"Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible." Tony Robbins
One of my favorite quotations about success and achievement is from the pen of Jim Rohn. He wrote, “You want to set a goal that is big enough that in the process of achieving it you become someone worth becoming.” We thrive in life by having a target at which to aim.
Aim for the Right Target: A Personal Warning
A critical key for an abundant life is to make certain that you are aiming at a target that you truly desire to hit. I can remember working on a book project for six years. The writing had been interrupted for over a year because of my need to focus on healing and solo parenting following a painful divorce. By the time I returned to the manuscript, it had become burden rather than the passion project it had once been. Writing became a matter of “grinding out” words rather than feeling inspired and in the flow. When I emailed the final manuscript to the publisher, I felt more relief than joy. Even worse, the next morning I awoke feeling down and empty. I had achieved a target, but it ended up being one that I didn’t truly desire.
Guidelines for Writing Life Changing Goals
As you dream about your future, here are some guidelines to help you discern your goals:
(1) Make sure that you truly want it.
Is this a heart felt personal passion or is it something that you only think you should do?
(2) State your goal in the positive.
This practice keeps you focused on what you actually want rather than what you are trying to avoid or change. Observe the difference between these two statements: I want to stop eating fried food. I want to eat healthy, organic, whole foods. One statement puts into your mind the practice you want to avoid whereas the positive goal focuses you on what you actually desire.
(3) Be specific and descriptive.
State what you want as specifically as possible. Rather than say, “I want a job that pays more money” say, “I want to work in the healthcare industry and earn a salary of $100,000 per year.” An even better one would be for example, “I desire to work as a highly paid ($100,000+) physical therapist in a well respected private practice in a growing suburban area in the southwestern U.S.” Notice how you can see, feel, and even hear what the achievement of the rewritten goal is like.
The problem with the original goal of earning more money is that you could achieve it by simply finding a job that pays $0.01 extra per hour and you’d achieve it.
(4) Make Sure that It is in Your Power to Achieve It.
If your goal depends on the actions or response of anyone/thing other than yourself, you may have to rethink it. It must primarily be your actions that drive your achievement of your goal.
(5) Reflect on How the Achievement of the Goal Would Affect your Life.
This brings us full circle to the opening Rohn quote as well as the story about my book. Achievement is about the person we become. How will I need to change to achieve my dream? What will it take to acquire the skills and knowledge required to take action? Does it align with my highest aspirations and ideals? Will it positively or negatively affect my relationships? Am I prepared for the different life that I will need to embrace to achieve my goal?
I look forward to hearing about your successes. Just imagine how good achieving your dreams would feel.
For a broader look at Goal Achieving, see my essay “The SET Method for Goal Achieving.”
© 2019 Brian D. Russell