When was the last time your sole focus was to figure out how you can be better tomorrow; a month from now; or even 5yrs from now? I challenge you to do this over the next week. Below, are some important steps to help you set meaningful goals that you can and WILL achieve. First you have to learn what makes a goal worth going for. The SMART mnemonic paints a very clear picture of what factors you should be using to grade your goals.
- Specific - Instead of simply stating “I want a new job”, figure out exactly who you want to work for. Having a clear and precise vision of your end goal will help you understand what you need to do to get there and motivate you along the way.
- Measurable -Create opportunities to track your progress. Daily journaling, for example, is a fantastic way to do this.
- Attainable - Limiting yourself is never a good idea. Being honest with yourself is. It is unlikely that you will be the next Jeff Bezos. For now and for the purposes of this challenge, lets leave the 1 in abillion goals behind.
- Rewarding - Set a goal that stimulates a positive emotional response. The greater the reward, the more likely you are to work for it.
- Time-Bound - Set a time limit to achieve your goal. Procrastination is a choice!
Do you know what is important to you right now? Is there something you want to have a year from now? Somewhere you want to live? A career change? Be specific with what you want. Choose something that gets you fired up. Choose a goal that allows you to envision yourself feeling the exuberance of success at the end of your journey.
It is easy to get backed into goals that you have seen other people set and achieve. Don’t. They very likely will not be the right goals to achieve the vision that you have for YOUR end goal. There are an infinite amount of ways to end up in the same situation as someone you look up to. Following their exact moves rarely works, though, because you are a different individual who is inspired and motivated in different ways.
If you are struggling to find something that is truly motivating to you, it might help to recall a triumphant moment from your past. I often draw back on my experience of training for the Navy. Even though I was never able to achieve that goal, I can still recall the hunger I had for it. I use the memory of that hunger to help me choose my new goals. When I think I want something, I ask myself if I am willing to be as dedicated as I was to becoming a Navy SEAL. It was the only thing I wanted, and I would have stopped at nothing to achieve it
Keep in mind, your end goal is the vision. When I envisioned my success, I pictured joining the most elite squad of war-fighters in the world, jumping out of planes, becoming part of something that was so much bigger than myself. I recognized that I needed to take steps to get there. Setting smaller less glamorous goals that did not get me as fired up as my end goal did was a necessary step. When you set out on a voyage toward a goal that has the potential to change your life, it is important to keep that changed life constantly in mind, even when you realize you have to work your way up to 30+ miles of running a week like I did.
Complete this challenge and if you feel so inclined to create some accountability. Post your new goal on Instagram and hashtag #toethelinechallenge. I will be doing this myself along with you guys so let’s see what great goals we can all come up with. Let’s share our journeys with each other and help each other achieve our best selves.