Listen to any life hack, guru, or personal development specialist and they all tell you the same thing about achieving your goals: “that which gets written down, gets completed”. It sounds simple enough. Write down your goals, keep time to periodically review them, and update steps along the way. Well, I’m turning 37 in 3 weeks and don’t have goals written down anywhere. Am I doomed to failure? Absolutely not! However, I am not advocating continuing this behavior. Life sometimes catches up to us at the most opportune times. The little voice in your head starts whispering when it knows you’re ready to hear. Now that I’m considering being more tangible with my goals in life, where do I start? I think the answer starts first and foremost with my last post. Just get off the couch and do it. Don’t worry about inspiration, or a better time, just do something. Now is as good a time to start as any. With that being said, there are a few things to consider.
First, make some time in your calendar to work on this. For me, if it’s not on my Iphone, it’s not going to happen. The other thing about this is to schedule a few times to work on it. Give your creative mind time to digest what it is doing. Don’t force yourself to plan out your entire life in a 1 hour appointment.
Second, find your medium to capture your goal. Are you going to write it down or put on a computer. If you are writing it down, put it some place special and some place nice. This is your life, make it an enjoyable experience. Maybe a nice journal? This is not crucial, you can actually write it on a napkin if you’d like. I just know personally, I get more excited about the “tools” I use at times and can help my motivation.
Third, have long term, medium term, and short term goals. This is another one of those “no brainers” that you still fail to do. Why do you fail? Because you are AFRAID! You don’t want to be held accountable. You intend on writing this down and walking away from it. Stop reading now if that’s your intention.
Fourth, include action items that are time bound as part of your goals. David Allen, in his bestseller “Getting things Done” does an amazing job detailing “action” items. Start from step one. If your 3 year goals is to to finish your BA, your first step might be to get your transcripts from your previous school. Think in those realistic and step-wise methods. This is a road map to getting where you want to go. Maps have the starting point and the end point and every point in between.
Fifth, this is so very important. You must not limit your dreams. Your success depends on your ability to dream. Dream BIG! The world will stomp on your dreams, why should you? Do you want to be a senator? Write a novel? Change careers? Then by all means write it down. Work backwards on what it takes achieve your goal.
Whether you achieve all your goals is not exactly the point. You will live a much more focused life. A life filled with purpose, ambition, and fulfillment toward a goal is much more rewarding. Take some time for yourself to reflect on what you really want to do. Don’t limit yourself to money or geography. Find what will make you happy. If you really want it, you will make it happen.