Having clear goals is critical. Your brain is much more capable of finding solutions if the objective is obvious. You’ll also stay on track more easily if the end result is clear to you. If you don’t have a specific endpoint in mind, you could end up anywhere. And even if you do land in the right place by sheer luck, how would you know you were there?
Another issue with setting goals is the fear of making a mistake. But the truth is that doing the wrong thing is almost always better than doing nothing. At least if you choose the wrong path, you end up with something. You can always do something else. If you do nothing, you end up with nothing.
As Teddy Roosevelt put it, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
Many people confuse having a direction with having a goal. For example:
- “I want to make more money” is not a goal. “I want to make an extra $50,000 in the next 365 days” is.
- East is a direction. The tip of the Empire State Building is a specific destination.
So how can you be sure you’re setting effective goals?
Goals should have a yes/no quality to them. If someone asked you if you’d reached your goal, you should always be able to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ without any doubt. That means that your goals have to be measurable and specific. A good goal would be, “I want to earn $10,000 by April 1, 2012.” The amount is specific, and there is a deadline. It is also measurable.
Write down your intention. There’s a magical experience around writing something down. We think thousands of different things every day - so many things, in fact, that stuff tends to get lost. Writing your goal provides some separation from all the other things you have going on. It provides relevance.
Writing your goals also gives you other options that mere daydreaming does not. You can actually read your goal aloud. Thinking is good, but thinking and reading is better. Better still is thinking, reading, and writing. Read and write your goal every day. This practice helps to reinforce and solidify your intentions.
Clarity really is a choice. The default condition is to live your life without clarity, to simply wake up and see what the day brings. To have clarity means that, to a large extent, you’ve already decided what you’re going to do that day. When you know where you want to end up, you’ll easily figure out which direction to go.
Another potential roadblock is to avoid making a choice because you want to keep your options open. But what’s the real result of this decision? If you always keep your options open, you’ll never choose any direction in your life. You’ll merely be part of everyone else’s goals.
Clarity is critical to living your life on purpose, and it requires a daily decision. Implement the ideas above and see how much clarity you can get. With each day, you’ll get closer to the life of your dreams.
I’d love to spend some time helping you gain clarity around your goals and dreams! A great way to get started is with a 45 minute FREE life transformation strategy session.
In this session we will:
- Uncover hidden challenges that may be the cause of chaos, stress and discord in your life.
- Create a crystal clear vision for your “ultimate life” of tremendous success on your terms with ample quality time and energy for all your priorities.
- Leave the session renewed, re-energized, and inspired to transform your life and accomplish all of the things that are really important to you.
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Dr. Steve Stutz, CTACC is a Life Success Coach, specializing in helping busy professionals and entrepreneurs not only survive but to thrive in life and business. To receive periodic personal development tips and success mindset articles, please join his e-list by visiting www.forwardpathcoaching.com