Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Goals 101

"It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll.

I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul."

-William Ernest Henley- 

Let's face it, we live in a world of indecision and heartbreak.  We live in a world where 99% of people have been defeated before they ever consider their dreams.  Life can be a cruel joke, and it will kick you while you are down and keep you there if you let it, but only if you let it.  There are endless barriers you'll have to pass through in life to get anything you want, and the greater the reward is, often the greater the sacrifice required to get it.  Only 2 people out of every 100 people, if asked, could tell you what their purpose is, or what they hope to achieve in life; its no wonder how unhappy the majority of us are in our day to day routine.  Today I'd like to talk about the beginning steps to attaining anything you want, from a small raise at your job, all the way to your ultimate dream in life.

Every single accomplishment starts out as an idea.  Certainly most of us have no shortage of ideas floating around in our heads, I think it is fair to say a vast majority of people would like to:  make more money, be happier with their job, be a better person, etc., but how do we get there?  

Goals serve a huge purpose in almost every success in life, seldom does one come to a better position in life without some sort of plan on how to get there.  Goals can do all of the following: serve as a gauge on how far you have come, give you a definitive deadline to work toward, motivate you, help you to control your life and yourself, give you a better and happier life, help you to look past temporary defeat, and be a source of strength and inspiration even in the worst of times.  I promise you one thing, that if you have no idea where you are going in life, you will never get there.

The first step in setting goals is to take your idea and commit it to paper as a goal.  Give it a deadline, or a definitive date by which you will achieve it or make your idea a reality (it must be realistic).  Look at the big picture and the goal sitting in front of you and start to figure out smaller goals, or stepping stones, that you can use to measure your distance from your ultimate goal.  Finally, you must look at yourself, your goal, and where you are now;  you must figure out concrete actions that you can take EVERY single day, that will bring you closer to each stepping stone and therefore one step closer to your ultimate goal.

Setting Lifetime Goals
Make a conscious decision to redirect your life into a direction that will change your life for the better.  Ask yourself where you would like to be 10 years from now.  Ask yourself what you would like to achieve in your life time?  What will you look like, what will you be doing, where will you work, how will you be financially, what have you achieved, what would be the dominating character traits of this new person?  If we are honest in answering these questions I think most of us would see that we are very far away from who we would like to be even only 10 years from today.  Do not be downtrodden!  If you truly examine yourself, and see what you would like to become then you have already taken the first step.  Don't dwell on how far away your dream may seem, be joyous because you are now one step closer to attaining your goal!  Write down your ultimate goal, or what you ultimately want from life.  Be descriptive and use a definitive date (by 2016 I will be...).  Begin to actually envision yourself as that person, or in possession of your ultimate goal.  Begin to visualize your success.

Setting Smaller Goals.  
Next you will need to break down your major goal into smaller more measurable goals.  Create a five year plan, followed by a 2 year plan, 1 year plan, 6 month plan, and 1 month plan.  For each plan make realistic goals that will lead to the fulfillment of the larger plan above it.  Once you have worked down into short term goals you can then begin to see what you can do each and every day that will help you become closer to your ultimate goal.  As a rule of thumb focus the most on your daily actions, if you fail to do what is required of you on a daily basis you will never achieve your greater goal.  Create a list of things you must do every day in order to achieve your goal.  It is important to periodically re examine and change goals if you need to.  Sometimes while you are working towards a smaller goal you have a new idea, or there is a new opportunity to take a different path toward your goal.  Do not make a habit of changing your plans, but do not be too stubborn to see new opportunities that are in front of you that may bring you closer to your goals.

Smart Goals!
Goal setting is something that must be: measurable, focused, realistic, and motivated or you will never succeed.

You must always be focused on your goals, if you are constantly looking at tomorrow it is very hard to be weighed down by today.  Life can often seem futile but if you realize that a set back today doesn't have to stop you from getting where you would like to be, then nothing can stop you from success.  As you begin to achieve your smaller goals, your bigger dreams will become more realistic, and something that began as seemingly impossible will begin to become tangible.  Your new life begins the second you decide to take control of it and become the master of your own fate.  If you want something, go it.


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