We all do it. We make goals that we hope will change our lives for the better.
Write a book.
Get out of debt.
Launch a business.
Lean a new skill.
The world is full of people with unfulfilled dreams, goals, and desires. At the beginning of every year, around 62% of people make New Year’s resolution. Only 8% of those resolution makers actually follow through.
The problem with most of us is that we just don’t understand the process of moving from where we are to where we want to be. We’re pretty sure we know where we want to go but there’s a disconnect, and that disconnect keeps us living in the land of dreamers instead of enjoying success.
The following are seven questions that, if answered thoughtfully, will greatly increase your odds of accomplishing your goals, and moving from frustration to fulfillment. They are questions that successful people have been asking themselves for years (I didn’t make them up) and I think they’re really going to help you.
1. is my goal achievable?
Let’s be honest. Sometimes we have crazy dreams. Not everyone who tries to become the next great movies star ends up on the screen. Some people work their entire lives to accomplish something, and it never happens. The tragedy is that, if they would have applied themselves to something else, they probably would have experienced massive success. Asking the achievability question will help eliminate pining for things that just aren’t going to happen.
2. How will i measure my progress?
A great goal is measurable. Dieters can measure their progress with a scale. Writers can measure their progress by checking their word count. Sometimes measuring progress just means drawing a mark on the calendar for every day that you worked toward your goal, and try not to miss a day. Find a way to measure progress and measure it every day.
3. Where am I now?
It’s hard to know if you’re moving forward if you don’t have a clear picture of where you are. What is your skill level? What are your resources? What are your giftings and passions? What is your current quality of life? Take inventory and write it down.
4. What is the deadline?
Great goals have a deadline. It eliminates “pie in the sky”, and “someday” thinking and lights a fire under you to git ‘er done. Share your deadline with a friend and ask them to hold you accountable. I have a friend who’s goal was to write a Life Plan for himself. When he wasn’t getting it done, I challenged him to have it written by a certain date or he had to buy me lunch at the most expensive restaurant in town. You better believe he got it done!
5. What are my obstacles?
This is where we get real about what’s holding us back. Do you have a hard time getting out of bed early? That might be an obstacle. Do you lack knowledge needed to accomplish your goal? That’s another obstacle. Too busy? Too tired? Too broke? More obstacles. Write them down and start brainstorming ways to overcome them.
6. What skills or knowledge is needed?
This flows beautifully from question 5. Personally, I have never achieved a big goal without having to read at least one book, take a class, or seek out loads of information. The best goals usually require some growth on our part so get ready to learn and be stretched.
7. What is my plan?
This is where it gets fun. Grab a notebook and pen and start charting your course from where you are to where you want to be. Write the names of books you’ll read, obstacles you’ll overcome, and who you’ll include on the journey. Turn the dream into tasks, and break those tasks into smaller ones. What can you do, every day, that will lead you to reaching your goal? Make a plan, discipline yourself to live it out, and delight in your accomplishment when you reach it!