If you want to achieve a goal, you first need to know precisely what it is and when you’ll know that you’ve achieved it (the finish line). If you haven’t defined your target you’ll miss the bulls eye every time. What do you want to do? What do you want to achieve? How much money do you want to make? How much weight do you want to lose? What kind of habits do you want to develop? What kind of relationships do you want to have? What skill do you want to learn? The list is endless. To help clarify the goal ask this question: How will I know when I’ve reached it? Goals should be measurable.
You fill in the blank: I want to ____. You don’t have to limit yourself to one goal. Write several. Dream big. This is the fun part. You might fill up several pages but that’s okay. Don’t hold back. The more you dream the more excited you’ll get which will generate even more ideas. Don’t be critical at this point. You can invite the critic later to narrow your list down to a reasonable number of goals.
Once you have your list, sit on it for a few days. You might even add a few more as you go along. After a few days come back to the list and this time have the critic sit with you. I’m not talking about the critic who whispers in your ear, “you could never do that.” I’m talking about a realist. The realist says, “These are great goals but you don’t want to overwhelm yourself with too many. Narrow it down to the most important ones that you want to do first.”
Some of the goals you have on your list might be best suited for a different time in your life. If you have young children, you might want to focus on the goals that pertain to the time when they are still in your home and under your watchful care. Other goals may be more suited for when you have an empty nest or you are in your retirement years. If you haven’t been eating right or if you are a smoker who wants to stop, those are goals you can’t afford to put off and should be a priority. Just consider how certain goals fit into your overall life and narrow them down to the top ones you will focus on now.
Once you have narrowed your goals to a manageable list, write them down and put them in a place where you will review them daily. Studies have shown that people who actually write their goals down are more likely to achieve them. Writing them down and reviewing them regularly keeps your eyes set on your destination and greatly increases your chances of crossing the finish line.