Too many of us assume if we just have a larger goal in mind and work towards it then success will follow. Well, guess what?! This rarely works in practice. All of us have dreams, but to be truly effective at goal achievement we need to focus on the path toward the goal and let the ultimate dream be our motivation.
Take for instance, a man driving a car headed towards a destination he is not familiar with. Instead of stopping at regular intervals and asking for directions before proceeding further, he drives blindly and stubbornly on ahead. The result – he ends up driving around lost and angry for a long time. The journey would have been faster, not to mention less frustrating, if he had the forethought to drive towards the first familiar point on his route. After arriving and getting directions or referring to a map, move on to the next point and so on until he reached his final destination. Whether in your personal, professional, emotional or spiritual life, goal setting can be described as a set of directions required to reach intermediate points toward your ultimate destination.
Enhancing the Path Toward Your Goal
Be specific about the goals you set for yourself. “I want success.” is a very generic phrase because everybody wants to be successful. However, success might mean different things to different people. To one person it might mean becoming a Fortune 500 CEO, to another it may mean being able to put food on the table for the next twenty years. There’s nothing wrong with either of these goals, but they need to be specific to the person.
For successful goal setting, have a time limit in mind for the attainment of your goals. Set realistic goals. This doesn’t mean that you should not aim for the stars. However, keep a realistic state of mind, taking into account your level of talent and capabilities, as well as, your individual situation. If you presently don’t possess the talents or qualifications to reach your goal, make sure that one of your short-term goals is to acquire some of those skills so that you can reach your long-term goal.
Don’t set goals that do not reflect your own ambitions, even if they reflect the aspirations of those around you. This makes your goal setting process much more effective. If a high-octane corporate career doesn’t interest you, then it shouldn’t be your goal, even if everybody around you seems to have that desire. Find your own goals and stick to your plan. You will be well on your way to achieving success in whatever you desire.
Gather Motivation from Your Dreams
Imagine, for instance, that you have a successful business plan. You go about the whole goal setting process meticulously – defining the main goal (the successful business), as well as all the smaller goals that need to be realized en route to the main goal. However, you still find success to be elusive in spite of following all the rules by the book.
So what happened? Often, the problem lies in the belief in your dream. Do you really clearly understand the reasons that you are pursuing your dream? The dedication and persistence with which you pursue your goals is directly tied to the reward that you believe your dream will bring to you. For instance, building up a successful business could mean the following:
* Greater financial security for you and your family.
* All the prestige that accompanies success.
* Ability to spoil yourself and your loved ones with all the trappings of wealth.
These are the benefits that you would get from achieving your main goal and they should serve as motivation for you. They provide the drive you need to go about your goal setting process. If you can’t imagine the benefits of reaching your goal or if they don’t excite you enough, then the entire process of goal setting has been an exercise in futility.
On your journey toward your goals, make sure that you have both a clearly defined map and a destination worth pursuing.