Living a life without a goal is living a life without a meaning. If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. Most people don’t even have a life goal. Don’t get me wrong; I was like that not so long ago.
Of course, I wanted to succeed in life. All I did was dream about a big house by the water in a southern city while sipping on a little sangria and swinging on a nice little hammock!
However, I didn’t have any plans or goals to fulfill my dreams. I thought that life owed me something, and that my dream would fall on me, like the snow from the cold city I lived in would.
“Purpose is what gives life a meaning.” – C. H. Pankhurst
How having a goal would make me succeed.
It is your GPS: Goal+Plan=Success!
Let’s say you are going on vacation and you are in your car, ready for a long road destination. You are driving from New York, in the month of December and you would love to reach a destination. Having no destination, refers to as having no goal; you are just going to drive around not really knowing which direction to take and not really knowing where you will end up. Sounds like you are not starting your vacation the right way!
You keep driving and get caught into traffic, construction detours and all the endless confusing roads. So, as you have been driving for a while, you start getting tired of turning around without reaching any promising destination.
Finally! This is a great start; you are tired of your situation and would love to take charge of it. Thus, you ask yourself a crucial question; where would I like to spend my vacation? Hmm… Let’s see… I’d love to go spend some time in a nice Southern City!
Those palm trees, the sun shining all day, all the beautiful well-tanned people and all the charm of a southern city. But wait; there are indeed multiple sunny cities. Should I go to Miami? Los Angeles?
So here, at least, you have found yourself a goal, which is reaching south. However you need to make it more precise and choose a final destination unless you could split yourself in half and send each part in the two desired cities.
You need a SMART Goal!
S: Specific; Make it specific, LA or Miami? Let’s say you have chosen Miami.
M: Measurable; How many hours do you need to drive before reaching Miami?
A: Action; You need to get behind the steering wheel and start driving!
R: Realistic; Dream big, but you don’t need to drive 20 hours nonstop without taking a break.
T: Timeline; Look at how many hours it will take you to drive there.
If you have never been there before, driving towards the South in the hope of one day reaching Miami is just a wish, not a goal. So now that you understood this, you either put the destination on your GPS or plan the road through your own map.
“A goal without a plan is a wish” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The Zen of goal setting!
As you have now completed your road trip plan, get in the right path and start driving towards your goal, Miami. You planned the road trip, the timeline as well as the little road exit breaks!
As you are now on the highway, you notice that there is a lot of traffic. You think about your planned timeline and tell yourself that it will be hard to respect it. After a few hours caught in traffic, the road finally starts clearing out and you get going again!
Just when you thought your destination was around the corner, you have to face another obstacle, a major accident blocking the road you were headed to. As you are facing obstacles one after the other, you start losing faith on your plan and start thinking about maybe settling for a less desired and easier destination. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be?
When the plan doesn’t work…
Change the plan, but never the goal!
This is absolutely crucial. Whatever your goal is, you will face challenges. It is through these challenges that you will grow and become stronger as a person. If you change your desired destination in this case, you will always settle for less in life and never live your dreams.
Taking this crucial approach into consideration, you decide to change your road plan and find the closest detour available. As you do, you get back on track and head towards Miami again!
After driving numerous hours again, you face another complication. One of your tires lets you down in the middle of the highway. As you already faced multiple obstacles, this situation doesn’t even surprise you. However, you never changed a tire in your life and doing so would be getting out of your comfort zone.
You have learned to embrace your fears. Therefore, you get out of your car, take your safety wheel out and start analyzing your wheels in order to understand their scheme. As you are doing so, someone witnessed your situation and pulled aside on the highway in order to assist you!
My friends, the harder you work, the luckier you get! What if you stayed in your car wishing for something to get you out of that situation? That person assisting you could have thought that maybe you were just having a phone call and therefore, pulled a side. Who knows? Again, with the help of the generous individual, the situation is fixed and you get back on track!
You feel proud of yourself for not letting those challenges put you down and start believing that from now on, nothing will stop you from reaching that beautiful city of Miami and that you will always find a solution no matter what. You will begin to embrace challenges as you are used to getting through them. Thus, you will become a no matter what person!
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” -Jim Rohn
So now, what is your goal? Think, Plan, take action and most importantly PERSIST! Start having the habit of moving towards your goals.
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I originally wrote this article for Addicted2Success.