“Man is a goal-seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for his goals.” -Aristotle
“Many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage, but simply because they have never organized their energies around a goal.” -Elbert Hubbard
Millions of words have been written about goal setting. Millions of people set goals. Yet, most goals set by most people remain unfulfilled. I have distilled (from experience and education) the eleven essentials of successful goal setting here for you. Follow these and you will accomplish your goals. Fail to follow these and you probably will not. No hype. No rah-rah encouragement. No fluff. Just the simple explanation of how and why to set and ACCOMPLISH goals.
Your goals must be:
10. Time related
11. Written down
1. Goals must be original. That does not mean that they cannot be the same or similar to the goals that others may have; it means that they must be yours, not secondhand. Many people set goals according to the hopes and expectations that they have been programmed to have by parents, teachers, society or cultural norms.
As a consequence they do not own these goals. You cannot generally have or hold what is not yours or even if you do manage to keep it, it will not have any value or meaning to you. What’s the point then of having it? The real reason you set and hope to achieve goals is not just to have the thing, it is to be happy and fulfilled in the accomplishment.
Set goals that are yours; not inherited or assumed. If they are not your own original goals, even if you manage to accomplish them, it will mean very little to you. Why waste your life pursuing something that will end up as meaningless?
2. Goals must be inspirational. They must arouse your passion. This must be a consuming passion, not some whim or ‘someday I’d like to’ feeling. You must desire passionately to achieve what you set as a goal. It must drive you to action and you must feel fulfilled in that action because you know that it is leading to the fulfillment of your goal.
It is passion that drives you to move continuously toward your goal. It is passion that keeps you from getting distracted. It is passion that keeps you from getting discouraged. It is passion that fuels your motivation. It is passion that draws others to you to assist in your goals. It is passion that inspires you and others. It is passion that lights your way through the darkness that you will find along the way.
Get passionate about your goals or get passionate about someone else’s. Life without passion is not a life; it is merely an existence.
3. Goals must be harmonious. Obviously, you cannot have conflicting goals in life or you will be conflicted. That’s the easy part. Your goals, however, must also be in harmony with your core beliefs and your self-assigned purpose in life.
It is easy to understand that to having conflicting goals will raise your stress levels and frustrate you. Yet, people do that to themselves all the time.
It is not so easy to understand that you may have some deep set unconscious game plan for your life (whether from some basic spiritual urge or from some sense of undefined purpose) and the goals you set may actually be in conflict with that real, but hidden, game plan.
First, decide who you are and what you are here to do and then set your goals in alignment with that; or you, yourself, on a subconscious or super conscious level will continually be sabotaging your goals.
4. Goals must be realistic. There is not much point in setting a goal to personally live on Mars, if you are today over 95. The goals you set for yourself must be achievable within the framework of what is humanly possible.
But (and this is important) realistic does not mean what the majority commonly accepts as realistic. Most people did not think that it was realistic to attempt to fly a bicycle with wings and a motor attached, but two brothers named Wright did. Most people did not think it was realistic to build a personal computer for people to use in their home, but two guys named Steve did.
These 4 guys changed reality for all of us. Their goals were obviously, in retrospect, quite realistic. Don’t let your imagination be hemmed in by the crowd.
5. Goals must be idealistic. In two ways