Last week I went over how to discover your life purpose. Once you know what you are meant to do, you can then begin the journey of living your purpose. That is where the power of goal setting comes into play.
Once I created my life purpose, I set my goal as a ski crossing of the second largest icecap in the world because that fit in line with my purpose. Creating that goal was the first step in my journey to the east coast of Greenland.
No matter what you are heading toward in life, you need to set goals to get you there. Goals create direction and a clear path so you don’t find yourself lost and wandering. The problem is that most people set goals, but fail to manifest them into reality. About 95% of people who create New Years Resolutions do not follow through with them. Why?
Because most people do not fully understand the process of setting goals in a manner that will produce results. They simply express a desire and then hope for it to come true.
So whether it be your next big expedition, your business or even your next travel destination, by setting goals the right way you give your dreams a chance.
I created the XPLORE method of goal setting to guide me to success. Follow this method and I believe you will find the same results:
Most people fail to reach their goals because they have no idea what they are. There are those who when asked what they want to do with their life, their response is “I don’t know.” Then there are others who know they want to find success, but they don’t know what that means. At a Syracuse Alumni networking event last week, I met someone who knew he wanted to start his own business, but he didn’t know what the business would be or when he wanted to start it. Someone else wanted to run a successful company, but had no idea what success meant. Clarity is power. If you want to reach your goals, you need to be very clear about what they are. You need to make your goals exact. If you want more money, how much more money? If you want a successful company, how will you know when you have reached there? How much do you have to earn? How many employees will you have? Whatever the definition may be for you, have a measurable result and be exact in your numbers so you know what your target looks like.
Prize for each part
Learn to reward yourself for every accomplishment. Set milestones that break up your journey into smaller parts. If you dream big, and I am going to assume that you are dreaming big, the end result will seem far too daunting and impossible to achieve. After 9 hours of trudging up and down the ice dunes with crampons while dragging a 180+ pound sled on the first day during my ski crossing of Greenland, I was not thinking about reaching the east coast. All I could think about was the next day. So break your journey down and reward yourself every time you reach a milestone. That will encourage you to keep moving forward. Tony Robbins says in his book Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!, “conditioning is critical. This is how we produce consistent results. Remember that any pattern of emotional behavior that is reinforced or rewarded on a consistent basis will become conditioned and automatic. Any pattern that we fail to reinforce will eventually dissipate.” Reward the milestones and you will continue to behave and act in a manner that produces success.
Have a time line for when you want to reach your goal. If you don’t create one, then you will procrastinate and the someday will become never. We all know what it’s like to work frantically on a college paper the last night before its due. Without deadline’s we have no way of holding ourselves accountable for producing results. Create clear and exact timelines for how long it will take to reach each milestone and write them down. Post your XPLORE success guide all over your house to remind yourself of your deadlines so you will hold yourself accountable to them.
Know why you want to reach that goal. What is your objective? For what reason do you want to start your own business or climb a mountain or travel around the world. The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “he who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” I put my own spin on that to say “he who has a why to live for will create any how.” Feel your reasons deep down in your gut. You MUST feel them emotionally. We are creatures of emotion. Know why you have set your goal, write it down and feel those reasons. The emotion will drive you forward.
Make the goal realistic. While I don’t believe in setting limits, there is a line to draw here. If you have never run a day in your life, it may be a bit difficult to wake up one day and run a 100 mile ultramarathon. But set your own vision of what is realistic for you. If you don’t believe the goal is possible, you WILL NOT achieve it. Under Real, I don’t just mean setting a realistic goal. I also mean make the goal real in your head. Every successful person began by visualizing the outcome. Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile in 1954 by rehearsing the event in his mind. Edmund Hillary visualized standing on the summit of Everest long before it materialized into the external reality. Our mind creates what is real. Every day visualize your goal as if it has happened. Do this with passion. Again, emotion must be involved. Feel your life in that future when all your dreams have been realized. Make it real in your mind and it will become real outside of it. It has often been said that the mind does not know the difference between something vividly imagined and something that is actually happening. I felt the power of this before my expedition. I envisioned myself reaching the east coast even before I set foot in Greenland and after 28 days on the icecap, that vision became a reality.
This is often an overlooked aspect of goal setting, but I believe it is just as important as the other 5 steps. If your goal doesn’t affect your present state of being, it will not work. When you sit down and think about your goal, it must excite you. It must move you. The passion must radiate through your being. The biggest problem with goal setting is that people think of it as something in the future. While it is that as well, a goal must have an impact on the now. In order to find success, your goal must empower you in the now and affect your present condition. Every time you think about and envision your goal, does it excite you?
Take action now. Creat your goals and enjoy the process. Do it with passion!