Passion is important to driving your purpose and fulfilling your destiny, but it doesn't stop with passion alone. You must set challenging, realistic, time-bound, meaningful goals. And you must create a step by step plan for achieving those goals. And you absolutely must tie your passion in with your motivating factors of the "Why" you want to achieve these goals.
Components of a Goal
There are three components needed to have a real goal. Without these three components, it is merely a wish. To obtain a goal, you need something you can "put your feet to". For every goal, you need the following components (be specific for each):
- What (Things you are going to have, be, or do)
- Why (Motivating Factors)
- How (Plan of action, specific steps to obtain your goal)
It is very likely that you will not know some or all of the steps in your "How" plan of action. This is where teachers, mentors, experts, and research come in. Most often, you will need to "dig in" to obtain the knowledge needed for the "How" plan of action. Knowing the steps to your "How" may actually take just as long or longer to research
than the actual plan takes to perform. Be patient and persistent. This will probably stretch you out of your comfort zone. Press through the pain of unfamiliarity and discomfort and stay on course. You can succeed at achieving your goal.
There are 3 requirements of a goal in order for your goal to be more than a wish. Each goal needs to be:
- Time Bound
"I want to lose weight" is not a goal. "I want to be rich" is not a goal. Why? Because neither example meet the requirement of being specific. "I want to lose fifty pounds" is specific. "I want to make three hundred thousand dollars income per year" is specific. A goal must also be measurable. For example, losing weight is measurable in pounds. A goal must also be time bound. "I want to lose fifty pounds in twelve months" is a goal because it is specific, measurable, and time bound. You may not achieve your goal in the time frame that you specified in your goal, but you will be much closer at the end of your time frame than you were when you started if you put a deadline on it. You will also be much closer than you would be had you not specified a time frame making your goal Time Bound. A goal needs also to be Meaningful, Challenging, and Realistic. Why does a goal need to be meaningful, challenging, and realistic? Based on the second component of the goal, the "Why" (the motivating factors), it is only wise for your goal to be meaningful or worth pursuing, or the motivating factors will not be very motivating. Studies have been performed on goals and goal setting. They examined the behavioral effects of goal setting, concluding that ninety percent of laboratory and field studies involving specific and challenging goals, led to higher performance than easy or no goals. They also found that in order to increase motivation, your goals have to be challenging.
Remember, think outside the box.
Goal setting will affect your performance:
- Goals focus attention towards goal relevant activities and away from goal irrelevant activities.
- Goals serve as an energizer; higher goals will induce greater effort while low goals induce lesser effort.
- Goals affect persistence.
- Goals activate cognitive knowledge and strategies.
You need to prioritize your goals. In order to effectively set a priority on your goals, you first need to set priorities for your life balance. For example, prayer time, Bible study time, ministry time, family time, work or business time, fun time, vacation time, and the like. Once you've determined your priorities for your life balance,
then you can begin to prioritize your goals into each of these categories. If you have family time goals as a higher priority than business time goals (and you should), then you should determine within yourself, and be disciplined enough to stop what you are doing on a business goal, and turn your focus onto a family time goal, if the opportunity arises. For example, you are in your home office working on a project to complete a business goal, and in walks one of your children or spouse. You haven't spent five minutes with them today. They walk up to you with that "I want a hug" look in their eye. Stop working on your business project, and give them your focus. Don't worry about the business project. It will still be there when you get back. And it is very likely that within a few minutes they will want to redirect their attention to their own
interests and activities. Also, while we're discussing family time goals as a priority, make it a top priority to eat dinner with your family at the dinner table every night if possible. Children grow up fast, and you never want to live in regret once they move out, because your top and only focus was making money, or business projects. A lack of time invested in your spouse is a recipe for disaster. Never take your family for granted. After you categorize each goal, you will need to further prioritize each goal within each category. For example, say you have two goals that fall into the business category. One goal is to increase your number of customers by fifty percent in twelve months. The second goal is to acquire luxury furniture for the office.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when prioritizing your goals within a category:
- Which goal is more important to you and the business?
- Do the two goals affect each other in any way?
- Are each of the goals "nice to have" or "must have" goals?
- Does one goal require the other goal to be accomplished first (as in the case of layered goals)?
Keep in mind that you may have to break down and layer your goals. For example, the achieved outcome of goal number one may be the first step in the plan of action for goal number two and so on.
Another key factor to achieving your goals is perseverance. Perseverance is defined as, "steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement". A common trap of goal setting and goal achievement is in the motivation cycle. You set a goal. You're excited. You can't wait to accomplish this goal. It's challenging yet realistic. You've determine that you want to complete this goal in six months. You start the "How" process. You finish step one, then step two. You're very excited. Then you begin step three. But then, the excitement has started to wear off. You look over at your goals project list, and see something that looks fun and exciting. You step
away from the first goal and tell yourself, "I'll come right back to that. I just want to have some fun starting goal project number two". You can see where this is going. Goal number one is left on the shelf, collecting dust, never to be resumed. It is imperative that you consistently return to your motivating factors for your first goal, and remind yourself WHY you are doing this. Remind yourself of the outcome. Remember "see it to believe it". Use this technique to see the outcome in your mind. Then, experience the emotion of accomplishing your goal in your mind. See the emotional response, in your mind, of others that you will affect due to the completion of your goal. Then refocus and continue on with the next step in the "How" of your goal. Do this every day. Another method for improving perseverance is to set milestones (miniature goals) within your goal. Step one by two weeks, Step two by four weeks, and so on. Don't Quit! When it looks like you'll never make it to the end of your goal, don't quit! When it becomes difficult to press through step four of your ten step goal, don't quit! Take it one day at a time. I've heard it said, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time". You've probably heard the adage, "Rome wasn't built in a day, but brick by brick". The greatest goals and achievements will require the most effort, the most time, the most resources, and the most perseverance. You've got to have "bulldog tenacity". Latch onto your goal and don't let go. You can achieve your goals. You will achieve them. You are Designed for Success!
Setting and achieving goals truly is a huge part of the proven formula for success. But what sets apart those who are truly successful?
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According to most modern dictionaries, success is defined as "the favorable or prosperous completion of attempts or endeavors". I like to explain it this way. Success is "Obtaining the thing and/or completing the task or goal that one sets out to have or do...", and just as important, "...enjoying the process along the way". Imprinted in the spiritual DNA of man is the Design to be successful. In fact, man was not only designed but commanded by God to be successful.
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