Some people set goals to provide a defined finish line and the focus needed to cross it. Others are busy working as hard as they can to do better and be better. But, they haven’t really defined what better even is for them. The whole point of setting goals is reaching them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with dreaming big and setting hefty goals as long as your intention is a success. If you are aiming high your goal should be to soar not to settle.
We often set amazing goals because we want to achieve greatness or be the very best version of ourselves. When you set a goal with the preconception that it is unattainable, you are less likely to make any real movements towards reaching it, leaving failure as your only option. Is there a way to achieve monumental goals and dreams? Absolutely! The secret to achieving the impossible isn’t a secret at all. It’s good old-fashioned hard work. Well, that and a good plan with achievable goals.
Where to Start
Setting goals that don’t challenge or inspire you is a good sign that you have a little more work to do. Take some time to really think about what you are currently accepting and achieving by answering these questions:
Are you accepting mediocre?
Are you achieving at the levels that you want to?
Are you happy with where you are and who you are?
If you answered no to any of those questions then it’s time to start thinking about what kind of goals you want to set for yourself. If your idea of goal setting looks more like a to-do list then it’s important to reevaluate your goals. It doesn’t matter if they are personal or professional, don’t be afraid to dream big! Put time and consideration into your goals and ensure that they are worthy of the drive and focus needed to achieve them.
Evaluate and Dissect Your Goals
Knowing what you want is a great start but the real work begins in the evaluation phase. Dissect your goals into levels of achievement and then break them down into steps. You may define your levels by promotions or pay increases as you work your way up professionally or it may be something more abstract such as increasing your comfort level with different audiences as you learn to play the guitar. Begin creating a plan to achieve your ultimate goal by refining the details of what you will need to do to get there. Your goals should inspire and motivate you but you will also need to make sure that you’ve got the right plan and that you are planning SMART . Create steps that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Using this system will ensure that you won’t have to keep going back to the evaluation and dissection phase.
Put in the Work
Goals and plans are all just words until you add the action. Dreaming big and achieving the once thought unachievable doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t come without commitment, focus, and hard work. Keep your goals in mind and stay on top of your progress. Remind yourself often of what you will gain, how you will feel, or how different your life will be once you reach your goal. Accept that it is going to be difficult! It may take some time but reassure yourself as many times as it takes that you CAN get there.
Hold yourself accountable to following through on your plan. Add an additional layer of accountability by working with, or in competition with, others or by going public with what you want to achieve and how you are going to achieve it. You can share your goals with co-workers, family, or friends or you can really put yourself out there and create an online blog or video documentation of your progress. Do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to make it happen.
Fear can take on different forms during this process. You may be afraid to take the leap and really challenge yourself. Whether it is a lack of confidence, motivation, or the fear of failure don’t defeat yourself before you even have a chance. Always keep the reward in mind and all the positives that come with it. It can get tough down the road and you may start to think that you’ve set your sights too high or that your plan isn’t going to get you where you need to be. First of all, you haven’t. Second, that’s okay!
Even the best plans sometimes face unforeseeable obstacles or changes and need to be tweaked. Don’t be afraid to make changes when they are needed. You may need to allow yourself more time or add additional steps so that you keep your momentum going. This will help you accomplish more and more of the levels that you’ve defined. Or, you may even just end up deciding to dream bigger.
Do you have some amazing goal setting ideas? Share them in the comments!
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