My friend Robert Mallon reminded me yesterday of the importance of taking action every day towards goals that you want to accomplish in your life. It isn’t enough to simply know where you want to be, you have to know how you’re going to get there as well.
I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to deal with my personal goals in broad generalizations. I have a vague sense of what I need to do and where I want to be in the future, but my lack of focus often leaves me feeling stuck and confused.
The problem with generalized goals is that they do not require specific actions to be met. If you want to “travel west,” how do you know if you mean your neighbor’s yard or California? Specific goals will require specific preparation. For example, if one of my goals is to “get in shape,” I won’t really know if I’m getting anywhere with that goal unless I take it another layer deeper and attach a specific value to it. The goal “I want to be able to run a half marathon by next May” might not seem all that different from wanting to be in shape, but I assure you it is.
Here’s another example. Let’s say I want to “make more money.” Again, how can I know if I’m meeting my goal when I don’t really know what my goal is? I could make an extra five bucks and think I’m set! But when I say, “I want to make an extra $5,000 a year,” I can break it down into specific requirements that will help me accomplish my goal. Here’s the point: I have learned that only by setting specific goals will I be able to see the specific steps I must take to accomplish them. This is definitely a game changer.
Are you stuck not knowing how you’re going to accomplish your goals? I encourage you to attach some specific value to them and see if that adds clarity. For some of us, the thought simply doesn’t occur to us that general goals are one step above meaningless. We just need to be reminded that our plans for the journey are what determine our success in reaching our destination.
Note: I am working on this principle myself and starting today. If I can help you with any of the many lessons and services that I offer, please let me know!