We all have goals, dreams and things we would like to do.
And life sometimes gets in the way. After the many commitments in life such as work, travel, school, taking care of ourselves, hobbies and spending time with friends and family, as well as all of our other life activities – sometimes it can be tricky to achieve the bigger challenges we have our eyes set on.
It’s important that we take the time to slow down, get in touch with what we want and make a plan to achieve.
Our Individual Goals & Dreams
The combination of our dreams and passions and motivations are not simply creations from external influences. What we feel deep down about our dreams and goals, are uniquely personal to each of us. We have individual reasons as to why we are attracted to doing the things that we desire.
It’s sometimes easy to get distracted by what our friends or idols are achieving in their lives. We need to ensure we stick to our values and work on improving our personal bests while striving to achieve our personal goals. Comparing ourselves to others is not going to improve our happiness or our motivation for achievement.
Every thought we have, especially the thoughts we act on, help to shape our lives. Thoughts about our goals and dreams orientate our way of being towards those achievements. Goals keep us on track as every phrase and plan that we write down only brings us closer to achieving those dreams. And focusing on the processes and habits that we carry out in our everyday lives can help us to achieve the things we want.
It’s extremely useful to know what we want to achieve and the potential setbacks we will encounter so that we can adjust any habits which aren’t serving us.
The Personal Practice of Setting Goals
Setting goals is highly recommended by some of the most successful people in the world.
How will we know what to do if we don’t know what we’re aiming for?
I’m a huge believer in goals. I have lists and brainstorms and affirmations and plans that I’ve written from an early age. I’ve outlined all the things I want to master with descriptions of how I’m going to achieve them and dates of when they will be achieved. Although I am yet to completely master an instrument or perfect a second language, I’m well on my way to doing so and writing down a plan for achievement has accelerated the process.
A lot of the time, I find it difficult to narrow down my goals to a small list of achievable things as there are so many ideas, activities, books, movements, recipes, instruments and clubs that I want to explore!
The trick is to keep it simple. It helps me to think about my ideal life now and my ideal life in five years. Then I can work backwards and prepare for my ideal life in five years. Of course we need to express gratitude as the journey is more important than the destination but working towards our dreams will fulfil us the most.
Inspiration to Set Different Types of Goals
There are plenty of inspirational tips and tricks available about setting goals. Below is a small review of just some of these.
The most important part is to get started. Start thinking about what you want, write down your intentions and take action.
Brian Tracy – Set Goals, Take Action
Brian Tracy has a whole career of advice about goals and reaching your potential. He outlines that you don’t have to be the most intelligent person to achieve greatness, but you must be driven and you must take action every day towards your goals. Brian has a range of books, audio books and blog posts about goals and how to best achieve them. Brian’s Youtube channel also has a wealth of useful tips about goals.
Brian believes everyone can achieve and he said, “An average person with average talents, average education and ambition, can outstrip the most brilliant genius in our society, if that person has clear, focused goals.”
SMART & Habit Goals
Many people believe in setting SMART goals – aiming for something that is Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Timely. These specific goals can help us to stay focused on what we want and give us a clear plan of action.
On the flip side of the coin, some studies explain that we need to focus on our processes and habits rather than specific goals. Sometimes setting goals can be de-motivating as if we don’t break the goals down into smaller achievable steps, the idea of a faraway dream can make big tasks can seem unachievable. We can target our dreams by choosing a habit we can develop which will help to achieve our end goals. Then we need to work on making those changes last.
Beginning by creating a small and lasting habit can greatly improve our goal achievements.
Brendon Burchard – Dream Goals
Brendon Burchard has recently revolutionised the personal development arena. Brendon says that that we shouldn’t focus on SMART goals as they focus on using the left part of our brains – the logical and analytical side. He thinks if we set ourselves distracting, realistic goals then we will never accomplish the impossible dreams.
A way to solve this conflicting issue is to set both types of goals.
Set the goals that light a fire within.
And set smaller and more specific goals that move us towards those big goals and dreams.
Danielle La Porte – Value Based Goals
Danielle La Porte wrote The Desire Map where she introduces a new way of goal manifesting. She explains that we need to start with the feelings and the values we want to embody in our lives. Then we can work backwards to organise our life around those feelings so we can live our most fulfilled life.
Something Small As Often as Possible
Doing something daily helps to create wholesome habits which become a part of our routine and way of being.
Doing something for 20 minutes a day adds up to just over 120 hours a year.
Josh Kaufman explained during a TEDTalk that you can master the toughest parts of learning something new in the first 20 hours. So if we do something for 20 minutes a day over 2 months, we’d have spent 20 hours trying to achieve one of our goals.
And if we want to be a world leader, industry leader or organisational leader in a particular area, we’re going to have to do more than 20 minutes a day. Malcolm Gladwell discovered and wrote in Outliers that to become the best in our field, we need to dedicate over 10,000 hours to practice. Simply saying that amount of time can be overwhelming. We can become specialised in a subject much quicker than 10,000 hours but to be world leaders with our passion, we need to dedicate plenty of time to activities which will help to make us better.
Steps to Achieving Our Goals
The trick is to keep it simple. Yes, set big goals for those dreams we would love to achieve but ensure there are smaller and realistic goals we can take action on today.
It’s worth spending time deciding what we want to be, what we want to spend our time on and what we’d like to have in our lives. Then we can figure out how much time each day we can spend working to achieve those goals.
The simple act of writing down what we want dramatically increases the chance of achievement.
- Write down our ideal life. Include as much detail as possible.
- Write down what we want to be in five years from now, one year from now, six months from now, a month from now and a week from now.
- Brainstorm 20 ways we can achieve the most important, valuable or pressing task which will bring us closer to our overall goal. This brainstorm will help trigger creativity and innovation for actions we can take to move us closer towards our dreams.
- Make a plan of how to achieve what we want. Focus on the habits we need to achieve our dreams. This process will change over time and that’s ok. We need to ensure that our present life isn’t being negatively impacted because we want something that isn’t there. But we also need to make sure that we have something that keeps us motivated and moving towards a wholesome fulfilled life.
- Make a plan to integrate these habits into our daily lives.
- Take action every single day towards living the best life we want. Use self-discipline to achieve but remember that we need to be kind to ourselves to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed by the size of goals.
If you have any tips for taking daily action to improve your habits, feel free to share them with me as I love to hear about new ideas.
- Do you set goals?
- How do you go about achieving your dreams?
- Do you do something daily towards your goals?