Goal setting is the first step to turning your dreams into a reality. It’s when you switch from a passive state to being involved in life. A goal without any action is just a dream. If you feel like you work extremely hard but are not getting anywhere, take a look at where you spend most of your time. Are you investing your time and energy in actions that will help you accomplish your most important goals?
We are all on a journey. The destination can be one of intent, or one you simply fall upon. The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts.
My brother in law was talking to me about a show that he really enjoyed, “WestWorld”. A HBO series based on the 1973 Michael Crichton movie of the same name. It is a story of a Western-themed futuristic theme park, populated with artificial intelligence. High-paying guests live out their fantasies with no consequences or retaliation from the android hosts. Of course, it wouldn’t be a popular series if things didn’t go wrong.
Curious, I watched the first two episodes. In the second episode, we meet a new character who is trying this futuristic theme park for the first time. The man is having a conversation with an artificial intelligence “hostess” who is leading him to the entrance of the theme park. He questions her on whether or not there will be an orientation.
The A.I answers, “Figuring out how it works is half the fun. All you have to do is make choices.”
Westworld is a world where you don’t have to worry about what most people do and can be whoever you want. A place to glimpse, “who you could be”. There is a lure to this series and I understand why it became such a fan favorite. It sparks your imagination. It is a place to forget the real world and enter an imagined world.
“People like to read about the things that they want the most and experience the least.” – Westworld TV series
In the real world, there are real consequences. There is no reset. When you fail, you fail for real. That is why many people avoid going after their dreams in the first place. Some don’t bother for they believe there is no point in going after what they don’t think is attainable.
What dream have you been holding off because you don’t really see a point to it? Despite your strong intentions that this time you will see it through, you quit when you feel overwhelmed or when you don’t see enough progress.
Maybe it’s time to rethink your approach. Maybe your goal setting process is too complicated.
[tweetthis]“Progress is man’s ability to complicate simplicity.” – Thor Heyerdahl[/tweetthis]
You’ve heard of making your Goals S.M.A.R.T, but what about making them Simple?
You may have a dozen goals that you want to achieve but determine what your Most Important Goals are. Which area of your life do you want to focus on the most? What goal if you achieved it would make the most difference to your life?
Now, start small. This is important. Yes, dream big but start small. There is a difference.
For the purpose of the rest of this post, we are going to set an imaginary goal. Let’s imagine that you have a goal to eliminate your debt. Depending on the amount of debt you have, this can get you discouraged quickly.
Start small – If you have 3 credit cards, a mortgage and a car loan, where do you start? Focus on one card first. Then, analyze your income and what is possible and set yourself a small goal that would lead you towards your bigger goal of eliminating debt.
- Focus on your highest interest bearing card first and set a goal to pay off an extra 10% per month.
- Reduce one expense from your monthly recurring expense.
- Commit to eating out 1 time less per month.
Whatever it is, start with something that you can easily and quickly maintain and build momentum.
Build Momentum – Once you start accomplishing small wins, stretch your goals further and establish bigger targets.
Set Milestones – Establish key milestones where you can celebrate your progress. This is important. This will help keep you motivated to get to the next milestone. Using the same example above, if you had set your first milestone to reduce your credit card debt by 10%, celebrate by going out to eat. Of course, don’t spend back what you managed to save.
Review – Set time aside to review your progress and adjust your actions or mini goals if needed.
“Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now.” — Denis Waitely
We may not have the technology yet to play in a fictive “Westworld”. What you do have is your ability to choose your next direction. Choose where you will invest your energy. Ideally, it will always be in actions and events that contribute to your values and your Most Important Goals.
Where will you start?