“Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.” – Fitzhugh Dodson
Imagine a life where you wake up every day and do whatever is available for you to do. You do not care where you are headed so long as you are alive and have everything you need to keep going. Your daily steps are not directed towards any particular targets; a perfect definition of ‘going nowhere fast’. It does not matter how much money you make, how many friends you have, or how supportive your family and people around you are.
Now, back to reality! If you do not have personal goals, you are bound to get to a point in life where you look back and feel you have lost time, opportunities, and direction. It is easy to imagine what we can think of as the perfect life for us. However, if we do not purpose in our hearts to follow the path that leads to that kind of life, we will find ourselves anywhere and everywhere the wind blows. Far away from where we dreamed to be. Goals are a roadmap towards our destination.
Things to take into consideration on the road towards your expected outcome:
1. Be true to who you are – this helps you set goals that are suited for your personality. It also helps you to know the level of personal growth required for you to be the person you want to be.
2. Be yourself – staying true to ourselves is the best gift we can ever get. We are more likely to struggle and be miserable when we do things to please others instead of doing what keeps us happy and fulfilled. Set your own standards and live by them.
3. Align goals and beliefs – Beliefs help us set a strong foundation and define boundaries. If your standards and goals are determined by your beliefs about your life, what you can live with, or without, there are greater chances that you will stick to them.
4. Dream big…start small – Dreaming beyond your circumstances is not void of taking small steps. Small steps of commitment and determination ultimately lead to big steps. If you keep waiting to start big, you may never start. Keep in mind “ a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
5. Begin with the end in mind, and then plan to get there - Write down or set in your mind the route you want to take towards your desired outcome. Be open and mindful of the fact that along the way you can still find other ways to reach your goals other than the ones you had in mind initially. Be creative.Have fun with it! Keep looking for more opportunities and ways to improve your strategies.
6. Set strategies to monitor your progress – you should be able to identify along the way what is working and what is not working. Assess. Adjustments are necessary when the latter is the case or else you will get stuck or not make much progress. Monitor your daily habits to ensure they are moving you towards your goals.
7. Be ready to face setbacks – Create SMART goals that hold you accountable. Based upon your chosen strategy, identify weaknesses and possible threats, and prepare yourself for dealing with obstacles along the way.
8. Define how you would involve others in your journey – "No man is an island.” Take all things into consideration when devising your strategies e.g. your loved ones, and or your support system.
Goals guide us to our desired destination, however goal setting and achievement is not a one-time act. We don’t stop moving and dreaming when we reach the set goals. Rather, goals take us as far as our sight and dreams can reach, and along the way or when we get there, we work towards doing more. Explore your life accounts. Determine your top priorities. Create a quantifiable and measurable plan of actionable goals. Execute the plan with vigor.
Stay the course until you achieve your intended results!