Note app, I’m not promoting it, just the one I use. In this app I created a notebook called “Goals.” In that notebook, I have three sections “Personal” “The Goal Guide” (my professional one) “This week.” You may have more or less, this is just what works for me.
In each section I have various goals that I’d like to achieve. For example, one of my goals is to write a book so I have a goal that’s called “Write a book” in my “Personal” section. Under that goal is a list of everything I need to do to complete my book. Things like:
- Create outline
- Write 10 pages
- Find editor
- Find publisher
- Hire a coach
I just copied and pasted these tasks from my app and this is a real list of things that I need to accomplish! I have a similar list for all other goals, and there are many of them! Every Sunday evening I go through the most important, time sensitive tasks. I copy and paste the actual tasks into “This Week” section in the app. I then plug each task into a time block on my calendar to ensure that I accomplish what I need to do. Once I complete the task, I check it off on my list! The reason I have “write 10 pages” as a task in my “Write book” goal is because I copy and paste it to “This week” section every week until the book is complete! I figure writing 10 pages per week is way more doable than saying write the book as a task! I also break those pages down to 2-3 per day and spread them out throughout the week.
Though this process seems simple, it takes much discipline, effort, and thought. However, you don’t need to be perfect at it to start. Just start! Figure out your destination, the plane you board and the route you take really don’t matter at this point! After all, you may even decide to drive! Believe me, the “how” doesn’t matter. (check out my blog on this topic at http://thegoalguide.com/dont-let-your-how-stop-you ) The reason why I’m saying this is because many people will set a goal and the voices in our head start playing tricks on us. You may say I want to become a real estate broker who owns an international company and employs thousands of agents worldwide. All of a sudden your mind starts saying things like “you can’t do that,” “you don’t even have a passport,” “you’ve never done that before,” “who’s going to work for you?” “You don’t have any money to start a company like that.” And before you even start, you quit! I actually wrote a poem about this called “The silent screams of Status Quo.” http://thegoalguide.com/the-silent-screams-of-status-quo/
Really DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE HOW! Just start thinking of everything you want to accomplish and write it down. Create a list of tasks for each goal, and then get them on to your calendar! You can do this and everything you want in life is achievable, if you start thinking about it. I wish you much success!
P.S. If you have some fears which are currently holding you back from achieving your goals, you may find some great ideas to move past your stuck state by attending the Put Your Dreams to the Test seminar on July 16th! I promise you will leave there more energized about following your passion than you’ve been in a while!
Click on this link to register: http://www.vipeventsconcierge.com/upcoming-events/
“Live your purpose”
The Goal Guide