Everyone has goals and dreams, so why is it that some people reach them and others do not?
Our goals will depend entirely on what you deem to be important in life. Money and possessions are top of the list for the many Americans, but goals can include spending more time doing the things that bring you joy – maybe taking a daily walk while the sun sets – or, improving relationships with those you love.
The problem with most goals that aren’t achieved is that they are not specific enough. Maybe you’re tired of your car breaking down and you want a new car. What type of car, what does it cost, how long will it take you to save for it? Maybe you want to spend more time reading or get more sleep. What books do you want to read? What time do you need to go to bed to get enough sleep? Instead of just losing weight, what size pants do you want to wear, what weight do you want to reach?
Clarify your goals, make them specific. Write them down.
Hopefully. you have multiple goals, and you take the time to define them all clearly. It’s also helpful to identify and write down any possible pitfalls you might encounter on the way.
The second step is to come up with a plan on how you will start moving toward your goal. Let’s say you chose weight loss. Do you want to just take a pill and lose it or maybe have an operation? A more realistic plan for long-term success would be to schedule 45 minutes at least three times each week exercising. Find a trainer or a workout buddy to help keep you accountable.
Whether you reach your goal or not is entirely in your hands.
Now that you have those first two out of the way it is time for number three: putting your plan into action. Every person who ever began a new path in life began with nerves. We like to be comfortable, and we feel secure when things stay the same, but there can be no change if you avoid unfamiliar ground. Doubt will come to mind, but don’t let your mind hold you back.
The fourth part is putting in the work. You are building the foundation of your goal. You may not notice anything for days or weeks at first, but if you work at it continually, you will. I like setting small goals that I can hit along they way to my ultimate goal. If your goal is a new car, set a goal to save $400. Once you reach that, make a new goal of $1000. Keep setting a new one after you reach the old. Progress is all most of us need to keep moving forward.
Start picturing yourself accomplishing what was once only a goal.
What else could there be? What else is important? The fifth step is to keep going! There are times you will feel discouraged, and there are times you will want to quit. That is when you must dig deep – go back to the paper where you wrote down your goals and remember the reasons they are important to you. Re-evaluate your methods and adjust, but keep moving forward. If a door closes, you open another or go around. Stick with it!
If this sounds like a chapter out of a self-help book, it’s because over the years I have read a LOT of them. They all had something to offer – encouragement, a plan. By following their suggestions I strengthened my resolve and accomplished a lot of goals. Whether the goals were financial or physical, they brought short-term happiness and feelings of success, but none of them brought me lasting inner peace or joy.
My values changed when I started living my life to serve God instead myself. The reasons behind my goals in the past were always self-serving. Now, when I set goals and accomplish them, I do it to glorify Him, instead of myself.
1 Corinthians 10:31(NIV)
Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.