New Year’s resolutions and setting goals is a hot topic during the “jingle bells” season. Eating turkey, pumpkin pies, and other delicious but naughty goodies somehow stimulate intentional living in people. Unfortunately, all the promises and goals are forgotten very quickly after the festivities are gone. In fact, the second Friday of January is officially known as “Quitters Day.”
Having goals in life is as essential as charting a course for a ship. If you don’t have a clear direction, you will just drift along aimlessly, which sadly is the reality of how the majority of people live their life.
It is up to us to make our life. The building blocks are your goals. They are the tools that turn the invisible into visible.
I don’t think much explanation is needed why it’s imperative not just to add a goal each year, but to actually follow through on it. You need to take a specific approach to setting powerful goals, an approach that compels you to achieve them.
Your goal needs to be significant. How passionate are you about achieving the outcome? What benefit is it going to bring to your life? What benefit will it bring to others? How meaningful is your goal to you? The more compelling your goal, the more risk you’ll be willing to take – and the more willing you’ll be to persist through the inevitable challenges coming your way.
Your goal needs to be clear. You rarely, if ever, hit a target you don’t see. Many people have a vague idea of what they desire in life. “I just want to be happy” or “I want more money” is not specific enough to be effective.
Ask yourself curious and searching questions to clarify exactly what “being happy” and “having more money” looks like. Make it specific, measurable and put an exact timescale on when it’ll be happening. Then break your goal down into achievable steps – the mini goals that are stepping stones to the ultimate outcome.
Your goal needs to inspire to act on it. Action is the bridge between dreams and reality. If your intention isn’t followed by action, prepare to be disappointed. You don’t need to have a perfect plan. No such thing exists and you’ll get lost in weeds of overthinking it. Better to take imperfect action, make mistakes, and learn along the way than wait for the perfect plan and take no action at all. Once momentum kicks in, you’ll be amazed at your progress.
And remember this: achieving a goal isn’t about the outcome, it’s about who you become by achieving the outcome. Life doesn’t give you what you want; it gives you who you are. The sense of achievement, and the outcome itself, is the “’cherry on the cake”.
Set a worthy goal this year. Make it big, and enjoy the journey.
“The only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”– Michelle Obama
By Anna Simpson