Everybody has goals. Whether it’s to make lots of money and retire early, travel the world and see new sights, advance your education, help others, or just sit around and do nothing, goals define the way we live and our quality of life. They influence our choices and provide the motivation to push on.
So with all the goals that are set on a daily basis, and all the people who strive to reach these goals, why is it that more goals aren’t realized? Why does life continue in the same vicious cycles while our goals seem to sit just out of reach, no matter how hard we try to reach them? Why do we lose motivation and eventually give up on our goals, or write them off as impossible?
This article attempts to answer those questions, and provides new insight into redefining your goals and keeping the motivation and drive to reach them.
It is important to step back for a second and look at the true desire of our goals and what we want to accomplish. List out each of your goals and ask yourself what it is that each goal really represents.
“Making lots of money” is a great goal but is that really what you are driving for? What if your circumstances change and suddenly you have lots of money, is your goal of making money still important? Or is there more to it than that? Chances are the money is arbitrary, just a way to reach another goal that is your real drive and motivation. If you prioritize and get to the root desires of your goals, your real destination can be better determined and your efforts and focus shifted to achieving those goals.
Close your eyes for a second and visualize “A lot of money”. OK, so how much is “a lot”? How much do you need to save to get there? How long will it take and how will you know when you get there? Was your mental picture able to answer these questions? Can you recall specific details about your vision of “a lot of money” and can you see a clear path of how to get there?
The mind cannot visualize generic terms or ideas, and when it’s forced to, it cannot focus for long and easily gets distracted or starts to wander offtrack. The same concepts apply to goals. If you cannot visualize a specific goal with a definite end, getting there can be next to impossible.
This is why it is important to first determine what it is you really want out of life, where you want your goals to take you, and what will be accomplished once you reach those goals. Once a clear picture of your goals has been determined, more detailed goals can be derived, giving you a clearer vision to the end of your road.
A quick example goes back to our “Make lots of money” goal. OK, set a goal to save a lot of money this month. Where do you start and where do you end? How much is a lot and how do you get there? How are you sure when you have arrived? If we revise that goal to say “Save $100 this month”, the goal quickly paints a visual picture and sets a general direction with a clear destination.
You know where you are going and can start determining ways to get there. Suddenly the path becomes clear and the steps needed to reach that goal are easily defined. I can guarantee it will be easier for you to reach the goal of “Saving $100” (or Saving $X dollars), than it will be to “Save lots of money”. This is just the way the mind works. If you can visualize something, you can focus on it. And if you can focus on it, you can reach it. Understand this and your goals will become crystal clear and the general path to reach them becomes easy to navigate.
Define the path and stick to it
Now that you know what you want, SPECIFICALLY what you want and where you are going, the path becomes an easy route to move you in the right direction. Don’t get me wrong, the path will be long and could be full of detours, forks, and obstacles. But you know where you are going which means you can easily determine when you are headed in the wrong direction.
When you know where you are going, the path to get there becomes much easier. And it’s that much easier to stop along the way, determine your location, and decide if you are getting closer. If you wander off to one side or another, or begin spinning circles, this can be identified almost immediately and quickly corrected to keep you moving in the right direction.
Goals, like many things in life, are accomplished one step at a time. Set the steps that need to be taken and the sights you want to see along the way. If you know where you are going, even an extended detour can get in your way and not disrupt your ultimate destination. The key is to know exactly where you are going and make continual progress in that direction.
All the goals in the world won’t do an ounce of good unless you keep pushing to reach those goals. Even the seemingly impossible is reached one step at a time. But it can be reached, so long as you continually head in that direction. Often times a lack of specifically defined goals or the inability to visualize the end leads this progression around in circles.
Frustration occurs because little or no progress can be seen for the effort, and the goals seem unobtainable. The goals are obtainable, even highly obtainable, so long as you know exactly where you are heading and continue walking in the right direction.
Goals cannot be obtained instantly. There are no shortcuts or overnight routes to quickly reach the end. But when you continually head in the right direction, a shortcut becomes unnecessary. The end will come to you, and your goals will be realized before you know it.
As you move along the path, you can look forward and see that your destination is closer, that you have put more distance behind you, made actual, measured progress, and are closer to your dreams than you were before. This approach not only works, it allows you to see your goals move within reach, and provides continued motivation to continue and complete the path.
Reaching goals is not easy. If it was, everyone would already be there and the world would be a happy, stress-free place. But reaching your goals and realizing your dreams is possible, even practical.
As long as you know where you are heading, set specific goals and visualize them, then take the steps to continually move in the right direction, you WILL make it. It is not rocket science, it is the path to creating your future the way you want it to be created.
So get some specific goals set and start walking the path, your future depends on it.