It is very easy to set goals but actually very difficult to achieve them. Millions of people set all sorts of goals for themselves but you can easily count the ones who achieve them. Does this mean people don’t have the required resolve? It might be the case with most of them but with many people the problem is not with achieving the goals, but setting the right goals. Are you actually setting the right goals for yourself? Whenever you are not able to achieve your goals you have to sit down and think, are you pursuing the right goals?
How do you set your goals?
This is a philosophical, scientific and psychological question. You may also call it the state of Nirvana. It requires great wisdom and understanding to know what are your goals; exactly what you want to achieve in your life and where you want to be, let us say, after the next five years.
But it is not as difficult as it may sound initially. You just need to be sincere with yourself. You also need some knowledge that makes you distinguish between needs and desires. Desires can be misleading. Want a big mansion for yourself? Do you want this mansion because you really need that much space or you want it as a status symbol? Do you think people will respect you more once you have a mansion and a couple of expensive cars? If you are able to achieve this goal many people are really going to respect you and love you for that? People who love you for your material possessions don’t actually love you and respect you, they are just desirous of the same position and when they spend lots of time with you they are just getting the vicarious pleasure. That’s a different story and it would be a digression to talk about this.
In case you’re not able to get a mansion for yourself and a couple of cars you are obviously going to consider yourself a failure and if you’re not the failure types you may set the same goal for yourself for the next year and this may go on. Actually there is nothing wrong in wanting a mansion and expensive cars. The problem is when you begin to think that you will be happier and more satisfied once you get them.
On the other hand let us assume your goal for the next five years is to live a satisfied and secured life. This seems more attainable. You can be satisfied and secure in a smaller house and a car that is safe and can easily accommodate your family. You don’t have to worry about your children’s college education and your family’s health care expenses. Once you have these goals you begin to explore means to achieving them. You may start saving money wisely or investing money wisely.
You may also set a goal for yourself to have a healthy body within the next two years. This is quite an achievable goal. You may also decide to spend more and more time with your family and this may involve changing your career. The basic point is knowing what you want to do and what all needs to be achieved in order to achieve your goals.
How do you achieve your goals?
Once you know what your goals are it becomes a lot easier to achieve them. It is like knowing where you want to go. After that you just need to know the way. Here are a few things you can do to achieve your goals
- If you want to make your dreams true then wake up first: It’s not enough to just dream about achieving your goals. You actually need to get up, wake up, and start working towards achieving your goals. This means taking all the necessary actions instead of simply thinking about them. Get your act together and start working.
- Know your strengths and weaknesses: It is very important to know what are your strengths and weaknesses so that you can plan ahead accordingly. You can use your strengths to your advantage and you can work harder or strategically to overcome your weaknesses. This way your weaknesses won’t pull you back or slow you down.
- Create short-term goals: Bigger goals are the sum total of multiple smaller goals. Your overall goals may look overwhelming because they have bigger dimensions. But it will be your smaller goals that will push you towards your bigger goals one step at a time. So focus on your smaller goals. Take for instance going for a morning jog everyday. If you’re not used to getting up early this will be your first goal: to get up early. Obviously in order to get up early you must get to bed early. If you’re not used to it, then first of all you need to get used to going to bed and sleeping early. You don’t have to straightaway start going for your morning jog. Just get up early and spend some relaxed time and gradually you start going out for a walk or a stroll.
- Make commitments and stick to them: Be answerable to yourself if nobody is supervising you. Be sincere with yourself. Make commitments to yourself and then stick to those commitments. Going back to the previous example if you want to start getting up early at a particular hour then get up even if there is nobody to make sure that you really get up. Since this requires you to get in the bed early the previous night then discipline yourself.
- Quit being double minded: Whenever you’re working hard at achieving your goals many conflicting thoughts stop you from giving your best. This is the time you should quit being double minded and straightaway focus on what you should be doing rather than what you want to do. Don’t give your mind enough time to create doubt inside you. For instance when getting up early in the morning don’t debate whether you should get up or not, simply get up.
- Always have a plan B: You don’t always have to burn your ships once you start doing something; this may work or may not work so it is always better to have a plan B in case plan A fails. This way your efforts will not be derailed in case there is a setback that is not directly under your control.
Whenever you want to set goals and then achieve them it always helps to create shorter goals because then it becomes easier to achieve them.