As we start the second month of 2014 already are you thinking about whether you are on track for accomplishing your goals for this year? One important thing to look at is your mindset. Is you mind where it should be? When you look at your life, you may be miles away from your goals and dreams – so far you wonder if you’ll ever get there. This gap can be especially frustrating when you feel like you’re working hard to move forward. Unfortunately, just “working hard” doesn’t assure success. There are a lot of other elements and factors that determine how far you go and how close we come to achieving the life you imagine. We are going to discuss ten factors that play a part in holding you back from your dreams. If you can surmount them – or even a few of them! – your efforts will be supercharged, moving you past obstacles that formerly held you back. Sometimes we use dreams and goals interchangeably. In reality, they are very different things: After all, a dream is a goal without a deadline. But since the principles here are equally applicable to goals AND dreams, I may use them as synonyms. Let’s get started…
Reason #1: You Don’t Know What You Want
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” Jim Rohn
Before you can get anywhere, you need to know where you are going. It sounds simple, but when it comes to life goals or dreams, it’s not so clear. We think, “I want my business to be a success,” or “I want to be happy.” But ask 100 different people to define success, or what makes them happy, and you’re going to get 100 different answers. That’s why when it comes to getting what you want, the first step is to decide…specifically -what you want in your life. Not in generalities, but in specifics. For instance: NOT: “I want to be skinny,” but, “I want to wear a size 10 and have my BMI, blood pressure, and cholesterol in healthy ranges.” You may even want to define what those healthy ranges are for you. NOT: “I want to be financially secure,” but, “I want to be debt-free and have $100,000 in the bank by the time I’m 50.” NOT: “I want a new job,” but, “I want a job that allows me to work flexible hours from home, making $X (you define X) an hour, using my administrative and business management.” Specificity is critical in goal-setting for several reasons:
- If you only have a general idea of what you want, you can only get a general idea of how to achieve it. It’s like driving: If you know you want to drive from San Diego to Philadelphia, you have a general idea of how to get there, you may end up in the Schuykill River or on the wrong side of the tracks. But if you want to see the “Rocky” statue in front of the art museum, you can fine-tune your approach to get yourself exactly to the point you want.
- Being specific saves time. You will intuitively be able to sort through opportunities that are presented to you and know immediately whether they are in line with your goals or not.
- Being specific helps your mind create a vivid picture of what you want. Once your mind can picture it, it’s much easier to achieve it.
If you’re having trouble specifying your dreams, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What does it look like?
- How will you know when you’ve made it?
- When do you want to achieve this goal?
- What does it feel like, taste like, smell like?
- What would a day in your dream life be like, from the time you get up until the time you go to bed?
Write these answers down and revisit them frequently to see if they’re still true, and to remind yourself of what you’re working towards. The next time we’ll discuss: Reason #2: You Don’t Have a Plan to Get from Here to There.