Many people feel as though they are adrift. They work hard, pay the bills, save some money when they can, and take nice vacations from time to time, but just never seem to be really getting where they want to go in life. There are some simple and definitive steps that can be taken to remedy this situation. We’ve all been told to set goals and most do, but the question is: “Have you been taught how to set goals and how to accomplish them?”
Dictionary.com defines a goal as the result or achievement for which effort is directed; aim: end. I like that definition, but for now let’s just say that a goal is something you want in life. When setting goals take the time to make sure you really want the goal you are setting. Otherwise, it probably won’t be accomplished. If you don’t have a strong desire to accomplish something, anything, it’s not going to get done so you have to have some passion. I’m going to outline some steps you can take right now to become more effective in reaching your goals.
- Make your goals very specific. If you want more money, come up with an exact amount and an absolute timeframe. If you want a new car don’t just set that as your goal. You are much more likely to hit your goal if you decide what model, year, color, and any other details you can imagine. When you go to work do you say to yourself, “I’m going to the other side of town to work.” Or do you know exactly what the address is, and how to get there?
- Start with the big long term goals and work your way backwards. Make your medium range and short term goals be steps towards accomplishing the big goal in the straightest and simplest path possible. Again, when driving to work you know the best, fastest, and most effective way to get there, right?
- Keep your focus. Avoid distractions. Anything that keeps you off the path towards your goal(s) should be treated as the enemy. Everyone has the ability to focus naturally and does it all the time, just not so much when it comes to achieving their goals. Example: When you drive to work you are focused on getting there on time and generally accomplish that. If you stopped and went shopping on a whim on the way to work you would be late and eventually lose your job so all of the distractions along the way become invisible because you are focused on getting to work on time.
- Focus not only your attention, but also focus your energy. Napoleon was able to defeat larger, better equipped armies because he understood this concept. He concentrated all of his force on a single point in the enemy line to break through and become victorious. Another example: A pressure washer. Let’s say your sidewalk is in need of cleaning and you have exactly 100 gallons of water to clean it with. Which method will be the most effective way to use the limited amount of water you have? Pour the water on the sidewalk with a bucket or spray it with a pressure washer? This illustrates why some people accomplish so much and others accomplish so little. We all have the same amount of water, (time) it’s how we use it that makes the difference between those who accomplish a lot and those who accomplish nothing.
- Persistence. You’ve heard the phrase “keep on keepin’ on” right? Apply it. There will be speed bumps. There will be distractions. Don’t beat yourself up when you momentarily lose sight of your target or goal. Just regain your focus, apply your energy, and go. You will hit your goal if you never give up.
As you can see from reading this, if you are able to get to work on time every day you have the skill set necessary to reach the goals you set in life. Set clear cut goals. Apply focus of attention and energy to your goals, tempered by persistence, fueled by desire and passion and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish. You are always on a path whether you realize it or not, and some paths take you closer to your goal, and others take further from it. If you can start to treat every decision as though it’s the most important decision of your life, (because it really is when you think about it) you will stop wasting time and energy and start getting more of what you really want in life.
by Matt Fortenbery
CEO Total Printing Solution
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