One of the most important things in life is setting goals, because they allow you to develop a framework of expectations that can realistically be obtained. They are a map to a destination, with a set of checkpoints along the way. They not only signal our departure, but also our arrival, and without them we would become endless wanderers searching for direction.
If you want to get something done right you have to do it with purpose. You have to want it. You have to desire it. Most of all, you have to try to attain it. The hard part is getting started. Whether it’s trying to lose weight or working hard for a promotion, you have to be deliberate in setting goals. The goals are what you will need to propel you into action. They aren’t just words, but rather, visualizations. You have to imagine what it is you want to accomplish and then you have to see yourself performing the tasks that will lead to your eventual success. You can write down on paper that you want to lose 10 pounds. You can look at it over and over, but can you see it? Can you see yourself performing the actions that will help you lose the 10 pounds? If you can’t then they are just words on paper. You have to imagine yourself putting in the work. You have to see the success, as well as the failure. In fact, you have to plan for the failure and be prepared to overcome it. The reality is that there are always going to be bumps in the road and if you don’t plan for them then sometimes they are impossible to avoid. You can’t always go in with the belief that failure is not an option, because, unfortunately, sometimes it is. But, you can never, and I mean never, let it stop you. You have to envision yourself falling and getting back up. You have to feel it make you stronger. You have to learn from it. You have to see yourself moving forward despite the setbacks. You have to foresee success.
Setting goals can sometimes feel overwhelming, because you have to stand in front of this ominous mountain and somehow see yourself reaching the top of it. But you must always keep in mind that it is a process with several steps along the way. Reaching the top of the mountain is a long term goal. It’s really the short term goals that will push you to the top, because you won’t get there in one giant leap. If you are trying to get a promotion visualize yourself in your new position and make that image stick. Then, think about what it is you need to get there. For example, you may need to learn how the implementation process works for new accounts as one variable to being considered for a new position – there’s a short term goal. Write that down and imagine yourself talking to the person who can teach you the process. Then, write down another short term goal, visualize it, and so on and so on. Write down and visualize every short term goal that will lead you to your ultimate goal. Suddenly, everything becomes clearer and you can begin the process of making your goals come into fruition.
Remember, it’s important to always set goals, both big and small. Writing your goals down on paper is not enough, so visualize the whole process. Constantly imagine success, and plan for failure. Never let the failure prevent you from moving forward. If you are overwhelmed with your long term goal, break it down into smaller ones and see them as checkpoints on your road map to your ultimate destination. Be deliberate in setting your goals and allow them to propel you into action. Keep in mind that anything is possible.
By Raul Alanis