Have you ever set a goal but came short and have yet to fulfill it? Maybe you had a dream that you think will never become a reality, or say you were going to do something, but it just seems so far out of reach? People often blame external environments, people, or luck for not accomplishing a specific goal. Limiting beliefs, and thought’s like “I can’t do that”, immediately limit your ability to carry out a goal. After reading Jack Canfield’s Success Principles and Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, I learned that people tell themselves they do not like the status quo but aren’t confident enough in their own ability to get out of it. People get comfortable and content with their current lifestyle and want to become rich but do not have any plan in place to get there. This is likely due to a goal that is too generic, like “When I get older, I want to become rich!”. This type of goal rarely becomes a reality because again it is simply too generic.
Goals of magnitude need specifics with plans laid out in front of you, breaking the goal down into many sub-goals or steps/checkpoints. To begin your goals, work your way backwards starting with the end in mind. By starting with the end goal you are able to figure out what you need to start doing right now in order to reach that goal. For example, if you want to have a million dollars in 10 years, start with that goal first. Then outline what your goal 5 years from now is, that will get you closer to the 10-year goal. Then what do you have to do 1 year from now to carry out your year 5 goal? Do this process until you get to what do you need to do tomorrow to get to your goal this week. This process, will help you determine what it takes to reach your end goal and what you have to do right now to set you on the right path toward it.
Another big part of successful goals is to have responsibility and accountability of them and to truly own them. Sharing your goals with others is a great way to hold accountability with yourself. It is also critical to write your goals down on paper and embed them into your mind until it becomes a part of your unconscious. If you have a goal to have $1,000,000 in 10 years, write down your goal in the present time and read it out loud twice a day. The more detailed you are about your goal the stronger you will believe in your ability to obtain it. Visualize your goal and imagine yourself as you 10 years from now. How would you act, what would you do? Whatever it is, start acting and doing what you would said you would do. In Gary Keller’s book “The One Thing”, he explains how powerful simply focusing on one important thing per day blocking out other distractions until it is complete can change your life. A good practice he preaches is to create a large calendar and hang it in a place you can see it every day. Then determine what is the one thing you can do each day to get you closer to your goal. For example, say you want to shed 5 lbs. If you make it a 30-day challenge to do one form of exercise each day, you would cross a big X over the day you achieved your exercise. Within 3 days you will have a chain of 3 X’s in a row. The simple idea behind this is not to break the chain! You quickly get a chain of X’s which help motivate you to perform your “One Thing” each and every day. This also helps you visualize your accomplishments of even simply exercising for 20 minutes a day. This can be pretty rewarding and increase your belief of your ability to accomplish your end goal, increase your motivation, and provide evidence that you are getting one step closer.
I urge you to start writing your goals down on paper and placing them in an area where you can visualize it every day. Determine what you need to do right now to accomplish your goal and take your first step closer to accomplishing it, a step toward whatever fortune you desire.