Let me share a hard truth with you, right here, right now. You are where you are today based on the decisions you’ve made each day leading up to this point. Your decisions good or bad, have shaped your life, and the challenge is most of us don’t think about many of our decisions, we let our internal programming make our decisions for us. The habits we have formed determine most of our daily decisions; As such, we look at our lives 10, 20, even 40 years later and wonder “What happened to all those goals I had when I was 20 years old”?
Most people spend more time making a grocery list than putting together a list of goals they want to achieve or thinking about how they want to live their life. I am not talking about New Year’s resolution type goals, I’m talking about achieving the types of goals that will change your life 10-fold.
Here's what you should know about goal setting and 5 myths dispelled...
Myth One: I already have goals; I don’t need to set any.
People who say this, also say that their goals are to be “rich, thin, happy, or successful”, and live their dreams. Unfortunately, none of these statements are definitive enough to be a goal, they are wishes and fantasies common to everyone. A goal is like a beautiful home, carefully designed, revised continually, upgraded regularly, and meticulously maintained. If a goal is not written, it is merely a dream or a wish, a vague objective with no energy behind it.
Most people who tell you they have goals, don’t really understand what it means to have a goal. And those that do, didn’t likely put much thought into their goals, as their goals were imposed on them by their jobs, families, or some other well-meaning individual, but these are not the individuals, goals. Likely they have not thought about what THEY want for some time.
Myth Two: I don’t need goals; I’m doing fine.
Living your life without goals and objectives is like setting off across unknown territory with no road signs and no road map. You have no choice but to make it up as you go along, reacting and responding to whatever happens, and hoping for the best. If you feel as though you are doing well today without written goals and plans, you could most likely be doing many times better in the future.
With clear targets to aim for and the ability to measure your progress as you go along, you are assured to achieve much larger goals over time. It is vital to have goal setting objectives. Often, people who say they are doing fine are trying to avoid the stress and pressure of going after a goal, because going after a big goal is scary, challenging and requires significant commitment. Much of which is lacking today. Ambitious driven people achieving massive things are what makes the world move. Remember, if you are not growing you are dying, if you are not moving forward, you are regressing, “there is no neutral in life!”
Myth Three: I don’t need written goals; I have them all in my head.
The average stream of consciousness includes about 1,500 thoughts a minute. If your goals are only in your mind, they are invariably jumbled up, vague, confused, contradictory and deficient in many ways. They offer no clarity and give you no motive power. You become like a ship without a rudder, drifting with the tides, crashing into the rocks inevitably and never really fulfilling your true potential.
Like myth 2, without clear direction, your goals dissipate and get watered down. By writing down those goals, you make them real and give them energy, there is also a certain amount of accountability that comes with writing them down. People that say, “I don’t need to write them down”, in my experience are afraid of putting their goals out there for everyone to see. If you aren’t willing to write it down and share it with people, despite their reactions, then you don’t want it bad enough anyway, and you won’t make it happen. Sorry to be so blunt, but that is the truth.
Myth Four: I don’t know how to set goals.
No wonder. You can get a master’s degree at a leading university and never receive a single hour of instruction on goal setting and achieving your goals. In traditional education, there is nothing like this taught. Personal growth is something you must seek out on your own to attain. Fortunately, setting a goal is a skill, like time management, selling, managing, or anything else that you need to become a highly productive and effective person. And all skills are learnable. You can learn the skill of goal-setting by practice and repetition until it becomes as easy and as automatic as breathing. And from the very first day that you begin setting goals, the progress you will make and the successes you will enjoy will astonish you.
As I share in my book “Success with Goals: Designing a Life with Purpose”, my first foray with goal setting was very mechanical, inconsistent, and messy, yet the results were undeniable. When I went back 4 years later to review my notes, it was amazing how much I had attained in that time and I barely knew what I was doing. The process of setting goals challenged me to think differently, find the necessary resources, make the commitments, and ultimately put me on course to achieve something that a small fraction of people ever accomplishes in their lives. A life changing goal!
Myth Five: Goals don’t work; life is too unpredictable.
When a plane takes off for a distant city, it will be off course 99% of the time. The complexity of avionics, the constant variation wind, and the impact of the weather, all combine to challenge the pilots to be focused on continual course corrections. It is the same in life. Life is messy, it never shows up as a beautifully packed gift with a ribbon and bow, it is often full of challenge and strife. Nothing ever comes easy in life, when you do see the “overnight success” remember they likely practiced and trained for this break-thru for years before it happened for them. What you see people recognized for in public, they practiced and prepared for, for years in private.
Understanding this, you must embrace that it will take time, you will get bumped off course, you will have setbacks and challenges, this is inevitable. However, when you have a clear, long-term goal, with specific plans to achieve it, you may have to change course many times, but you will eventually arrive at your destination of health, wealth and enormous success, on your terms.
For more information on how I can help you achieve more of what you want in your life, please pick up my book HERE. If you purchase my book before the end of May, I will send you a FREE digital copy the 40-page companion guide to use along with the book exercises, just send me an email of your Amazon receipt and I will send off your redemption coupon for the FREE companion Guide, a $19.95 value.
Thanks, and I hope you have a phenomenal week!