A new approach to lifestyle changes has been to envision 2020 as a new decade and the perfect time to embark on a journey of self-discovery and healing.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, stay-at-home parent, or a 9 to 5 corporate employee, goals are the backbone to your personal growth and development.
Although, let’s be honest.
There’s no such thing as a universally appropriate and applicable right time. Time as a linear concept should be left behind in the past year. From this moment on, you have to decide and take ownership of the right time for YOU—the right time to change, the right time to be the best version of yourself, the right time to start working on those goals!
1. Setting goals for success
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” —Pablo Picasso
The funny thing about success is that we measure it by what we have achieved so far. We envision our progress as a straight line from point A to point B and neglect the struggle of the process on our way to the “final destination.”
Part of our journey of climbing the mountain and reaching the peak is setting the right goals for ourselves. You can’t climb a mountain in one day. You have to set attainable markers for how far you want to go. The first success is figuring out your goals after some thoughtful self-reflection.
You also have to be mindful about taking care of yourself while you work towards overcoming each hurdle. One of the prime reasons we are unable to achieve our goals is because we’re too fixated on the conquest, and burn out before real growth can come.
Remember to listen to your body when it’s about to give out, and rest your body, mind, and spirit. Sometimes you have to pause and remind yourself why you started something in the first place.
Without further ado, let’s delve deeper into how you can set the right goals on your path to being successful.
2. Zero in on what you want to achieve
“All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.” —Orison Swett Marden
Being vague about what you want can only do more harm than good, with most things in life. Embrace specificity when setting goals for what you want to accomplish. This comes primarily with clarity.
When you have been focusing on other people’s needs such as a spouse, offspring, employer, or a friend, sometimes you forget to also take care of yourself. You may have forgotten how to listen to yourself.
It is time to make space for your needs and for honoring your desires. Ask yourself,what do I want? And be honest. The first thing that comes to your mind may be “to be happy” or “find inner peace” or “be successful.”
Follow up with: what makes you happy? When are you at peace? What does success mean to you?
This will lead you to a specific goal you want to achieve, such as losing a certain amount of weight, acquiring a paying position at your dream firm, or completing a course or a degree you always wanted.
3. Imagine the outcome
Think about your future self and picture yourself having accomplished your task. Meditating, even for ten minutes, early in the morning or whenever you are by yourself, allows you to visualize the outcome you want.
Use all your senses to think about where you are, what you’re wearing, and how you feel when you imagine yourself as this future self.
Your goals will help you attune yourself and your mindset to be more positive and confident in your abilities to be able to achieve them. You will slowly start to internalize whatever you desire, and the way you want to achieve it will start to come to you naturally.
4. Think about measuring your progress
A goal should be measurable so you can keep track of your progress.
If you want to quit smoking, you can keep track by the number of cigarettes you smoke in a day, a week, and eventually a month.
If you want to practice a more sustainable lifestyle, measure and work on reducing the amount of waste you produce. If you reach your goal number, work towards doing more to help your community.
If your goal was to learn a new craft, measure your progress by the number of hours you spend practicing or learning it.
If you aspire to obtain a certain body type, measure the amount of muscle you gain, the fat you lose, or your weight.
5. Keep your goals realistic
Inconsistent and irrelevant goals set you up to follow an unrealistic path to success.
No goal is unrealistic if you truly believe in yourself and are persistent. However, your goals should be in line with the direction you want your life to take.
This also means that a goal which betrays your value system isn’t in alignment with who you really are. You shouldn’t be compromising on honesty, loyalty to yourself, and your personal integrity to get to where you want.
Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your journey because support from your loved ones goes a long way.
6. Make them time sensitive
A coherent, visual timeline is mandatory before you set on your journey. This will help you measure your goals, as well as be a motivating factor.
However, this means that you have to work on disciplining yourself to be able to meet deadlines.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to wave at deadlines as they pass by, you won’t be able to meet your goals no matter how realistic they are.
7. Obtain clarity
This is super important before you decide to start making your goals. You need to start with a blank canvas in your mind and a pure heart.
Be ready to be honest with yourself so that your vision isn’t obscured or muddy. Do what it takes to help you gain clarity.
For some, speaking to a close friend helps, whereas others like to spend time in solitude to gain clarity. There are no rules for this.
8. Review your goals
Finally, after you write your goals down, make it a point to go over them every week. Analyze the progress you have made and take some time to reflect on them once again.
If you were unable to accomplish your weekly task, figure out what was stopping you. Don’t punish yourself, but allow yourself to learn from it.
Goal setting is an iterative process; you must try, try again. The beauty is the opportunity for growth and the wonderful things you learn about yourself throughout.
For more information, explore the Tao Academy.