Writing a book, taking a vacation, starting a new hobby, growing a business; we all have things in life that we want to do or achieve. I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t have aspirations of some kind. But, many people live on the idea of “someday I’m going to…” This allows us to daydream of the beautiful image of that “someday,” without having to do anything about it. Don’t get me wrong, dreaming about the future can be satisfying; for a while. Eventually, though, frustration and impatience set in, and that’s where most people leave behind their goals and create new ones to daydream about.
There are many people who do achieve their goals, though! When they set out to do something, they simply make it happen. In fact, most of the time they make it look easy! While achieving significant goals is almost never easy, there are certain strategies that goal achievers use, that goal dreamers don’t. I want to explore three techniques that differentiate these two types of individuals.
Make Goals Specific
If I were to ask you today, “how much money would it take for you to be secure, or better yet even happy?” Would you be able to tell me a specific amount? Most people would throw out a random number if asked this question. A common answer would be “a million dollars!”
The point to take away is that many people who set out to achieve goals never define exactly what it is they want. Have you ever tried to play golf, without being able to see the fairway or the green? You may have a general idea of the direction to hit towards, but it makes it hard to hit your target.
The same is true for setting goals. If you have a generalized goal, you won’t be able to define a specific process for reaching it. If your goal is “grow your client base,” how many clients does that mean? And over what period of time? If you determine that gaining 20 new clients in the next three months is what it will take to achieve the level of business you are looking for, then you have a set target to aim for. You’ll have a much easier time developing strategies to succeed at this goal than trying to plan for a fictional amount.
Just as with making your goals specific, you must also set timelines for achieving your goals. If I have a goal of three specific songs I’d like to learn to play on my guitar but don’t have any idea of when I’m going to learn them by, how long do you think it will take me to learn those songs? If you answered, “a long time,” you are close!
We can set our goals as specific as we want, but our minds need timeframes. We don’t operate very well without timeframes. Given a set timeframe, we generally find ways to complete tasks with the allotted time. Without a set timeframe, we procrastinate, because our minds tell us we have plenty of time to do that. Setting specific timelines and dates for each step in the achievement of your goals is vital to making progress.
Review Your Goals Frequently
The third way to become a goal achiever instead of a goal dreamer is to review your goals often. Preferably, twice a day. Once when you first get up in the morning; this gets you motivated for working on your goals throughout the day. The other time is before you go to sleep at night; this allows your brain to meditate on your goals while you sleep (don’t laugh, I’ve solved many problems using this method!)
Each time you review your goals, you are reminded of the value of those goals. You’ll be more apt to staying the course, and your mind will be able to focus more easily on ways to achieve those goals faster.
If you’re interested in learning more about the art of setting and achieving goals, I’d love to visit with you over coffee virtually (I’ll buy the coffee!) Send me an email at [email protected], and we’ll connect!