If you’ve been waiting for a sign to change your life, here it is. Do you want to change jobs, get fit, start traveling, or do anything else? You can do it all, once you set the right goal for your dreams. Do you want to get started? “If you can do something or dream about it, do it.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe It has been observed that about 45 percent of people make all sorts of promises to themselves on New Year’s Day, but only eight percent manage to accomplish what they have planned. One day you make a decision – get a good new job, lose ten pounds, spend more time with your children, pay off a loan or start thinking positively. Whatever the reason, you are on a path that will lead you to your goal. Congratulations! You have found the starting point from which the road to your goals and to self-discovery and personal effectiveness begins. Where do you start? Do you want to buy a gym membership, give up meat, start actively searching for a job online. Either way, take some time to prepare. This is a very important step that most people ignore. But you will greatly increase your chances of success if you stop, look around, concentrate and get a clear picture of your motivation; if you realize what you have been doing up to this point – and are doing now; if you think about what will help you when the real change comes. This is what I really want! It is important to choose the goal that you truly want to achieve. Real desire empowers you. And be sure to say to yourself, “I really want this!” Because a great desire to achieve the goal makes you concentrate on it as much as possible, despite any setbacks or obstacles. No matter how often you lose your way. After all, if you really want it – and remind yourself of the goal – you can always get back on the right track.
Most of us don’t know how to set clear goals based on our desires, can’t determine what knowledge we need to acquire to achieve the goal, and don’t know how to keep track of the milestones of our work. We usually want to get everything at once. Tomorrow morning we have to wake up to who we want to be. And when this doesn’t happen and nothing in our lives changes, we convince ourselves that it’s hopeless to try, our own weakness or lack of the right motivation – whichever suits us better. You don’t know exactly what you would like to achieve in life? Try doing this exercise. 1. 1. List all the goals you want to accomplish in the next twenty years. Write quickly, without thinking. 2. Then check the box next to each goal against the number of years you want to achieve it (e.g., 1, 5, 10, or 20). 3. Circle the four major goals that you have one year to accomplish. 4. Write down all the things you need to do to achieve these goals, even though you would not want to do them. 5. Choose the most desirable goal, even though you have listed the most difficult things to do to achieve it. Go for the goal, not shy away from it Why do you want to take up a new hobby, spend more time with your significant other, improve your sleep quality, change your place of residence or pay off your credit completely? The benefits should be obvious. You already have a clear goal – now you need to get a meaningful answer from yourself as to why you’re doing it. It will allow you to put your mind in order, it will give you the strength to cope with your task. Thinking about why you want it, remember: even if you have reached the “bottom”, above all you need a positive charge to get out of there. This is what will lead you to your desired goal.
Change the minus to the plus
Try to find a positive motivation for the change that you need – and it has to be emotionally based: to feel better, to do something meaningful for the world, to improve your relationship with your wife or husband, to enjoy life more, to be a good example for your children. Make sure that your motivational component carries a positive emotional charge. If all you think about is negativity, write down your thoughts and work on changing them completely. For example, replace the attitude “I’m afraid that if I don’t find a well-paying job, I’ll turn into a pauper” with the formula “I want to get a high-paying job so I can feel financially secure. Positive motivation makes the “emotional” brain work for change. Your brain wants to have fun, do you remember that? So the more emotionally appealing the picture of your goal, the more it will help you achieve it. Don’t filter your goals into achievable and not If you limit your choices to what you think is most possible or reasonable, you’re depriving yourself of a connection to your real goal. Don’t be afraid to set big goals for yourself-the creative force will be on your side! Your desire is what gives you the strength to take active action to achieve your goals. Therefore, you should want to realize your goal and believe that it is achievable, even if you don’t know yet how it will be done. Call from the future To create a positive image of your future, write yourself a letter from your own “far away.” Imagine that a year has passed and you have achieved what you wanted. You have lost weight, become happier, found love, learned to look at life more positively … You are writing from the future to yourself, to the present telling you how well you are getting on in the future. What have you encountered as a result of this change? I’ve certainly gotten a year older and wiser. You’ve learned a lot of things that have helped you achieve your goals. So what else should you write to yourself in such a letter, so that your future life will play bright colors?
Believe in your strength
It doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter what life circumstances you’re in right now. You have the qualities and skills that have already succeeded. Even if now you can not get your thoughts in order, think about the things that you have succeeded: you graduated from high school, were a good friend, painted the house, learned to cook – and yet used all your senses and abilities to do it. You may be downplaying or ignoring your abilities right now, but it’s time to “take inventory” and write them down. To do this, choose four to six of your accomplishments. Write them down. Then, looking at that list, list your strengths and skills that have helped you succeed all along. These knowledge and personal qualities will help you achieve any goal. Open your list of successful skills and personal qualities whenever you feel a crisis of confidence. It will remind you of what made you successful and will help you now. Measure Your Goals Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, adequate, and they should have a definite time frame. Without these five characteristics, you are unlikely to succeed. 1. Specific Goal “Learning to play the guitar” is a specific goal because you know exactly what needs to be done, but “getting better” is not a goal at all. What is meant by that? How do you know if the goal has been achieved? 2. Measurable goal Do you want “more”? “More patience,” “more time with the kids,” “more happiness.” But how do we measure this “more”? Measurability is critical because it makes our progress toward the goal visible. Without it, it’s very easy to veer off course: either not seeing the goal approach or exaggerating our own accomplishments.
If your goal is to quit smoking or lose ten pounds, it can easily be measured. The measurement can be external (kilograms, dollars, days, low blood pressure, etc.) or internal (feeling internally relieved or calm, energized or excited). The numbers in the first category are obvious. And if you want to measure anything related to your inner state, you can draw a scale, for example from -5 to +5, where -5 would be the worst result you’ve ever had and +5 would be the best you’ve ever had. 3. Achievable goal Achievable goal means a realistic approach to the task at hand. Despite the ads in glossy magazines and the yellow press, you will never lose twelve pounds in a week. Don’t hope to succeed by setting unrealistic goals. Evaluate your strengths well and act reasonably. If you’ve never played the guitar, you don’t have much free time, but you want to master the instrument – don’t set a goal to become a professional guitarist. For example, you can start by learning to play well enough to enjoy it yourself. 4. Adequate Goal Adequate goal means that achieving it is very important to you. As you read in the chapter “Preparing for Change”, if you don’t have a good reason for doing something, there is a good chance that you will give it up altogether. You need to be clear about why you need what you are about to achieve. 5. A goal with a timeframe A definite timeframe is about setting an exact time to achieve your goal. Having an end point means that you have created a structure within which you will operate. It gives you the strength to strive for the goal. Even if your goal has no boundaries in time, it’s still better to set some kind of time point so you don’t get “lost. So when you make some progress, which can be correlated with some time categories, set for yourself the next time stage, if necessary.
Ten major pitfalls of goal setting 1. Uncertainty, unclear formulation of what you want. 2. Unseriousness of intentions. 3. Postponing things, looking for excuses: “no time”, “not the right time,” “something keeps getting in the way. 4. Not wanting to go through the difficult stages of self-development. 5. The absence of a system of reminders and skills of self-control. 6. Expectation of perfection, feelings of guilt or regret. 7. Desire to cope with all problems alone. 8. Fixation on imaginary failures. 9. Lack of backup options and plans. 10. Turning mistakes into a complete abandonment of your intentions. What does it take to get to your goal? 1. Focus on what’s important, or be “like a postage stamp”-glued to one thing, one goal. 2. Take small steps – even if they’re very small, they have to be done systematically. 3. Come up with your own formula for success that may have worked in your past. 4. Be clear about your intention – the clearer and more positive, the better. 5. Set goals for yourself that are measured in terms of quality and timing. 6. Declare goals – keep track of your actions; 7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. And now some advice from people who have already achieved their goals Pursue your goals In order to get what you want out of life, it’s essential to take the first step: decide what it is you want.- Ben Stein, actor and political commentator Don’t aim for success – the more you strive for it and make it your goal, the more likely you are to miss it. Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued. It must become (and does become) an unintended side effect of personal dedication to a great cause. – Viktor Frankl, psychologist. A goal is a dream with a specific deadline. – Drake, musician. For most of our lives, our thoughts about what it means to live a successful life are not our own. We get them from other people. And not just from people. From television, advertising, and so on. …We have to focus on our own ideas and make sure that they are ours, that we are the true authors of our goals. Because it’s very bad to achieve something you don’t want, but it’s even worse to set yourself some goals, and when you achieve them, you realize that this is not what you were really aiming for. – Alain de Botton, philosopher and writer
Be true to yourself I had real ambitions, even when I was a kid learning to draw. I wanted to be the best in class, but there was always someone who was better than me, so I thought, “I guess it’s not about being the best, it’s about the painting itself, the way you do it.” That thought stuck in my head. Being the best is a false goal. You have to measure success by your own criteria. – Damien Hirst, artist. Don’t sag; don’t compromise your principles; don’t try to explain everything; don’t submit your soul to the dictates of fashion. On the contrary, assert your strongest aspirations without stopping at anything. – Franz Kafka, writer. Be confident in yourself Remember: “No” is worth nothing. Ask for anything and be prepared for rejection. Getting over rejection is hard, but you have to put up with it many times in order to be acknowledged. If you really like something, don’t ask yourself: “Can I do it?” Asking yourself, “Can I?” is not going to get you anywhere. You need to say to yourself, “I’m going to do it and no one is going to stop me!” But you have to not just say those words, you have to believe in them. You may need a lot of time, because at first no one will praise you. And even if they do, you will burst like a bubble and it will be over. – John Waters, filmmaker. Overcome Obstacles Our lives have purpose, even if they are sometimes hidden from us, and even if the most significant turning points and cruel disappointments only make sense to us when we look back, not when it happens to us. So we can live our lives as if, in the words of the poet Rumi, “everything happens for our benefit.” – Arianna Huffington, media mogul
Knock on the door until your knuckles bleed. That door will be slammed in your face. But you have to get up, shake off the dirt, and start knocking again. That’s the only way to achieve your goal. – Michael Uslan, film producer. If you want to do something, go all the way, otherwise you shouldn’t even start. You may lose your lovers, your wives, your relatives, even your mind. You may not eat for three or four days. You might freeze to death on a bench somewhere. You may go to jail. You may be mocked. You may find yourself alone. But loneliness is a gift. Everything else is a test of your fortitude, of how badly you want to reach your goal. You will do it in spite of rejection and the worst of circumstances. And it will be better than anything you can imagine. If you want to do something, go all the way. It is an incomparable feeling. You will find yourself alone with the gods, and your nights will be lit by a bright flame. Your path in life will lead you to pure joy. It is the only thing worth fighting for. – Charles Bukowski, writer. Obstacles come our way for a reason, not to prevent us from going, but to show us how badly we want to go. Obstacles can only stop those who do not strive hard enough for the goal. They come our way to stop other people. – Randy Pausch, professor of computer science.