Imagine yourself as a beautiful wooden boat with gigantic white sails that extend far into the sky. It’s a wonderful sunny day, and you’re anchored in the middle of the ocean. All that you can see, no matter which direction you turn, is the infinite horizon. You have no destination to go, so your vessel floats without moving in any direction.
Without goals (a destination to reach, a dream to manifest) you become like this vessel anchored in the middle of nowhere with no determined destiny to fulfill.
It is extremely important to set goals and have a plan as to how to accomplish them, otherwise it is hard to get what you want in life.
So, the first step in setting yourself up for success, is deciding what you want, and then setting goals as to how you are going to get what you want.
A goal is simply a destination in which you want to go; a result that you want to reach; an intention you intend to fulfill. And the greatest reward one gains after achieving a goal doesn’t necessarily rest in the actual act of fulfilling your intention, but in the realization of what you have become and in the lessons you’ve learned while pushing hard during the journey you took to get there.
Goals help you develop focus and discipline.
For example, if your goal is to lose weight and get into shape (losing your love handles and muffin top, tightening up your butt, melting away the extra fat on your thighs, etc.) so that you look fantastic during your upcoming summer vacation at the beach, then you need to make a solid plan as to how you will reach your objective.
Characteristics of Setting Effective Goals
In order to assure that you reach a goal effectively, make sure that it meets the following characteristics:
- Specific: lose weight, lose love handles/muffin top, and firm up.
- Measurable: lose 10 lbs and one waist size.
- Reachable: go on a diet and exercise regularly.
- Realistic: go to the gym 3 times/week.
- Time limited: 3 months of diet/exercise.
Why We Fail to Reach Our Goals
The majority of us set goals with very strong intentions to reach them but, after a while, we stop doing what it takes to reach our objectives.
This happens because our motivation and discipline are not aligned with our daily habits and intention.
Let’s continue with our example of intending to lose weight and get into shape.
At the beginning, you are convinced:
“This time I mean business. Nothing is going to stop me from going to the gym every morning before work!”
Sounds like a reasonable intention. The problem, however, is that going to the gym before work every morning is a very radical change in your daily routine. So, even if you do actually go to the gym early for a few days – maybe even a few weeks – the habit of staying in your warm, comfortable bed when it’s so dark and cold outside starts to destroy the discipline you need to get out of bed and go to the gym.
Aligning with Your Goals
So what can you do to stay focused on your reaching your goals?
- Remind yourself – Make little notes to remind yourself WHY you want to accomplish your objective, and put them in several places where you will be sure to see them. Reminding yourself about your intention and how you are going to feel once you reach it will help you to stay focused.
Continuing with the example of losing weight and getting in shape, you could put up photos of beautiful models with wonderful bodies that you’d love to have. Be sure to have these photos everywhere you spend time and where you will see them: office, car, kitchen, etc.
- Start with small changes – Don’t make irrational and radical changes that you cannot live up to. Be persistent until you make new habits.
For example, go to the gym 3x a week; not every day. 3x a week is much more realistic, and once you’ve made it a habit of going to the gym, you can increase your exercise to four days, then five, etc.
3. Seek support – having someone check on your progress will help keep you motivated to sticking to your goal.
If no one is keeping you in line, you are much more likely to give up on reaching your goal. It is especially helpful to find someone with the same goal/intention that you have. Not only will you avoid feeling alone and lonely, you will also have a partner to push you toward reaching your objective/s.
Sometimes the simple fact that you think that you are not “suffering” alone is all you will need to stick it out when the going gets a little tough.
Perhaps you can, for example, convince a co-worker to go to the gym with you before work. You can also, of course, hire a coach to set you up on a program at the gym.
So, be sure to use these tips to set yourself up for success and reach your goals.
Success is ready for you!
Good luck, and let me know how you are doing. I am here to help guide you down your path to reaching your dreams.