Goals are objectives, aims, ends, ambitions, purposes, targets, aspirations – things to aim at or for – to pursue. Goals are not wishing. Wishes are desires, hopes, yearnings, cravings, wants, inclinations, etc. They are not a real need. Wishes would lack the desire to achieve and to earn the reward of your efforts.
‘Someday I’d like to…’ is wishful thinking. ‘By September I am losing ten pounds…’ is a goal. Goals are projected expectations in the future – objectives that a person wants to achieve. A wish is simply to hope or desire.
Goals should be written. Several studies have shown that written goals produce results. Since 1950, graduates from various colleges have been tracked in their career success. Most college graduates had no goals whatsoever upon graduation – they found jobs and had a decent life.
Those with written goals – approximately 4% on the average – did several times better than those with unwritten goals. A written goal implies a contract to act and achieve results. Most of the people interviewed in the top 5% of the United States had written goals.
A basic goal statement includes what and when – what you want to accomplish
• (Lose ten pounds) within a stated timeframe (by September).
A better goal statement would include the reasons why you want to accomplish this goal.
• By September I am losing ten pounds so that I am healthier, look better and fit into that new suit I want to buy. I want people to be impressed with a leaner and trimmer me.
Think of it this way. You start your car and keep it in neutral. You can rev the engine as high as you dare, and you are not going anywhere. It’s the same as wishing and hoping – I wish I had a million dollars – I hope I can graduate. You must put the car in gear in order to begin your journey. Your goal is your destination. Your goal is your expectations.
Help or Hinder – You Decide!
When setting and achieving goals, your brain (subconscious mind) is your biggest help or hindrance. Engage it correctly and it can help you achieve your goals. Your brain actively helps you in your quest to achieve your goals.
Do nothing, and your brain will hinder you from achieving your goals. Your brain will fight to see you fail. It needs a specific direction to help. However, if you have given your brain directions in the past – to lose weight – and you didn’t lose weight, then you have your brain or subconscious mind working against you for a different reason.
Your subconscious mind’s prime directive in life is to protect you. When you fail to attempt to do the same thing over and over again, your brain interprets those failures as something to protect you against in the future. It will thwart every attempt to achieve that goal.
Kinds of Goals
There are several kinds of goals. I prefer to use the categories of incremental, short-term, long-term and audacious or awe-inspiring.
Incremental goals are the simplest and the best to start with to achieve initial success. Incremental goals are tiny changes. You know in advance what actions need to be taken, and how to perform these actions to achieve your goal. For example, if you are consistently late for work – an incremental goal could be to get to work on time. Your objective is to get to work – something you know what and how to do. Getting to work on time is the ‘time constraint’ of your goal. It is not a monumental undertaking – it is something you can do with your existing resources and ability. It should require a tiny change in your normal daily activity to achieve this goal.
Short-term goals are usually viewed as a year or less – sometimes a couple of years – depending on the complexity and requirements of the goal. You know ‘what’ you want to do, but you may or may not know ‘how’ to get there. A short-term goal requires more time to accomplish. Losing 25 pounds in the next twelve months could be considered a short-term goal. You set the objective and the time needed to complete your goal.
If what you have done in the past to lose 25 pounds is not working today, you may have to do more research and find other options that work. For example, if you have not lost weight on previous goals, then change the concept in your brain to eating healthier which will help you lose weight rather than keeping a goal that has not been achieved with regularity in your past.
Short-term goals generally keep you in your comfort zone. They require effort, but you know that you can do them if you set your mind to it.
Long-term goals are generally longer than two years and can extend five, ten, twenty years or more. Planning for your retirement is a long-term goal. Putting aside money for your kid’s college education is also a long-term goal – especially when you start at year zero or before.
Long-term goals involve more planning and more specific actions to achieve victory. The long-term goal can be a double-edged sword – you have the time to do it when you start; and, you can run out of time if you don’t keep on schedule. Long-term goals are full of opportunities to fail by their very nature – long, difficult, unknown, risky – not to mention the changes that will occur in your life along the way. You may need help to achieve your long-term goals – additional knowledge, support, resources, etc.
Audacious or awe-inspiring goals are long term plus. They are big – hence the term audacious or awe-inspiring. They are something you truly believe in, something you really want to do, but they are most likely impossible for you to do by yourself. An example of an audacious goal could be establishing a school for Downs Syndrome children. Audacious goals require skills you may not have today. They require not only planning but a very clear vision and strong leadership. Above all, they require persistence and perseverance to achieve. They require you to believe in them more strongly than you have ever believed in anything before in your life.
A simple reason you might fail to achieve your goals is that they are not well defined; or, you consider them unachievable – you don’t believe you can do it. Belief is an interesting trait. If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got. You can’t do the same things and get a different result.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – https://RedOLaughlin.com