Goal setting is important when it comes to making our big dreams come true. However, what happens after we set our goals is important. Goal setting is about giving our desires, our hopes, our dreams a voice. After you set goals, the real work comes in. Oftentimes, people set goals and work on them for a couple of weeks. Then, after a while, when they get bored or something comes up, they abandon the goal. After people set goals, they immediately go into action mode. If they want to lose weight, they buy tennis shoes or sign up for the gym. If they want to save money, they decide to eat out less. And, often, only a few weeks later, they have something happen to them that makes them abandon the goal.
These are some tools to help you stay on track:
1. Have a purpose around your goals. What would achieving your goals mean to you? What can you do if you accomplish your goals? What would it mean to the people who you love? What would you be able to do if you accomplish your goals that you are not able to do now? It is important to paint that picture and get excited about that picture no matter how you feel or how much you have on your plate.
2. Plan out the steps. What are the steps needed to accomplish your goals? Take some time to plan out the steps. If you want to lose weight, plan out your exercise regimen, meal plan for at least the next week, and be sure to get rest. If you want to save money, create a budget to see exactly where you spend money and where you can cut back. The more specific you are the more likely you are to stick to the regimen. Also, the more decisions you make in the beginning, the fewer decisions you will need to make in the moment. For example, you decide to eat healthier, so, if you need to go out to eat for a business meeting, decide what you are going to have before you get there. Otherwise, you run the risk of ordering the wrong thing. The temptation of the moment is very powerful. People are less rational in the moment. If this were not the case, the timeshare industry would not exist.
3. Produce the results. Without production and a strong purpose, the best laid out plan will go nowhere. Production is simply the execution of the plan. You can have the best nutritionist to write out a meal plan or the best business strategist to write a plan; however, no results will be achieved if you don’t produce them. The irony is that production is simultaneously the simplest and the most complex part of the process. It is simple because all you need to do is follow the steps in the plan. It’s complex because of the emotions involved. You have to deal with distractions, self-doubt, other people’s input, and a slew of other factors. If you let life get in the way, it will get in the way. If you are trying to eat healthier, there will, inevitably, be a friend who wants to share a dessert. There will be another friend who invites you over and there will be a plate of appetizers, or your mother decides that she will cook your favorite dish that she has not cooked in a decade. If you decide to save money, then Murphy’s Law will make the water heater break. Even if these circumstances don’t pop up, there will be self-doubt, boredom, frustrations, questioning from your loved ones, and other issues that will rear their ugly heads.
Achieving goals requires a purpose, a plan, and the production of that plan. This is the process of achieving our goals and making our dreams come true. The stronger your purpose, the more likely you are to push through negative emotions. The stronger your plan, the more efficient the process will be. The stronger the production, the less you are going to be distracted and the stronger your discipline will be.