Here’s a home truth: 99% of success stories began as a goal in the mind. So why do we need clear, specific goals before embarking on an objective instead of just shooting off and banging away at it with only a vague idea of what we wish to achieve?
The reality is that clear and specific goals do three things:
- They facilitate planning. Knowing exactly what you want makes it easier to come up with precise strategies to get there. Without clear strategies, people will expend time and effort bouncing from one solution to the next – leading to exasperation and finally quitting.
- Clear goals provide focus. Focus reinforces the discipline and commitment to see the goal through. Even when setbacks occur, people with clear and specific goals are more likely to bounce back quicker than those with vague goals.
- You have a feedback mechanism for what’s working. Knowing what’s working allows you to take corrective action sooner, which leads to achieving your goal faster.
Making dreams a reality
I often advise that the most effective way of getting a vivid sense of clarity of your goals is by getting a real life experience of what it would feel like to achieve it. So go test drive that dream car you’ve always wanted; every weekend, visit the show day of that multimillion rand home you’ve always dreamed of; get picture cut-outs of the type of body you want to have and look at them every day; get videos of where you wish to travel to and watch those videos again and again. It works, trust me.
Once you’ve seen it, experienced it and felt it, something inside you is kick-started that motivates and propels you faster towards achieving that goal – a vague wish will never have the same impact.
The killer of dreams
Success can only be achieved where there is constant momentum. The minute we begin to procrastinate, we begin to sabotage our chances of success. So get to work, and resolve to never let 48 hours go by without some sort of ‘goal-related action’.
Next, without a plan of action around that goal, a lot of energy and time will be spent producing weak results. With very rare exceptions, most successful people got to where they are by planning, planning, planning. If you don’t know how you’re going to get there (or at least have some idea), guess what? You’ll never get there or worse still, you won’t know when you’re there!
The rule of intention
People become successful by intention, not accident. Research vigorously. Hop onto the Internet and research how other people have achieved similar dreams. How did they think, what did they do, what were their beliefs, what challenges did they face, what mistakes did they make, and most importantly, why did they succeed?
Finally, commitment and discipline are the glue that holds it all together. You may have clarity of vision and a super plan of action, but unless you are willing to commit, achieving the goal will remain impossible. You must always remember one thing – whatever idea, ambition, aspirations or goals you may have, there is always someone, somewhere else with similar ambitions, and success goes to the person who wants it more, has a better plan of action, and is committed to keep going until the goal is achieved.