Achieving Your Goals in 2018
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. -Goethe
Yes You Can!
Everywhere you look, experts offer the same essential words of wisdom on the importance of setting goals, and key tips to achieve them. Whether you are looking to lose weight or find the best investment in Canada, you need to stay committed to your end goal.
Commitment is the first important step. A commitment to a goal gives life to it’s potential for success. If you putter around too much, thinking you might like to achieve something, you probably never will, but you may always wonder what would have happened it you tried. The best investments are not easy to find, so simply doing a Google search and thinking you will have the solution immediately is just giving you a false sense of hope.
Is this something you really want to do?
However, before you commit to anything, be sure and ask yourself if it’s something you want to do. People set goals for all kinds of reasons. For instance, while in school, students have goals set for them by their course of study. The students statistically more likely to succeed are those that have been raised with a love of learning and believe that the completion of the class will lead somewhere they want to go. The goal is what they choose over what is expected from them. Their success is enhanced by their enjoyment of the steps to achievement.
Choosing goals based upon the expectations of others, or perceived status, or some other intangible outcome can interfere with future success. Goals have a much better potential outcome if you enjoy the steps to achieving them. It’s important to savor the journey. In fact, enjoying the journey is the point of setting the goal in the first place.
It’s all in your head!
Many an expert has cited the phenomenon of setting your mind to something and having it then come to fruition, sometimes in ways that seem almost magical. And perhaps it is. But some of the effects of the mind can be explained by design. The reticular activating system in the brain sorts and evaluates incoming data for relevance and importance to you. This is the system that allows you to hear your name spoken across a crowded room, while you are in conversation with others.
When you set your mind to a task, the RAS will sort all incoming data that works in favor of the goal and makes sure you notice it. Thus your very own brain helps create the atmosphere for success. The RAS gives you information that moves you in the direction of your goals.
In the book “Happier” by Tal Ben-Shahar, he describes committing to a goal by, in essence, throwing your knapsack over a brick wall. Once done, you have to climb over the wall to retrieve it. By committing your stuff to the other side of the obstacle, you have committed yourself to overcoming it. And refined your focus.
Believe in yourself, but be realistic as well
Probably the most important aspect of achieving goals is your own belief in what’s possible. When I was a kid, I was told that I couldn’t sing. In fact, all of my siblings received the same declaration. Could we sing? No one will ever know. We didn’t try once we were told it was not possible. We believed the negative.
Henreitte Ann Klauser, PH.d, wrote a book on goal setting called “ Write it down, Make It Happen.” In it, she advises giving yourself permission to dream. She cites the story of Coach Lou Holtz, who, early in his career, wrote down his wildest dreams at the urging of his wife. The list included having dinner at the White House, meeting the Pope, etc. Of the 107 dreams he wrote down, Lou Holtz achieved 81.
Richard Bolles, author of “What Color is Your Parachute” wrote, “One of the saddest lines in the world is ‘Oh, come on, be realistic.’” He refers to letting others limit what’s possible for you.
Feel free to set goals that feel good to you. Dream as big as you want. Focus on the possible and what makes you happy. And let the power of positive thinking, the law of attraction, the secrets of success or whatever combination of ideas work for you, determine the outcome. If you enjoy the ride, the destination doesn’t matter as much, but you may not get on the bus at all if you don’t figure out where you want to go, and start mapping the route.