Think about the things you want to achieve in life. The dreams that have you lost in thought. The goals that occupy your mind. How many of those are written down? How many of those have a plan behind them? While it is important to give yourself direction in life, there are a few key steps to the process of goal setting to greatly increase your chances of success and actually reaching those goals.
The first step is to actually come up with what you want. You’d be surprised how many people don’t know what they’re aiming for. This was one of the focal points of my FBLA speech this year talked about in my interview. In January, I asked 143 of my classmates what their goals were for the new year and only forty-one of them even had an idea of what they wanted to accomplish. The point to be made here is that you actually have to put some time and thought into figuring out the things you want to have or do in your life. They can be any size, with any time frame. That’s the beauty of this. They’re your goals, so you get to dictate all the little details. In my speech I later explained to the judges how a lack of confidence can be debilitating to your goals. The main prohibiting belief is that people don’t think that they’re capable of achieving their big dreams, so they never even try. The point of setting goals is to think big. Two huge goals that I set this year were to fly on a private jet and ride in/drive a Lamborghini Huracan. Those aren’t exactly easy things to achieve, but if I never set them I would have no chance of making them a reality. Strive for the things that you’re not quite sure you can pull off, the things that scare you a little bit, because by using the next tips, you might surprise yourself.
The next step is to write your goals down in some form.
This helps you define what it is exactly you want to do, and the clearer you can make it the more likely it will come true. There also just seems to be something about physically manifesting your goals that makes them more feasible. It’s like you’re bringing them one step closer to reality. The two methods that I like to use are a list of my goals and a vision board.
Like I mentioned earlier, I wrote 31 goals for 2018. As 2017 was nearing its end, I had some ideas in my head of what I wanted to do. I knew the power of writing your goals down, so on January 1st, I took action and typed up a list that I later hung up on my wall so I could see it every day. One of those goals has already been achieved. After my successful first year in FBLA, I wanted to do even better and place first in my event. At our district competition just recently, not only did I place first, but I did it with a perfect score. I also have a vision board that I started back in May 2017. It has an assortment of images on it for things I want to achieve. There are two that really stick out to me. They’re actually no longer on the board because I have them in real life: a picture of Anaheim, California and a picture of a tennis trophy. I desperately wanted to go to FBLA nationals, so I taped up a picture of it. I put in tons of hours practicing my speech, and it payed off. I now have an 8th place trophy from that conference. The same thing happened with tennis. I had always wanted to be a champion in tennis, and the time finally came during the 2017 JV tournament. My team actually swept the whole competition; I got first in my seed.
These incidents of manifesting my words and pictures into actual experiences of accomplishment is the proof to myself and others that this process works. I also know of people doing daily affirmations. It’s a document that you read to yourself every day to remind yourself of what you’ve accomplished, where you want to go, and why you’re going to get there. Another option is to create a video in which you share your goals. I think this is an excellent option, because not only does sharing your goals keep you accountable, but it gives you a platform to continue making content and tracking your progress. Take Iman Gadzhi. He’s a wildly successful 18 year old entrepreneur who’s been making videos for the past two years. He’s said it himself, you can go back to his earliest videos and see him struggling, but overtime climbing the ladder. This documentation gives you a lot of credibility. It shows your audience that you’re not fake, that you work hard, and you actually know what you’re talking about.
So you know what you want and you’ve written it down. Now, it’s time to figure out how to do it. Antoine De Saint-Exupéry once said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Creating steps is vital to achieving your goals. For example, one goal that I have this year is to establish and follow a workout routine. In order to do that, I started going to my mom’s after school staff workouts to learn what types of exercises to do. Once I had some basic knowledge of weightlifting, I bought a day pass at a gym I was interested in to check it out. I loved it, so the next day I bought a full membership. I also brought a friend along to my next workout. All of these steps, learning the movements, testing a gym, getting a membership, and including friends, helped me figure out how to achieve that goal. Now, I’m going to the gym regularly and I’m working towards my other fitness related goals. By breaking your goals down into steps, it makes them much less daunting and much more achievable.
As seen throughout all of the personal examples in this article, one common theme is that I always took action. Knowing what you want to do and how you’re going to do it is great, but nothing is going to happen until you just buckle down and get to work. I know it’s scary, but it never won’t be. One thing that I’ve had trouble with is that I tend to sit in the planning period for too long. Eventually, you’re going to miss your opportunity if you do that. I think it’s better to try something, fail, and learn from it than to never try and wonder what would’ve happened if you did. Planning is an important element, but the plan itself is not going to achieve your goals for you. Take your plan and use it.
Now, you know enough to be dangerous. You’ve learned the importance of setting goals and how it gives you direction in life, and you’ve learned some key steps on how go effectively set those goals. It’s time to get out there and make your dreams come true.