Just as a compass provides direction towards a destination, a goal provides a compass towards achievement.
Ask any successful person how they achieved their success. They first required a goal, a vision, something they could ferociously invest their all in.
Facebook started out as a goal. Apple started as a passionate vision. The civil rights movement manifested from a deep desire for the oppressed have the opportunity to one day thrive.
Goals are the fuel for the furnace of achievement. No successful person who has caused a worldwide or individual change or was able to make a difference done so without the conception of a goal.
Any goal, whether individual or global provides clarity and direction towards life. Energy, time, thoughts and resources are directed towards a particular purpose or vision to be achieved.
No one achieves success by scattering themselves in 10 different directions.
By focusing resources on the desire for particular achievements and goals, success is only a matter of time.
That is the difference in the power and intensity of a laser as compared to a torch.
Every single person has 24 hours, 365 days a year, and the formation of goals aim to maximise the gift of time to ensure that we have released our potential, have grown, broken self-imposed limitations and boundaries to achieve something of personal depth and value.
Such intentional living gives the power and priority to consciously choose thoughts, actions and behaviours that achieve that goal rather than aimlessly deciding on mediocre tasks and behaviours that lack overall fruitfulness.
Do you see people in your life, aimlessly doing the same thing again and again, without real meaning?
Do you see people who are squandering their potential, the virtues on persistence, perseverance, patience and growth by having no where to direct it?
A retrospective study of a 1979 graduating MBA class showed that in that year.
84% of the entire class had set no goals at all
13% of the class had set written goals but had no concrete plans
3% of the class had both written goals and concrete plans
term result indicated that 10 years later, the 13% of the class that had set written goals but had not created plans, were making twice as much money as the 84% of the class that had set no goals at all.
Even more incredible was the results revealed the 3% of the class that had both written goals and a plan, made ten times as much as the rest of the 97% of the class.
That is the power of set and determined goals.
Once a determined goal is set, life becomes more purposeful, fulfilling and full of pride.
So how does one set goals?
1) Have goals which are specific and meaningful to you.
Every person has an innate desire to grow and develop in a particular way that inspires growth and holistic development that adds value to your life or the lives of others. Do you want to make more money? How much and by when? Do you want to lose weight, how much and by when?
Set specific targets that your Reticular Activating System, the honing mechanism of our subconscious mind, is able to bring the behaviours, people and resources to achieve that specific goal. Be clear and direct with what you want to achieve and more importantly WHY you want to achieve it, and that will be impressed in the depths of the unconscious mind. Strong enough whys, such as exercising to live longer living to be an example of a healthy person to your children is far more powerful than doing it for passive social fads.
Vagueness and meaninglessness about the specific of the goal will mean less commitment and probability in achieving it.
2) Stick with one goal at a time.
Direct your focus to one goal at a time. The mind naturally has many distractions which get in the way of creating thought and habit patterns. But as you make deliberate, and focussed attempts at one thing, you create new neural pathways, and through neuro-plasticity your brains moulds to make that pattern of thought and behaviour easier and more effective. Like light going through a magnifying glass, with focus, the intensity of the energy is formidable.
Take small steps initially towards that 1 goal, focussing totally in the present moment, and increase the magnitude of the steps once the momentum and commitment becomes habitual.
If you are able to get through the challenges of one goal, you can get through the next. Master one thing through consistent practice, and integrate a new goal once a previous goal has been properly established in thought and habit. Chasing too many rabbits at the same time means you finish with none.
Plan your goals, but execute them with a bit of flexibility.
Challenges will naturally come as old paradigms, behaviours, fears, inconsistencies and procrastinations get in the way. Expect anxieties, deviations and commitment to waiver. But this is where the why's are important. Once a strong why has been established, they pull the mind (and heart) back to the goal and the actions of the goal. A strong why is the tether to the kite that wants to sail off when the winds hit. Once the why is in place, the how to achieve the goal will be revealed through every success and mistakes. But regardless, have a good idea of the 'how' to get to your goal, and if it requires adjudging in terms of time limits, methods, adjust accordingly. Perseverance, persistence and flexibility are part of the process, but the point of a plan is to take daily consistent actions towards goals that you are determined to achieve, even if those actions maybe slower of different to first thought.
3) Create and invite environments that are reflective and supportive of your goals.
If you are trying to lose weight, the convenience of junk food or NETFLIX will not get you there. If you want to save or invest $100,000, going to bars, credit card debts, the absence of proper financial advice will not get you there.
Results come when you take accountability and full responsibility for your actions (and inactions) that promote the development of that goal. Have accountability partners; a spouse, family member, financial advisor, personal trainer that can drive you further to towards your goals, and help you achieve them more successfully. This will mean distancing yourself from things and people that don't help you on your cause and investing in things and people that do bring you to it.
4) Celebrate your wins, and always maintain your worthiness of achieving a goal.
Chart your progress and have milestone moments. In time, daily actions you take, no matter how small, have a compounding affect, and the overall larger goal is achieved by the smaller milestones achieved. Celebrate them as they happen, seeing how far you have come and how much further you can go.
Difficult times may come for any pursuit, complacency can plague the new way of thinking and the old routines can very easily take over. The key is to not give up, dust yourself off every time you fall off the wagon. If previous behaviour and life was unacceptable, the depth and meaning of that goal will be worthy of your reach to achieve them. Be patient with yourself and the process to continue no matter what challenges may come.
The goals of our simplest ancestors was simply to survive, but the modern man through goals can thrive. The desire to do more, have more, and expand our potential through goals will always be an innate desire which if catered to, yields to a more fulfilling and successful life.
Anil Khanna is a Mentor at The Successful Male Global Pty. Ltd.