Mr. Sandman . . . bring me a slice of heaven. Heaven on earth, isn’t that what we are all dreaming for in life? And why not? You don’t need a mythical figure putting you to sleep to live your dreams. Make your dreams a reality by setting goals that will move you towards the life you want!
To be successful in realizing yours dreams, you may be wise to keep a few notions in mind. 🙂
1. Keep it simple! I can’t even count the numbers of times I have had to remind myself of this. If I don’t, I end up digging myself a hole so deep, I eventual lose sight of what I was trying to accomplish. So, what exactly does it mean to keep it simple?
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Most of us would choke if we tried to eat a big, juicy steak in just a few bites. Give yourself breathing room and cut that steak up into several bite size pieces.
- Focus on the present. What can you do today to inch you closer to realizing your goals?
- When writing your goal statement, get to your point in as few words possible. Try not to dilute your goal with a bunch of fluffy, feel good terms. The outcome you desire is the core of your goal. The easier it is to remember, the better focused you will be!
2. Use time to your advantage. I find it easiest to first sort goals by long verses short term. Your short term goals will have several steps to be completed in the near future, while your long terms goals will have several or few steps that span a time of 1-5 years. From there narrow in on the those steps that are to be completed first on your timeline. These are the items to focus on and keep with you in the present. The others are important to not forget, but they don’t need to so much of your attention today. Review your long term goals monthly and incorporate them into your short term goals as appropriate to make progress towards them.
3. Use the SMART method as often as possible when formulating goals. SMART stands for Smart, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
Smart – Make sure the goal matches your true desires and is set for the right reasons. Keep it simple.
Measurable – This may not always seem possible, so you have to get creative here. Do your best and if you can’t think of how to measure something, be sensitive and conscientious in your evaluation. Measure your effectiveness by being honest with yourself through self awareness.
Actionable – Achieving a goal requires you to do something different. Transitioning yourself from A to B and then on to C takes movement/action. Change itself takes action. Embrace it, love it, be it!
Realistic – You are capable of just about anything. But, if your goal is to change someone else’s behavior or feelings, you are headed in the wrong direction. Be realistic and make sure you are the focus of your goals. You can only change yourself. Don’t misunderstand what I mean by this. If your goal is to help other people and change the world for the better, that’s great and don’t ever abandon that notion. Just understand that the difference you make will be in role modeling that behavior yourself, sharing your passion, and being eager to help those who want it too. It all comes from within you!
Time-bond – Set a deadline for realizing each step of your goal. If you don’t, that goal will be hanging out in a black hole and will likely never see the light of day.
4. Keep your goals at the forefront of everything you do. Progress towards your short term goals should be reviewed at least weekly, if not daily. Remember that achieving your goals requires you to change habits and behaviors, none of which will happen unless you dedicate yourself towards that reality. If you think otherwise, you may want to acquaint yourself with this saying . . . doing the same thing repeatedly while expecting a different outcome each time is the definition of insanity.
5. Be ready to commit yourself entirely!
I leave you with a few fabulous resources that will also help in the area of goal setting. These links are from two of my favorite teachers. Enjoy!
Michael Hyatt: How to Become a Big Thinker
Question: What obstacles did you encounter when you were writing your goals and how did you overcome them? Please share your answer in the comments below!
Learn more about exploring what you want in life and setting goals here.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes