We all have ambitions for the future, we have things that we want to accomplish in our lives, and we do our best to ensure that these ambitions are realized. If you are like me you probably have many ambitions, some of these may be small achievable things, and others are complex and can take a lifetime to achieve.
I propose that to have a clear vision of these goals, they need to be documented in a comprehensible and easily accessible way. To do this you need to make a list of goals, a blueprint for the future so that you can precisely define what you want, and what steps that need to be taken to achieve these goals. This list should include goals across all aspects of your life. It should include business and professional goals, personal and family goals, financial goals, or anything else that you may strive for.
Here are 6 tips to help you structure your goals in a comprehensible way, and to help you maintain momentum in achieving those goals.
1.) Define your goals without opposition – Most times we, as individuals, tend to be our own worst enemy. When defining your goals, it is easy to play devil’s advocate and debunk your own ambitions. Don’t allow yourself the opportunity to think about the obstacles that stand in your way when building your list of goals. I am not saying that it is a bad thing to micro-analyze your goals. What I am saying is to look past those things when building your list, and don’t settle for less than exactly what you want to achieve no matter what your current circumstance is. You have a vision; don’t let that vision be clouded by small details that may stand in the way of you documenting your list of goals.
2.) How do you eat an elephant? – One bite at a time! Obviously I have never eaten an elephant, but if I did, I am positive that it would be accomplished one bite at a time. This is the same process that should be used when developing your list of goals, and ultimately, in the process of achieving these goals.
When making your list of goals, first define your primary goals and the “big” things you would like to accomplish. Then for each primary goal, have a list of small, achievable goals that will eventually lead you to realizing your “big” goals. This is important as it helps give you a clear understanding of the steps that will need to be taken to ensure your goals are achieved. Using this method also helps maintain your confidence as it gives you the opportunity to achieve smaller goals more often, therefore giving you the fuel needed to continue to progressing forward.
3.) Diversify – Have a lot of goals, but not more than time will allow you to achieve. When building your list of goals, be sure to include goals for multiple facets of your life. You will want to have goals specific to your professional life, education goals, financial goals, and most importantly, defined goals in your personal life. If you want to vacation in another country, put it on your list. If you want to learn a new hobby or dedicate more time to your favorite charity, write it down.
Having a balance of goals for all aspects of your life will ensure that you do not hyper-focus too much on just one goal and potentially “burn out”. Sometimes the best way to get a different perspective on a situation is to step away and temporarily shift your focus to something else that is important for you to achieve. That short time away may be just what you need to continue pursuing your goal with a fresh perspective. Switching goals mid-stream from a large goal to a smaller goal will still allow you to realize another goal, but it may also give you the renewed ambition needed to move forward.
4.) Set the bar high – You might be surprised by what you can achieve when you set out to do the “impossible”.
Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Norman Vincent Peale
I have always loved this quote as it indicates that sometimes we set out with a defined mission to achieve a specific goal, but in the process we discover new paths and opportunities that can eventually lead to a place just as magical.
Setting the bar higher than you think is possible will ensure that you always have something bigger and better to strive for. A nice bonus for working toward these “impossible” goals is that you can experience success before ever completely achieving them. For example, you have a goal to increase your sales by 200% for the year, you work hard at achieving this goal, but at the end of the year you only increased sales by 150%. This can still be looked at as an accomplishment as you are now in a better position than when you started.
5.) Say them out loud and say them often – Communicating your goals is a good way to convince others, and more importantly yourself, that they are achievable. Don’t be afraid to tell your friends, families, and select business associates about your goals and ambitions. This will accomplish two positive things for you:
It will let other people know that you are motivated and that you are prepared to work hard to achieve these goals. By doing this you will also increase the chance that people can help you achieve your goals because they have a clear understanding of what they are. They will also feed off of your passion for success which can motivate them to help where they can.
By communicating your goals often, it will help you not just have goals, but to believe that your goals are possible to achieve. It will also give you the opportunity to refine your goals as you receive feedback from others, and develop your own feedback from talking about them often.
6.) Sprint through the finish line – Continue your momentum without hesitation, and give 110% until your goals are fully realized. If you set the bar high you can sometimes get caught up in your current success and accomplishments with your primary goal not fully achieved. This is the time when you need to “dig deep” and “put your nose to the grindstone”. Push forward to fully realize your goals, and you will experience even more success than you may have ever imagined.
By following these steps you will ultimately have a clear understanding of what your goals truly are and a road map on how they can be achieved. The most important take-away from this article should be to build a list! Be sure to write down not only what your primary goals are, but also a sub-goal list of the small steps that need to be taken to accomplish them. This can be on a whiteboard or chalkboard in your home or office, in your notebook, tattooed on your forehead (Okay, this may be extreme), or my perrfered method of using Mind Mapping Software which can be found in your app market on your favorite digital device. Be sure to reference back to your goal list often. Now get out there and build your blueprint for the future!
Founder, Moss Ball Pets™