Let’s start with the foundation of why setting goals is so important in life…
If you think of it from the standpoint of getting into your car and but having nowhere to go. If you didn’t have a job to go to, school to attend or someplace to go, you would just sit there in neutral. There is no forward progress, there is no backward progress, and you would just sit still. The key is to not over complicate it though; your goals are really like a road map, they give you direction or a destination. This allows us to chart out a path to get to that destination. This “road map”, much like in traveling, gives us direction in life and keeps us focused. Without it we run the risk of being totally lost.
I recall hearing about a trainer who did an exercise with two sheet of paper. The trainer said, “Write your goal down on the first sheet of paper.” After writing down their goals, the participants were instructed to crumble it up and throw it. The participants asked, “Where?” The trainer again simply said, “Throw it.” As you can imagine paper was thrown all over the place. Then the trainer asked them to again write their goals on the second sheet and crumble it up. He then walked to the center of the room and placed a trashcan on the floor and said, “Now, put it in that trash can.” People began to get up and really focus on throwing their paper into the trashcan. He even offered a prize for those who made it so some even walked their paper over to the trashcan and dropped it in. The difference between the first and second paper is that with the second paper they had something to focus on, the trashcan. The trashcan, in this example, represents what goal setting is.
You have, hopefully, heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals. If not, you should for sure study up on them and the importance of this acronym. I will give you the basics here:
S – (Specific) You have to be specific about your goal. It needs be definable. Nothing is dynamic until it becomes specific. It is important to understand the difference between a “dream” and a “goal” here. For example, to say, “I wan to make a lot of money” is a great dream but not a goal. To say, “I want to make $500,000 this year” is a specific goal.
M – (Measurable) You have to have a way to keep score. Imagine a sporting event with no scoreboard? How would you know who is winning the game? The same applies to your goal, if you can’t measure it how will ever know if you have reached it or not?
A – (Attainable) You have to base this one on your own resources and level of commitment. If it requires 35 – 40 hours a week and you are only willing or able to commit 10 – 15 hours, it is not attainable for you.
R – (Realistic) This is the one you have to be careful with. If people set goals that were always “realistic” imagine the lack of advancements we would have in technology and everyday life. You also have to make sure your goals are realistic from the standpoint of the laws of the universe and physics. For example, if it was April and you wanted to move into a million dollar mansion (that you are going to fully customize) in June and you have not even bought the land yet, it is obviously not be physically realistic.
T – (Time) It must be time certain. Without a timestamp it is a dream, not a goal.
Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon….