The reasons most people don’t achieve their goals is fear, limitation-based thinking and procrastination.
In other words, we imagine having the life we really want and before long, doubt and worry sneak in. We think, “Who am I to think I can do this?” We get dissuaded and distracted. “This isn’t a good time,” we tell ourselves. Or we make excuses and think, “I can think better when I respond to these emails… finish the laundry… clear out this mess in the living room first.”
Think of setting and achieving a goal like driving your car to a city you want to visit. The city you’re in now is your current life, and the city you want to go to is your goal, or the life you’d love living. Setting a goal to get from point A to point B in this analogy is easy because all you have to do is harness the energy of the car and of all the roads in between you and your destination.
There are safeguards in place that help you get there. As you’re driving along the road to your goal, there are yellow or white lines in the center of the highway that help you avoid drift. Drift is dangerous. If you drift one way, you can hit oncoming traffic. If you drift the other way, you could end up stuck in a ditch.
Drift can happen in goal-setting, too. Drift happens when we entertain our fears, put off doing what we know we should do, or tell ourselves we don’t really want that goal anyway. Drift stops us from getting to where we really want to go, both in a car and on the road of life when it comes to achieving a goal.
In order to keep yourself on track, there are 5 steps that need to happen as you’re setting your goal.
1. Your goal needs to be specific. For example, instead of saying, “I want to have more free time,” you may say, “I want to free up at least two hours each day, four days a week to work on my novel.” The more specific, the better.
2. Your goal needs to be measurable. In order for you to know if you’re on track, you have to be able to measure your progress. Last week, you set aside two hours to work on your novel. This week, you’ve set aside four hours. You’ve made progress!
3. Your goal needs to be achievable. If the most you’ve ever made is $50,000 in a year, then it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to make $5 billion this year. But what if you set a goal to double your income from $50K to $100? Now that’s achievable!
4. You want a goal that’s rewarding in its process. It’s not just about the destination, it has to be about the journey. The process for achieving your goal must be as rewarding as the goal itself, so you will actually be motivated to do what you need to do to make progress.
5. The goal needs to be transformational. Even greater than the goal, is the growth that happens — who you know yourself to be and who you discover yourself to be. When you set the right goal, you will be a better person for it.
Just remember that the road to success in achieving a goal is never a straight line. The road winds around and sometimes turns back, or meanders. It’s okay, as long as you continue on the road toward your goal and continue to make progress.
If you follow the 5 steps to setting a goal and avoid drift, you WILL win over your problems and get to where you’re going. There’s a power in you that’s greater than your circumstances. That power can help you live the life you’d love.
Here’s to living your best life now,