Goals: How to Create Objectives That Move You Toward Your Vision and Purpose
By Lorie Rosenberg
“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” Napoleon Hill
Every dream or desire you have in life can only be fulfilled by taking definitive action towards it…your goals. Unless, of course, you’ve been handed your dream. And that can be pretty lucky for you, but usually anything that’s been given to you really isn’t as special or as rewarding as what you accomplish on your own. People who inherit a sizeable amount of money will frequently end up losing it in one way or another. That’s because they didn’t have to work hard to get it, so it’s not as important to them and they squander it on luxuries they really don’t deserve.
In contrast, you tend to manage your money more wisely when you’ve spent years building a nest egg so you can be financially independent when you retire. You’ve experienced the hard work that went into saving it and that’s why you value it more and don’t want to risk losing it. You're proud of what you’ve accomplished because you persevered when the going was tough and you continued to focus your efforts in the direction of your vision despite the many challenges you encountered. You achieved success and accomplished your goals and that makes what you achieved so much more meaningful to you.
Why Goals Are So Important
If you want to accomplish anything in your business or personal life, you must be willing to set goals and develop an action plan to make them happen. If you just keep your goals floating around in your head without writing them down, then they’re pretty much a wish list, with no specific plan for completing them. I understand that personally.
There have been many times when I wanted to make a change in my life, but I didn’t have a plan for following through with it. And sometimes my goals were way too difficult and so overwhelming that I never really attempted to complete them. But you can change all that and create goals that are more achievable so that you’ll actually accomplish them. These goals will move you in the direction of your vision and help you achieve what it is you truly want to accomplish.
How to CREATE More Achievable Goals
I like to think of accomplishing goals in terms of creating something. The word “create” actually means to bring (something) into existence as in “produce.” It’s from the Latin word creāre, meaning “to produce” or “to cause.” To achieve any goal or objective, you have to take action towards it or CREATE your goal. That’s why I’ve developed an acronym for CREATE that will offer you strategies for developing goals that offer you a greater probability of success. At the end of each of the sections, I've included specific actions you can take to help you achieve results.
C – Concrete Goal with Specific, Measurable Objectives
A concrete goal has a much greater likelihood of it being accomplished than a general one. So make sure that you develop goals with specific and measurable objectives. The more specific you make your goal, the more tangible it is. When you know exactly what you want to accomplish, how you’re going to get there, and what the outcome looks like, the more successful you’ll be.
- Determine exactly what it is you need to do to be successful
- Use measurable, quantifiable objectives that are not ambiguous
- The more specific your goals the easier it is to work towards them
- Break down your goal into smaller, more achievable objectives
R – Relentless Pursuit of Your Goal
You need to have laser-like focus and a dedicated commitment to achieve any type of goal. If your level of desire is low, then you’re never going to accomplish anything. Plus, when challenges or setbacks threaten your progress, you’ll decide it isn’t worth the effort and quit.
Before you start working towards any goal, determine how committed you are to it. Any goal takes time, effort, and a relentless pursuit to ensure success. You have to focus all of your effort to make it happen. It has to become so much a part of your life, that you live and breathe it. There has to be such an incredible desire for success that any setbacks you experience won’t keep you from your goal.
- Pursue your goal with a partner who can help keep you motivated
- Give yourself a gift or something of value for completing your goal
- Gain the support of your friends, colleagues, and family
- Envision how great you’ll feel when you complete it
E – Envision the Outcome of Your Goal
Part of goal setting is to envision what success looks like. You’ll need to create a scenario of what will happen when you achieve your goal. How will you feel? How will people look at you differently? What are the benefits of completion?
Everything you create is first visualized in your mind: either through your own inspiration or by being open to an opportunity that presented itself during the course of your day. You may have had a thought in the middle of the night when you couldn’t fall asleep. Or you saw something on the Internet and that sparked an idea.
You take your initial idea, and think about what it would look like. You consider what you would need in terms of time and resources to make it happen. You reflect over the obstacles and challenges you’ll have to overcome on the way. You visualize the outcome and rewards you will get if you are successful. All this occurs in your mind…and will help you keep on track when your motivation waivers.
- Create a detailed picture in your mind of what it will look like when you complete it
- Imagine how great you’ll feel when you’ve succeeded with your goal
- Develop a vision board that includes various aspects of your goal
- Keep your goal posted where you can keep it in the forefront of your mind
A – Align Your Goal with Your Core Values
Your goal must represent a realistic objective that aligns with your core values. It has to be something that you truly desire and feel comfortable working towards. There’s nothing worse than setting a goal, losing interest because it really doesn’t resonate with you, and then feeling disappointed because you never seem to accomplish anything.
Also be sure that your goal isn’t overly ambitious. You’ll tend to become overwhelmed by the enormity of the work and the time you need to dedicate to finish the project. You can attain almost any goal with proper planning, motivation, and follow-through.
- Determine if the goal is something you can actually accomplish based on your background, education, physical attributes, etc.
- Decide if the goal is truly something you want to accomplish or if is it something someone else wants for you
- Ask yourself if the goal aligns with your current desires and objectives in life
- Make sure that the goal isn't too difficult and you likely won't complete it
T – Time Frame for Completion
Your goal should have a specific time frame for completion. Without a deadline, there is no sense of urgency in accomplishing it. When you have a specific end date it mind, it gives you the necessary motivation to keep you on track.
When you add specific deadlines to your goals, it supplies the incentive – and pressure – that’s needed to keep you motivated and moving forward to complete them.
- Once you’ve broken down your goal into more manageable steps, assign specific deadlines for each step
- Be specific on what is actually needed to complete each step
- Make sure that your time frames are reasonable and not too overwhelming for you
- If you miss a deadline, just readjust your schedule and refocus your efforts
E – Encouragement or Support from Others
One critical aspect of achieving any goal is having support from your friends, colleagues, and family to ensure that you persevere, follow through, and achieve success!
What’s important to realize is that it’s virtually impossible to do anything really meaningful by yourself. It takes the support of the people around you to help you achieve your goals. This help many include handing off some of your responsibilities so you have additional time to work on your goals. It may be providing you with some extra funds to help you go back to school or finance a new business venture. It may be offering some sound advice or providing words of encouragement.
- Realize that asking for help from people who support you can be a good thing
- Choose people who support your goals and keep you motivated
- Eliminate destructive people in your life that sabotage your efforts
- Being part of a community of supporters can provide the inspiration and motivation when you need it the most
Make Your Goals a Reality
No matter where you are, you have the potential for success. You have everything you need within you to develop a vision for your life and determine the specific goals and objectives that will help you get there!
It’s Time to Go Create You!
No matter where you are, you have the potential for success. You have everything you need within you to reach your full potential…to live a life of significance and to fulfill your goals and dreams. There’s nothing that can hold you back if you know what it is you want to achieve, have a plan with specific steps to move you in the right direction, and the drive and motivation to see it through to completion. Isn't it time to Go Create You!
Click here to find out how to use this article in your newsletter, magazine, or website.