Thinking about all of the things you want to do in life can be exciting. You imagine yourself laying on the beach in Aruba or visiting Stonehenge, the pyramids, the Great Wall. You imagine a life working for a company you have true passion for, your own company, or volunteering for a cause that is important to you. You imagine a life which you know can be infinately better than the one you have now…
It goes no further than that. Imagination.
Instead of saying to ourselves “I can do that if I try,” we say, “I wish.” Just a passing daydream. We are the first person to tell ourselves that “No, you can’t do that.” “It’s crazy.” “It’s too hard.” We have a constant inner-dialogue of self-defeating phrases. The first step to accomplishing your goals is to convince yourself that anything is possible, you just need to figure out how you are going to get there from here.
If you want to climb a mountain, get off of the couch and start exercising. I promise you, even if you someday find yourself at the bottom of a mountain, but haven’t prepared for the journey to the top, you will stay at the bottom of that mountain, wishing your life away. Wishing isn’t going to cut it. You need a plan.
After you get past the inner-dialogue of self-defeat there are some steps you can take in order to get your plan in motion. The first is to define exactly what your goal is. Be specific! If you want to climb a mountain, which mountain? Mount Whitney. Okay, you live in Kansas, how are you going to get there? Drive. Do you have the appropriate gear you need to climb Mount Whitney? You’re not sure? Figure it out.
As you can see, once you’ve defined your goal, there are many hurdles that stand before you and successful completion of your goal. Don’t be discouraged, hurdles are meant to be jumped over. Just one problem, if you’re lying down, you’re not moving any closer to these hurdles. You can’t expect to succeed if you do nothing to work towards your goal. There is work involved.
The next step is to set a deadline. You know that Mount Whitney is located in California, you know that you don’t need any special equipment to climb to the top. You need to figure out when you are going to do it. Set a date that works for you, and not 10 years from now. Do it soon, while you’ve still got the burning desire inside of you. Setting a deadline helps eliminate the mindset of “I’ll get around to it someday.” It creates a clear timeframe in which you have to hammer out the details, resolve any doubts and to share your goals with another person.
Sharing your goals with someone else is an important step on your path to success. When you tell someone else what you intend to do, you are more likely to follow-through with those plans. You hold yourself more accountable. Better yet, include someone else in your plan. Wouldn’t your best friend want to climb Mount Whitney with you? Share your excitment about it. Passion is contagious! Your best friend might not ever have given any thought of climbing the highest peak in the continental United States, but after you get done sharing your goal with them, they will wonder why they never thought of it!
You are well on your way to success, but until you have actually succeeded there are plenty of chances for failure. Remember that just wishing won’t get you anywhere. You need to do something. Find a way to work towards your goal everyday. If you aren’t in the best of shape and you want to see the view from the top of the mountain, exercise regularly. It brings you that much closer to the goal, and it keeps the goal fresh in your mind.
Achieving your goals is simple. It may not always be easy, but you can do it if you believe you can, and you are working towards success. Dream on, but have a plan, and put that plan to action, or your goals will simply be just another daydream.
“Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I’ll give you a stock clerk.”