One day I might get out of debt…
One day… I will be able to publish my book.
I want to learn Chinese… one day…
All of this sounds familiar? In the process of busily living our lives we often end up with a dusty box full of old mental pictures of where we’d see ourselves, what we’d love to do, whom we’d like to become. These pictures that once used to be so vivid in our minds are now just memories of a bright future, fading away. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way! We can make our life count in spite of the circumstances and obstacles we might encounter. So how do we turn “One day…” into reality? One of the keys is setting realistic goals and diligently pursuing them.
[Tweet “Time enables us to make sure our growth is not just outward but also inward.”]
Transformation always comes with a cost, but our entire life is, ultimately, about being a wise investor of time. So how you manage your time determines the quality and speed of your personal progress. One of the biggest mistakes people make when they want to fulfill their dreams or when they start pursuing a goal is that they try to do everything in just one day. The result is always a mess, because transformation is a journey and, therefore, it takes time. However, time enables us to make sure our growth is not just outward but also inward. It’s also important to make sure we don’t try to chase so many goals at once that we run out of time, energy and resources, and we end up exhausted, frustrated and empty. On the other hand, some people fail to turn their goals into reality because they stop at wishing. Setting realistic goals is the first step to making sure our time is invested wisely and the results we want to get are achievable.
- Write them down — Any goal that you have in your mind must be put on paper first. There’s something magical about writing your dreams and goals on a paper and being able to come back to that list again and again. Writing transforms thoughts into something that’s closer to reality. When you write a thought down it becomes visible and is also preserved.
- Read them every single day — After you write your goals down make sure the list is always at hand and you’re able to see it several times a day. This will motivate you, plus it will fuel your passion for growth and desire for transformation.
- Set a deadline — As long as you don’t have a clear picture of when you want a certain goal to be achieved you will keep procrastinating. Set a realistic deadline for your goals and make sure you do something each day that will bring you closer to your goals.
[Tweet “Make sure you do something each day that will bring you closer to your goals.”]
- Create an action plan — As much as I’d like to tell you that writing your goals on a piece of paper will suffice, that’s not enough. You need to sit down (feel free to ask your mentor to help you if you need advice) and create an attainable action plan that will help you reach your goals in a healthy and beneficial way.
- Stay motivated — I’m gonna quote Zig Ziglar an say that “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it daily.” It’s so important to get motivated and stay motivated throughout your journey. Motivation goes hand in hand with your passion, so feed your passion with inspiring words, encouraging stories related to your goals, and practical mental and emotional exercises that will boost your willpower.
- Review your progress weekly — Set aside an hour or two every week and create a bridge between you and your progress. Make your weekly review meeting with yourself non-negotiable. It’s your way of getting re-organized for the week ahead, writing down the ups and downs you’ve encountered that week, and rethinking your strategies if you need to.
[Tweet “Make your weekly review meeting with yourself non-negotiable.”]
- Stay connected — You don’t want to lose focus of reality, your soul and your relationships for the sake of pursuing your goals. Keep the balance between the two areas of your life by making room for (the other) important things in your life. Learn to work hard and then loosen up. Alternating between work and fun is sometimes difficult, but in the end, after you accomplish your goals, you might be able to do both at the same time: have fun while working, by doing what you love.
Pursuing and achieving your goals is a journey of excellence and a lot of self-discipline and as long as your goals are in line with your true self you will get there. Oh, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey, no matter what!