Goal-setting Turns Your Dreams to Reality
Do you have a desire to accomplish certain things this year? Does it seem as though you will never get those things done? You’re not alone. I can’t tell you how many things I have set out to accomplish, but have yet to do them. I always thought I was doing something wrong, and the truth is, I WAS!
I will never forget what I saw when a pastor was speaking to his congregation one week:
“Raise your hand if you have a goal or goals that you want to accomplish this year!”
“Goals will never be reached if you can’t write them down! Raise your hand if you write down your goals!”
The reason these were so memorable for me has absolutely NOTHING to do with the question or statement themselves. Rather, it has EVERYTHING to do with the way the people responded.
When he asked the first question (yes, he was asking questions), it was like a kid in a candy store, who was trying to reach for that candy on the top shelf.
When the second question was asked. It was like being in a room full of people who were trying to keep a secret from you (but weren’t doing a very good job at it).
Through extensive research, I have come up with 4 things that will help when trying to complete a task, meet a goal, or get something done:
- Don’t make the list too BIG: Research shows that the average person can only focus on 5-7 things at a time. We MUST keep our goals ‘front and center’ so that we can continue working towards them. If we are focused on too many things, our minds will just shut down.
- S.M.A.R.T: This is an acronym I found helpful.
- Specific– When making a decision,goal, or want to complete something, be sure you know exactly what it is you are trying to accomplish. This requires you to state ‘exactly’ what it is you want to take off that shelf of goals you have.
- Measureable– When making a decision,goal, or want to complete something, be sure it is something you can actually do. It does absolutely no good to work towards something that you have no possible way to manage.
- Attainable– When making decision,goal, or want to complete something, be sure they require an action from you. Remember, actions get things done! Making a goal of (being me) just doesn’t require you to do anything. Set goals, with the mindset that there are mini-activities that you must do before it is attained.
- Realistic– Making a goal of being a millionaire while being a college student, is just plain unrealistic for most people. Setting a goal like this is unrealistic. This type of goal is not helpful. Setting a goal like this is simply, setting yourself up to fail. Be REALISTIC!
- Time-Bound– When making a decision,goal, or want to complete something, have the end in mind! Know when you want to accomplish that task (this will help you figure out the order of your ‘activities’ to do in order to reach the goal). Is it a long term goal (like by end of the year) or is it something you want to accomplish by a certain date (like your anniversary)? It is crucial that you put a date next to EACH of your goals, otherwise it’s just a dream.
3. Write them on paper: This is the most important part. You MUST write out your goals, or tasks out on paper, otherwise they are just dreams that you have. Studies have shown that writing out your goals or plans is one of the best ways to take it from a dream, to a reality.
4. Review: Regularly review your list of decisions, goals, or wants that you’d like to complete. This could be every week, or every other week (really depends on you). This allows you to see what the next steps are, fine tune your goals (because life has a tendency to make things change), and gives you the opportunity to see what you have accomplished (which tells you how much closer you are to taking that goal off that rusty old shelf of dreams).
Research has shown that people who make goals, and meet their goals, tend to live a happier life.
If you are like that group who would keep your hands down when asked if you have written out your goals, make an appointment with yourself, and write out your goals. This 2-3 hour meeting will be the beginning of a long and happy life.
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