Goal-setting plants seeds for goal-getting. Any student benefits from goal-setting, including the ones chasing the loftiest goals, such as medical degrees.
Recently, my hour a night of goal-setting led to many opportunities and many dreams: I landed extra work. And I aimed to teach at a college, start my entrepreneurial activities, get a doctorate degree in education, do research, and publish.
And then, it all crashed.
I realized that I never did well in group-setting; That’s why I go to Athabasca University. So, teaching in a classroom would drain me. And if teaching in a classroom drains me, why get a doctorate degree? And if I don’t teach, I likely won’t do research. And if I don’t research, I likely won’t publish. Poof!
So, It’s time to revise. How? Better goal-setting.
In the book Goal Setting: The Ultimate Guide to Achieving Goals That Truly Excite You, Thibaut Meurisse helps you achieve your dreams. Thibaut advises you to do the following five things:
First, ensure your goals involve giving out of love. If love isn’t your motivation or if love isn’t what your dream creates, rethink your goals. Sometimes I like to achieve goals too much for the sake of achieving them. For instance, I would feel stressed teaching in a physical classroom, but the idea of achievement lures me anyway. Sadly, when I served as a TA for a semester, I fled to the gym bawling my eyes out after every class. Not a great fit, huh? Yet, my priorities would be in order if I chose things that brought happiness, not suffering, for myself and those around me.
Love is key to goal-setting.
Second, make big goals and break them down into tiny chunks. You might feel overwhelmed with the goal of starting a global restaurant chain. But you might feel better equipped to take a first step: researching courses on management, as an example. But, don’t stop there. Every day take a step, even a baby step. Just move closer to that goal every day. Sometimes, it takes months for a plant to bud, but when it does, expect flowers in a hurry.
Baby steps snowball.
Third, read books to learn skills or to learn what successful people do. If you want to go the entrepreneurial route, for instance, take an accounting course and an e-marketing course at AU. Also, start reading books on WordPress to create a do-it-yourself ecommerce platform.
Books open doors.
Fourth, ensure that what you do today, if repeated each day, would lead you to your goals. Just as importantly, make sure that you do more than your usual routine each day. Or, better yet, add in a half hour to an hour each day for journaling your goals and for exploring your goals. I journal my goals for an hour each night.
As an example, recently while journaling I spent time researching on my smart phone the words “market research” following by a space and a letter of the alphabet to see what would come up. And, when market research journals and organizations came up, I contacted them by email to inquire about submissions or memberships.
Also, during my late night journaling session, I found books about market research on Amazon, which found their way into my shopping court. And every day, I spend a half hour or more reading about statistics and other methods needed for market research.
Every day, acquire skills, connections, and resources.
Fifth, draft monthly, weekly, and daily goals?and plan for a years of achievements. When I journal each night, I always list out my following day’s strategies in half hour increments. I plan everything from showering and eating to studying and working. As for planning a week or a month in advance, Thibaut says, simply choose three (or more) things you want to achieve for the week, and do the same for the month.
But when planning years ahead, be wary that small seeds can grow into multi-million-dollar-generating vineyards faster than you think. So, plan for exponential, not linear, growth.
Sixth, spend time daily visualizing your successes. I haven’t learned this skill yet. I thought of drawing story boards of my actions in a prayer journal. But, the images I would draw would bore most anyone. I don’t like to travel. I don’t like to party. I don’t like to go to concerts or clubs or the theater or parades. I just love to learn.
But, if you want a life where you travel the world, where you perform on stage, or where you earn a million dollars, than visualize it in any way you can: storyboards, collages, or artwork.
And, hey, I could probably storyboard the office I would like to own one day. As for an ecommerce site I’m building, I regularly map out the details of my site on a whiteboard.
Use any medium to visualize your goals: whiteboards, chalkboards, corkboards, storyboards, collages, or plain-old daydreams. Indulge.
Seventh, chase goals that thrill you?goals that are fun to chase, not just to achieve. I love learning methods, and I love doing research. Big goals of mine. In the past, I enjoyed working in market research, watching the data emerge, creating beautiful reports. I want to start a market research company in spite of barriers to entry. But, if I love chasing the dream, and if I have some talent for research, then I should dig in. Let the doors find me while I have fun tip-toeing my way to the top.
Eighth, stay flexible. If a goal doesn’t work out or doors shut, quickly try out a new door and revise or tweak your goal, says Tai Lopez. Whatever you do, don’t mope like I did. Instead, drum up lots of goals. Simply move on if one fails or traps you into something you hate.
As for my dream of teaching, I can still teach online. But, instead of waiting for goals to find me, I’ll dream them up. Lots of them.
As many sages say, when one door closes, a window opens.