First, become clear on your goals. I have no idea what the percentages are, but I believe the vast majority of people have no clear, concise version in their minds of what they want the future to look like… much LESS a plan of action for getting there. With no plan, your life will be pulled wherever the external influences of your life wish to take you – you’re a ship without a rudder and your chances of landing in a port of your choice are greatly reduced.
Spend some time thinking about what your IDEAL life would look like. Break it up into categories – work, physical, material, etc., and list everything you could ever want for yourself without limits. Let the list sit for a while, add to it, subtract from it, and when you’re comfortable some things listed you’d really like to focus on create a list in order of importance. Then systematically attack that list.
Now you have a list of goals and your #1 objective in place – how hard was that? Not hard at all, just took a little time and effort placed on thinking about where we’d like to go. We are preparing you mentally to see yourself succeeding.
Take goal #1 and start thinking about the steps it will take to get you there. Think about the obstacles you will encounter as well, which are usually the things that have stopped you from acting on a goal in the past. “I don’t have the money”, “I don’t have the knowledge”, “I don’t have the time”… if you let these thoughts defeat you then goal #1 wasn’t really anything you truly had any passion for. What you’re looking for are goals that stir emotion in your heart, when you look at goal #1 your thoughts should be more along the lines of “I’m absolutely going to do this no matter what appears to stand in my way”. Then make a list of all the things that have kept you from starting on this path to attain goal #1 in the past.
Once you have your list, sort the obstacles and steps to attainment of your goal into a clear list that you can logically start working on. Once your list is done, look it over and begin to formulate a plan for achievement by starting with the first step on your list, develop a plan for success. How do you eat an elephant?... one bite at a time. The goal might seem insurmountable on its own, but taken step by step you start to see and believe it can be attained.
Back to the lasso analogy we started with – instead of struggling to get seventeen places at once, you need to pick the one thing that is most important to you and pull it in by focusing your attention on attainment of that particular goal and breaking it into smaller, achievable steps. Once goal #1 has been achieved, we focus on #2, #3, etc., until you’ve pulled all your goals into your life and are free to live however you want to.
Funny thing about goals, though – once you attain a goal new ones will show up. You never really become free from the emotional tug of war, but you can start to take more control by using the methods described above. Success is a journey, not a destination.