Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
In order to achieve a major goal in your life the first step is to create an exciting goal with reasons that will inspire you to accomplish it.
Translating your dreams into clear-cut achievable goals is the source of the inspiration and energy you will need to be able to leap out of bed in the morning and immediately start working on your plans to achieve your goals.
Many people go through life postponing their joy and happiness. To them, goal setting means that “someday” after they achieve something, only then will they be able to fully enjoy life. The truth is that if we decide to be happy now, we’ll automatically achieve more. While goals provide magnificent direction and a way to focus, we must constantly strive to live each day to its fullest, squeezing all the joy we can out of each moment. Instead of measuring your success and failure in life by your ability to attain a specific goal, remember the direction we are heading is more important than the results of each goal.
The first step in making your dreams a reality is to brainstorm. Try brainstorming by answering these questions:
What would I want for my life if I knew I could have anything I want?
And, what would I go for if I knew I couldn’t fail?
You must suspend the need to know precisely how a goal will be achieved. Just discover what it is you truly want. Do this without questioning or doubting your capability. Also, don’t waste time getting overly detailed with things like I want a 5000 square foot house on Camelback Mountain with a large swimming pool and guest house on 2 acres. Just write down “dream house – Camelback Mountain – big pool and yard”.
So right now, put yourself in a state of mind of absolute faith and total expectation that you can create anything you want. Imagine you are a kid again on Christmas Eve about to sit on Santa’s lap. Do you remember what that was like? If you talk to kids before Christmas they have no trouble coming up with an outrageous list. They will say I want a swimming pool. In fact, I want two swimming pools, one for you and one for me. Give yourself the freedom to explore the possibility of life without limits.
First step in brainstorming is to write down everything that you’d like to improve in your life that relates to your own personal growth. How would you like to improve your physical body? Do you want to join a gym and actually use it? Do you want to run a marathon? What would you like to learn? Another language – to dance – to sing? Emotionally, what would you like to experience, achieve, or master in your lifetime? Who do you want your friends to be? Who do you want to be?
Write down everything and anything you can imagine without letting your mind stop. They can be short term goals – something you want to accomplish this week, this month, this year, or they can be long term goals – something you want to accomplish in the next 5, 10 or 20 years. Brainstorm for at least ten minutes. Don’t stop writing at any time. Be a kid, be silly, be crazy – let your imagination run wild.
Once you have a list of exciting goals, give each one a time line. It’s not important to know how you are going to accomplish these goals. Just give yourself a time frame from which to operate. Remember that goals are dreams with a deadline. The simple act of deciding when you’ll achieve a goal sets in motion conscious and unconscious forces to make your goals a reality. Napoleon Hill, the author of “Think and Grow Rich” said “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve”. So if you’re committed to accomplishing a goal within one year, put a one next to it, and so on for 5, 10 and 20 years.
Now choose your most important one-year goal – a goal that, if you were to accomplish it this year, would give you tremendous excitement and make you feel that the year was well spent. Take two minutes to write a paragraph about why you are absolutely committed to achieving this goal within one year. Why is this compelling for you? What will you gain by achieving it? What would you miss out on if you didn’t achieve it? Are these reasons strong enough to get you to actually follow through? If not, either come up with a better goal or better reasons.
Goals alone can inspire, but knowing the deepest reasons why you want them in the first place can provide you with the long-lasting drive and motivation necessary to persist and accomplish them.
Once you have a one year goal with enough compelling reasons to make you feel absolutely committed to achieving it, do the same thing for the longer time frames. Then, once you have the most important goals for your personal development, use the same process for your career & business goals, your adventure goals and your contribution goals.
Remember, today is the first day of the rest of your life.
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