A while back I discussed the Price of Perfection, as it related to my writing goals. Writing that post reminded me once more to find ways each day to reconnect with my passion for writing and for life if I want to achieve my goals. I have never been one to spend my time obsessing about my goals but it is important to internalize goals if we are to have any chance of achieving them.
You’re probably motivated by fear of failure
Without clearly defined goals I can guarantee you one thing. You are just as likely to achieve what you value as goals as you are to achieve what you don’t. That’s a 50% chance of failure right off the bat. Now I see you looking at me with pleading eyes, “please Michael can’t the glass be half full” I hear you cry. Ok for you I’m going to make the glass half full … Except now that I think about it, one of those thick books on my bookshelf is on NLP. Would you believe me if i told you that 9 out 10 people reading this post are motivated by what they don’t want not by what they do want and value. We are very literally running on auto-pilot away from our goals. The problem is all our goals and everything we value is on the far side of that mountain of fear and self loathing not in the other direction.
Your fear is your fuel
I see I’ve got you thinking now. To those shaking their fist at me, no I’m not a quack, in fact stay behind after class I have a note for your mother. The proof, as one of my best friend reminds me so often, is in the pudding. The majority of people on the planet today are living lives that are less than or equal to mediocre. Your life probably has a fair sprinkling of mediocre in it too. When you are not connected to your goals you are probably connected to your fears. Your fears are feeding your mediocrity, keeping your goals at arms length.
Passion is about values not value
It’s not about your bank balance, car or your salary. Mediocre is about how well you are living. How closely your life, goals and your values are aligned. How proud are you when you speak about who you are, not about what you have? Any Yahoo with enough money can buy a shiny BMW. Only you can live a life that allows you to sleep soundly at night with a faint smile. Only you can figure out how to fall asleep secure in the knowledge that today you exercised your purpose achieved your goals on this planet and added value to the world.
These are some of the best ways I’ve found to integrate my goals with my life:
Spend at least 5 minutes a day dreaming
This tip is the most fun on the list, for each goal you are working toward spend part of your 5 minutes visualizing what achieving that goal will look like, smell, like, feel, sound like and what it will taste like. The more senses you call upon the better. Visualizing helps to make this possible future and achieved goals more real. Only when your dreams and goals exist in your minds eye completed and achieved will your body start taking the many steps toward them.
Leave yourself visual reminders of your goals
Put up post it notes with your goals on them. Write your goals in the margins or inside covers of your notebooks. Send yourself future dated e-mail reminding yourself to focus on your goals. Get software get posters get crayons if you want just get creative with remembering your goals. The only way these reminders of your goals will work is if they can knock you out of our stupor during your normal work day.
Tell your friends
Speak about your passions and goals often. Tell your friends tell strangers tell your cat. The more you involve other people the more committed you force yourself to be to your goals. All the poor people you tell will become walking breathing reminders of your commitment to your goals and the fact that your name is on the line. Always remember though your goals are for you. So use the livestock around your cubicles and the love of your friends and family to your advantage for a change.
Spend your free time reading about people who exhibit the values you wish to have. Find people who have succeed in areas you desire success. The exercise will teach you how how it’s done also you’ll learn from the mistakes from others. The most powerful lesson I take from research is that it is possible. How empowering is that statement? It is possible! As soon as you allow that thought into your life a lot of excuses disappear like manure in the sun.
The only way to achieve your dreams is to live your goals. Use these techniques and any others you come across to incorporate your goals in your living.
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Goals should be geared to creating life! More life, to be lived and enjoyed. The more I mull the goal setting and tracking and achieving paradigm the more I think that there is confusion between goals and tasks. The road and the journey. Time and life.
If we are to look forward into our lives, we must not look up the rocky paths that are ahead of us, but rather lift our heads. Look ahead as the proverbial crow flies and look to our goals. That for me is what goals are about. They have to be the compass that guides us out of the wandering paths which split into path after path detour after detour. Goals are the kick in the nuts we need to remind us that the path is not the destination and why giving up is not an option.
Goal gym: Goal Big, work hard!
What does it help us to set these tiny goals? Why aim to get out of bed early if we aren’t planning to use the extra time to take over the world?
- Pick Goals that make you feel!– If a goal doesn’t scare you, thrill you, make you smile like a fool it’s not going to fuel you. Goals only work if they light a fire under you. If you need to keep topping your goals up with interest, passion or excitement you’re destined to fail.
- Pick Goals for yourself! – Only you are accountable to your goals so go large or go home, when you pick goals for yourself you’ll feel the lid lift on what you’re capable of doing.
- Send your goals out into the world – When you go and goal big you need to stay accountable, make your goals a living statement of your life. Blog about it, put up posters notes tattoo your goal above your navel. Turn other people on with your passion!
- Turn your world into a “Goal gym” – Surround yourself with the tools you need to leverage your reality into your goals. Work out on them often. There are finite steps between where you are and where you want to be. Start walking now!
- Go big but keep your number of goals down – This is the big one. Do choose big nasty scary goals. However do choose fewer goals. If you are going to pour your heart, soul and more into your goals you can’t spread yourself thin. Go big on the important goals and the rest will see to itself.
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