Until recently I never had any fixed goal or any direction. Although I had some loose dreams and hopes for certain things in the future, none of it was set in stone. It would change almost as often as the British weather. I used to say things like “one day I hope to have…”
The most important part of that sentence is the word hope. Hoping for something is nothing more than a prayer for it to land in my lap with little or no effort. So why was I sitting back and expecting the world around me to accommodate my hopes?
It’s very simple: I didn’t know how to get those things for myself. I had no idea how to turn my hopes into reality.
The way to do it is so simple that when you read it you’ll want shout “Duh!” at the screen. But it’s surprising how many people either don’t know this or don’t act on it!
You set a definite goal with a date and you take actions every day towards it. Getting what you want is really that simple.
Now of course, as with everything, there are just a few rules on how to set goals:
Dream big for your goal
I am not talking about buying a new car in three months, I mean dream big. So big that you have no idea how you are going to achieve it.
It needs to be a definite goal
You cannot say ‘to be rich’ or ‘to be happy’. For example, if it is money you want, you need to work out how much you want – whether it is a monthly income or a total figure in your bank.
Take actions every day.
Nothing lasting or worthwhile can be achieved without effort. You don’t need to achieve your goal daily, you just need to work towards your goal daily. Small actions every day will soon add up to big progress and eventually, a great achievement.
Live and breathe your goal
You need to start living and acting as if your goal has already been achieved. Your body and subconscious mind do not know whether what you think is real or not, only your conscious mind knows that, so think like a winner and your subconscious will start to believe it. Obviously I’m not saying that you should live outside your means – spending money you don’t have is no way to work towards financial success. But for things like happiness and self-confidence, the old adage “fake it til you make it!” is very relevant.
Humans are at their best when they have something to work towards. Living without a goal is like hiring a taxi without a destination. You’ll move around from place to place not knowing whether where you are is where you should be, and wondering if the next place is going to be any better. Earl Nightingale likened it to having a ship with no crew: it is not going to get anywhere fast!
Just a few advantages of having a goal
- To motivate us
- To give our lives direction
- To stop others directing our lives
- To give us something to progress towards
- To give us something to look forward to
- To stop us being idle in the present
- To reduce stress and feelings of under-achievement
- To give our current actions meaning
- To have a measure for success
So dream big, set goals and get on with it!