So you have a goal or a dream or a vision of a goal or there’s SOMETHING you’re wanting to do, become, or learn. But you’re inundated with mocking laughter, failure stories, and all the talk of how no one ever keeps their goals.
With all this fuss about goals being pointless – what’s a person to do? Not bother? Live a goalless existence where nothing we want to achieve is ever achieved? Stay the way we are forever in the hopes that life will someone change something for us?
That sounds terrible.
A lot of people don’t want to try to change their life or habits because of how much pain it will cause. But what we don’t realize is that NOT changing is painful as well.
Meaning our options are really to:
1 – hurt and never achieve anything we want, everything remains the same
2 – hurt and make the changes in our lives that we desire.
It’s like the difference between being punched in the face and going to the dentist. Both are going to hurt, but one is bad for you and the other is healthy.
I’d suggest option two. And if that sounds good to you, here’s step one of how to start on that path.
1A) What do you want?
No, really. It’s kinda the whole point. If you can’t name what it is that you want, your goal is not going to work. What’s your dream, your hope, your absolute deepest desire? What’s the one thing you want, right now? And it has to be something you have the power to change.
And FYI – We can’t control other people, can’t fix them or convince them of anything. Pick something that you want for yourself.
1B) Get precise.
What exactly do you want? You can’t have it if you can’t really put your thumb on it.
Pretend you have a genie that’s just asked you for one wish. He will give you 100% precisely what you ask for. So be careful how you word it. And make sure its something you really want in this specific way. If you ask for a new job, he might give you a job you’ll loathe.
1C) Why do you want it?
What’s your reason for wanting this? Are you doing it to impress someone, get someone to like or respect you, get revenge, or because its what someone else wants you to do?
NOT a good reason. Your goal will fail. Sometimes the whole revenge thing works but there’s only a slight chance of succeeding and you might not end up liking how you end up achieving your goal. Or how you’ve changed as a person at the end of it.
If you want to achieve a goal, make certain its something you really want and for a good reason. That doesn’t mean you have to have some mind blowing, television show worthy reason. We are all about silly, small, melodramatic, vulnerable, and embarrassing reasons. We’re human and that’s beautifully okay. But things will go easier if you know why you want your goal.
1D) Form your goal in a positive way.
Here’s the same goal said in two different ways.
One – I want to stop eating food that makes me feel gross and fat.
Two – I want to eat to be healthy and feel good.
Guess which one is going to be easier and funner to reach for?
1E) Plan for unexpected issues, mistakes, adaptation.
It’s going to happen. And there’s nothing wrong or bad about that. Things are going to happen that you couldn’t possibly plan for. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to find that your plan isn’t working and you need to change things in order to continue to reach for your goal in a healthy way. All of these things are good. They mean you’re working hard, putting in effort. Simply acknowledge that these things will happen and you can handle it, while treating yourself with kindness and respect, will help immensely.
In yourself. In your ability, your capability. You can do this. But if you don’t believe you can, you won’t. So take the chance. Make the leap, have faith, believe, trust.