Goals (9)

Set a Life-Changing Goal

If we sit down and think about it, most of us have goals. The problem is, they are often undefined thoughts just passing through during our day. In reality, these are more daydreams than goals. If you are ready to actually set a goal that can change your life, then follow these tips to set a life-changing goal. 8819313098?profile=RESIZE_584x

  1. Figure Out What You Want to Change

If you could change one aspect of your life, what would it be? Would you focus on your career, family or health? It doesn't matter what you choose, you simply need to figure out what area of your life you want to change.

  1. Know Why You Want to Change

Why do you want to change that area of your life? Think about this ...a lot. This is essentially your motivation. Take some time to brainstorm all the benefits of changing this area of your life. Go back to the list often, especially when motivation starts to wane. 

  1. Dare to Dream Big

SMART goals are important. Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely goals should make up the majority of our goals. That said, don't fear dreaming big. It will take a big goal to really motivate us. What may seem unrealistic now, might not be as far out of your reach as you think. If the goal does not excite and scare you at the same time, it is not big enough. It does not take any more energy to think big. 

  1. Write Your Goal Down

Keeping your goal in your head, is only worth the paper it is printed on. You can't set proper goals without writing them down. Simply writing your goals down will differentiate you from the vast majority of people. Choose your goal and write it down. It is simple as that.

  1. Break Your Goal Down into Smaller Goals

If you took the above advice, you dared to dream big. That has left you with a big goal that scares you. The way to deal with this is to break this larger goal down into smaller, more achievable goals. These smaller goals can be considered your action plan. 

  1. Set Deadlines

Every goal you set needs to have a deadline. You don't need to be cutthroat here, but you need to be aggressive. If you struggle with hitting deadlines, then consider building in a reward system. If you meet a goal by the deadline, reward yourself in some way. If you miss the deadline ask yourself if you did your best? If you did your best, then you guessed wrong on the completion date. That is all. Keep going towards your goal.

  1. Take Action

At the end of the day, achieving your goals comes down to you. Are you ready to not only set goals, but take action upon them? Taking action is the only way you will ever achieve a goal. If you are struggling on where to start, choose the easiest task and start there 

  1. Reflect and Adjust

There is real value in taking time to reflect on your goals. Setting goals should be considered a fluid undertaking. At regular intervals you need to stop and think about what is working, and what isn't working. You also need to check in with yourself to see if your wants are still the same. Taking time to reflect on your goals, and adjusting where needed will make sure you stay on course 

  1. Don't Stop

Did you reach your goal? Perhaps, you reached an obstacle or impasse? Whatever the case - you keep going. Once you reach a goal, you set another one! If you get stuck on your goals, you either deal with the obstacle, or go around it. You can't change your life overnight, it takes persistence and dedication.

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Studies show that putting your SMART goals into writing and reviewing them regularly will increase your chances of success. Some studies show that you are as much as 42% more likely to follow through with your goals if you write them down. Writing your goals down will help you get a clear picture of your plan and what you want to accomplish.8260994879?profile=RESIZE_400x Logging your goals will also help motivate you to complete the tasks needed to achieve your goal. Frequently reviewing what you’ve written will aid in reminding you of your plan, as well as remind you of your “why,” in turn, boosting your motivation to keep progressing toward your goal.

Writing your goals down as you set them; will help your brain encode the plan, further solidifying your goal. The mere act of writing an idea down makes it more likely you will remember it. This is why college students take notes in lectures. Note-taking provides a much higher probability of retaining the information. Similarly, when you draft your goal in writing, you have a better chance of success. After writing out your goal, be sure to place it somewhere that you can see it easily. Places like on the fridge, on your phone, on a mirror, at your desk are all excellent areas where you can easily visually access your goal. Seeing the words you wrote out serves as a reminder and motivation to continue with your efforts.

Not only will you be reminded of your goal by visually seeing the words written, but you should also take the time for an active review of your plan. Regularly, actively reviewing your written goal will increase your chances of success. A diligent study of your goal should include contemplating the reasons behind your motivation for the goal, your “why.” Thinking about the reasons you set the particular goal will boost your motivation by reminding you why the goal matters to you, why you set it and what you expect to gain from it. Reviewing your goal will aid in renewed purpose and incentive, ultimately bumping up your likelihood of success.

Countless studies find that writing out your goals produces higher success rates. Placing the words you’ve written in an easily accessible spot and reviewing them often will also help ensure that you follow through with the SMART goals you set for yourself.

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How To Make Your Goals Specific

Specificity is crucial as it relates to mapping out the goals you set for yourself. Overly generalized goals will produce a lack of direction and the ability to focus on what’s important. Goals that are too vague will end up setting you up for failure. For example, let’s say you want to drink more water per day. “I will drink more water every day” is far too general. Lack of specificity will enable you to make excuses. The wording doesn’t hold you accountable; it is not enough of a detailed plan to follow through. Instead, clarify the specifics. Answering some questions about your goal will pinpoint your intention and narrow down the specifics. You must answer what’s known as the “5 W’s” of necessary information gathering; Who? What? When? Where? Why? Answering these five questions will help you develop specific clarity and motivation towards your goal. Answer these five questions to draft your goal:8260498477?profile=RESIZE_400x

Who will this goal involve?

What exactly do I want to accomplish?

When do I want to accomplish this goal?                                                                        

Where will you achieve this goal?

Why is this goal important to me?

After answering the questions, you can set your goal with a definite plan. Your goal will look something like this: “I will drink eight glasses of water every day - 2 glasses in the morning before breakfast, two glasses with lunch, two glasses after the gym, and two glasses before bed to become healthier. This goal is specific and direct. It explicitly states what your expectations are for yourself and enables accountability.

Another example of a goal without detail and focus is “I will exercise more.” This goal is positive and relevant. However, it lacks specificity, and therefore it becomes a setup for failure. Answering the five w’s will provide the specifics you need to set meaningful, constructive goals that will give a higher rate of success in achievement. After answering these questions, you will end up drafting a plan that sounds more like this, “I will exercise at the gym for 45 minutes, every weekday morning before I go to work.” This statement is a detailed plan for what, where, how, and when you intend to accomplish your objective. Its details will ensure a higher goal success rate than that of the first, vaguer statement.

S stands for specific, in the acronym, SMART goals. Drafting specific goals is the first step in coming up with goals that stick and are successful.

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Why You Need To Set SMART Goals

We can define goals as objects of a person’s ambition or an aim at the desired result. Most of us have some goals set out for ourselves to improve our lives. We can relate our goals to personal or professional progress. Either way, without goals, there’s not much room for advancement, and without the challenge of reaching a goal you’ve set for yourself, life would be stagnant. 8260393058?profile=RESIZE_400x But the process in which we set goals for ourselves matters. Although you are responsible for whether you follow through with the goals you’ve set for yourself, how you set them has a hand in determining how successful you’ll be in achieving them. The term SMART Goals refers to a process in which you set the goals that will give you greater success. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. The SMART goals method will help you with your organization, focus, and clarity with your goals. Research has shown that using the SMART goals method can save you time and simplify reaching your goals. SMART goals are easy to implement and can be used by anyone to improve their life by setting and achieving goals.

The SMART Goals method of goal setting works because it lays each step out for you. The S stands for specific, meaning the goal needs to be clear and specific. When setting a goal for yourself, you must steer away from generalized statements. The more precise the goal is, the better. M is for measurable. Measurable goals refer to tracking your progress. Your goal will be easier met if you can assess progress along the way, giving you more motivation and focus toward your ultimate ambition—next, A. The A is for attainable. Although your goals should help stretch you outside of your comfort zone and push you to the next level, the goals you set must remain achievable. R, relevant objectives are imperative to your success. This means that your set goals should be important to you and aligns well with your life and other goals you have set. Finally, T, for time-bound. Your goals should have a deadline to achieve them. This will help keep you on track and focused and give you opportunities to celebrate your small wins along the way. By implementing the SMART Goals system, you will gain the ability to achieve your goals faster, and with a higher success rate.

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Do you remember the dreams you had when you were young? Those ambitious aspirations about a rich, powerful, and exciting lifestyle you often imagined? Do you remember being sure you would one day attain them? Maybe you would even tell people about them without any hesitation, or perhaps they were so big you preferred keeping them to yourself to avoid being discouraged by those who thought they were unattainable. That life you saw back then was the abundant life you knew you were destined to live.4967262267?profile=RESIZE_400x

Maybe as a child, you didn’t dare dream so big because you just didn’t have anyone to model it for you. Then you grew up and discovered you could become so much more than you had ever believed you could be. Your dream came alive, and you began to see yourself in high places, doing mighty things, and rubbing shoulders with exceptional people.

Either way, you know them deep in your heart: your wildest dreams. Perhaps you still think of them once in a while, a flicker of hope comes up inside of you for a moment. You know in detail where you should be, but what is keeping you from getting there? What is preventing you from living your best life?

Own your dreams and have your carefully marked scale to measure your achievements. Do not compare yourself with anyone but relentlessly go for your set goals. Many people may advise you to be grateful for what you have already, but if you know that is only, but the tip of the iceberg for you, then don’t stop. Keep on going until you reach your predetermined destination. If you get there and find out it is not exactly what you thought it would be, put on your walking shoes again and continue the quest.

Gratitude is good every step of the way because it keeps you positive and somehow opens up more opportunities for good things to keep happening to you. You also get to enjoy the journey despite challenges on the way if you have an attitude of gratitude. If, however, gratitude becomes all you have, then you risk being caught up in limitation and settling for a half-full life. By all means, celebrate your mini victories leading you to your macro-goal, but don’t be caught up in them so much you end up comfortable before you have arrived at your destination.

Let the words of your mouth be progress-oriented. At every stage, it is essential to look back and see how far you’ve come just to appreciate your blessings and achievements, but what is more important is to look ahead and gear up for where you are headed and be as clear as day about your final destination. It doesn’t matter if it takes years or decades and many detours on the way. As long as you arrive at the pinnacle of your life, using the right words, you will taste the sweet victory. Oh, and try to enjoy this transformative journey as well- this is what makes it memorable!

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There are plenty of distractions in the modern world. They take away your focus and your energy and can stop you from having the life you want. If you're not hitting your goals, maybe it's time to look at your main distractions and do something about them. 4196851261?profile=RESIZE_710x

Here are the most common distractions that are likely stopping you from living your best life.

  1. Social media

It should not surprise you that the biggest distraction for most people is social media and the hours it eats out of the day. Take a quick look at your Instagram feed or Facebook, and before you know it, you're mindlessly scrolling through what looks like other people's perfect lives.

Take the time to decide how much of your life you want to spend watching what other people are doing. Set some boundaries about when and how long you will spend on social media. Take a look at your "friends" and see if they're people you want to know. 

  1. Smartphone

Smartphones are great tools, but they can quickly become a huge distraction. Look around and see how many people are walking down the street with their eyes glued to their phones. Think about how long you go without checking your phone. Try leaving your phone in your purse or your pocket when you go out for a meal. Leave it at home when you take the dog for a walk.

Another tip is to cull some of the apps on your phone. Work out what you need and delete the rest. And remember, mobile games are one of the biggest time-sucks. Think about how you want to use your time and be strategic about how you use your phone.

  1. Online watching

How much time do you waste watching meaningless YouTube videos or binge-watching box sets? These might feel like simple, relaxing things to do, but if you're not careful, they can drain as much time as social media. 

Keep focused on how you want your life to be and make decisions about how much recreational TV you want to watch.

  1. Negative people

Giving your time away to negative people can be damaging to your success. You can probably name the people at the office or in your life who drain you of energy and who take up a lot of time with their complaining, attention-seeking, and neediness. 

Inventory, the people around you, are they undermining your chances of meeting your goals? If so, you need to set some healthy boundaries and get out of their orbit. Look for positive, high energy people who will support you and cheer you on.

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Most people don’t like obstacles. That makes a certain sort of sense. After all, when you’ve got a goal that you’re trying to accomplish, the last thing you want or need is something standing in your way.  Obstacles seem to make us stand still; they keep us from getting where we want to go. They cause us to lose whatever momentum we’ve built up. In worst-case scenarios, they become the roadblocks standing in the way of allowing us ever to get there at all.

It’s no wonder obstacles look so daunting. You might as well pack up now and go home. Right?


What if obstacles weren’t as bad as you thought? What if the one thing you’re facing right now might hold the solution to the very problem you’re trying to solve? Consider this for a moment: What if what you’re looking at is not so much an obstacle, as an opportunity? That it’s your emotions holding you back, making you think an obstacle is a stopping point, instead of a new beginning?

It’s time to rethink obstacles.

Read on to find nine simple steps that will help you keep your emotions in check as you reach out and embrace obstacles. It’s time to see the opportunities you never imagined were there and to travel new roads you’ve never been down before. 4100059346?profile=RESIZE_710x

  1. Take a Minute

Whatever you’re doing when you hit the obstacle, quit it. When you stop, you give yourself time to consider the options without all the emotions flaring up. You guard yourself against acting impulsively in a way you might come to regret later on. 

To do this, start by taking a deep breath or two. Define the emotions you’re feeling, then wait for them to calm. Knowing whether you’re sad, or angry, or frustrated will help you to find that calm place faster, as you would address each emotion differently. For example, ask yourself what you’re angry at if you are indeed angry. If you’re sad, accept the sorrow as being a natural part of the disappointment of meeting something that keeps you from your goal.

As challenging as it might be, don’t try to rush through the feeling or push it down. The best way to use this setback as fodder for out-of-the-box thinking is to embrace the emotion, no matter what it is. Own it and feel it in your body. Once you feel it’s settled, you’re ready to move on. This process may take an hour, a day, or a week, depending on how major the project and how substantial the complication.

  1. Accept Where You Are

Realize obstacles happen. The more you fight them, the worse they’re going to seem. Like standing in quicksand, the sooner you come to accept the situation, the better it’s going to go for you. It’s the struggle that pulls you down. So, take a minute to tell yourself this is a natural and healthy part of the process. Remember, the emotions you’re feeling are legitimate and real. It’s where you are, right now, at this moment. But the feeling won’t last forever.

  1. Flip the Switch

After acknowledging the emotions of the moment, choose to let them go. It’s time to switch over to the logical side of your brain, where you store wisdom and experiences. That’s where you’re able to process what just happened and consider your options.

Next, take a step back and look at the obstacle from an outside point of view. That means looking at it as if you were a stranger standing on the outside of your life looking in. What would they see right now? Question your assumptions to find a unique solution.

  1. Get Creative

Here’s where a little flexibility is going to go a long way. Start examining the alternatives. Be as creative as possible and don’t discount anything offhand for being ‘too silly.’ Sometimes it’s those silly ideas that are going to get you thinking along a different path entirely. Sure, it’s normal to feel some disappointment at this point. Chances are you had your path all planned out. But when you consider all the new possibilities, it’s easy to get excited about trying something new. Use this energy to fuel you toward the next step.

  1. Embrace the Lesson

Every obstacle holds something from which you can learn. Ask yourself what you gained in facing the roadblock. How are you looking at the world differently? What can you share with those around you about your experience? When you cannot only ask these questions but also answer them, you’re discovering the meaning in the encounter. You haven’t wasted your experience, and even roadblocks can hold a purpose.

  1. Break Things Down

Frequently our problem with obstacles starts with trying to take on too much at once. In moving forward, re-examine the goal you were trying to accomplish. Break down your goal into smaller steps. By focusing on these smaller goals, you’ll find it easier to move ahead. Also, you won’t be quite so overwhelmed by the big picture.

  1. Admit You’re Only Human

Everyone makes mistakes. By permitting yourself to fail, you’ll accept obstacles that sometimes occur due to human error. In some ways, these feel like the worst sorts of obstacles because it’s easy to get caught up in a negative thinking spiral when this happens. You might even start questioning your abilities and wind up wanting to give up on your goal altogether.

Here’s where it becomes crucial to keep things in perspective. By acknowledging you are only human after all, you’re able to admit when you are wrong and to move on. What’s more, you’ll be better able to accept when you make mistakes again in the future, because after all, you will. We all do.

  1. Reconsider the Goal

In the end, it might be the obstacle was connected to what you were trying to accomplish in the first place. It might be the goal either wasn’t well thought out or isn’t what you needed to do in the first place. It might be time to consider the original premise all over again. Is this obstacle trying to tell you something?

Sometimes the obstacle comes because you’d made a shift in what you were trying to do. Have you somehow changed your goal midstream? It might be you need to rethink your plan of attack entirely. When this happens, your obstacle has instead become an opportunity to move in a direction that suits your purposes better.

  1. Don’t Forget to Celebrate!

It might seem odd to be thinking about celebrations when talking about obstacles but consider this: When you celebrate your accomplishments, you embrace the journey you’ve been on, barriers and all. Even if you’ve stalled out completely, you can celebrate the progress you made and the work you put into the project. These are all worth getting excited about, and the emotions here are worth embracing.

Then when the party is over, ask yourself where you want to go from here. Make choosing a new goal part of the celebration. That’s also something to get excited over.

Bonus tip: Ask for Help

As a note, you should never have to do hard things alone. When you’re facing an obstacle, it’s okay to ask for help. Mentors and support systems are integral to the process of working your way through difficulties. The benefit of a mentor is clear: they’ve very likely been in this position before, and have the wisdom and insight to lead you through to the next stage of development. 

Support systems are made up of those friends, co-workers, and relatives who can act as the bulwark to shore you up when you feel like you’re falling flat on your face. This group should only ever be made up of people who support you wholeheartedly. That’s not to say they’re all cheerleaders or ‘yes-men.’ A sound support system is willing to speak up when they see you heading in what they perceive to be the wrong direction. They’re also there to encourage you and to remind you why you’re working toward this goal in the first place.

Finally, don’t discount professional help where it’s needed. If you find you’re having trouble separating your emotions from the process, you might need a little bit of help in working things through. There’s nothing wrong with seeking advice from a counselor or medical professional if you find you’re overwhelmed and unable to proceed.

In the end, by embracing the obstacles you meet in trying to attain your goals, you’re likewise embracing a new way of thinking. You’re adjusting your mindset to one of success instead of failure. You’re accepting there are different ways to do things, and that the things standing in your way are more often new opportunities than a true stopping point. You’re looking at life in a way that allows you to go places you never thought possible before.

The key here is in control. Your emotions shouldn’t be what’s holding your back. Of course, it’s okay to feel what you do when you meet with an obstacle. The key is in not staying there when it’s time to move forward again because you will move forward again if you keep trying.

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Are You Living With Purpose

Let me ask you a question? Are you living with purpose? Or do you ask the winds for direction? There is less resistance going with the wind. But do you feel full-filled living a life with no direction or purpose? You accomplished many good things while following the path of the wind. Yet there is an emptiness in these accomplishments. We are overwhelmed by the media all day long. Think of the press as the wind.

One way to keep the wind at bay is to have a list of things you choose to do each day. Daily planners and daily to-do lists are popular because they keep you living with purpose.  There will always be people and incidents that arise to take you in a new direction. Knowing your life's purpose, coupled with your daily to-do list, will aid you to make the decision to stay on track. 

Your daily list of things to do is necessary and helpful. The danger is we can focus too much on the "what" and lose sight of the "why."  The big picture is the "why." The "what" is the supporting cast. This change of focus will be subtle. Asking yourself, "are you living with purpose" will keep the "why" as the center of your life.

The way to stay focused on the daily tasks that need to be accomplished to live your life's purpose without being overwhelmed is the question.  Every week take some time to reflect on "are you living with purpose."

Have the things you have done this week kept you in the right direction?  What tasks have helped you fulfill the dreams you have for your life? Are any of these tasks just busy work? We all have routines. Are these routines serving us, or are they just keeping us busy? What new things can you try to align you with your "why"?

Going on Retreats is a tool that you want to have in your arsenal. A retreat is removing yourself from your daily life for a day or weekend. You can do this by yourself or with a group of like-minded people. Reflecting on your life's purpose is the only objective of this time. Having a journal, a calendar, and those to-do lists will be helpful in your time of reflection. 

Retreats can be annually, semi-annually, or quarterly.  The more often you take a retreat the quicker you can make changes to stay on track to accomplishing your goal "are you living with purpose".

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

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