Goals are more than desires, more than ambition. They are specific accomplishments that you set in your heart and mind that you will achieve. Goals become your guiding light, your north star, and your destination.
Everyone has desires. Everyone has wants. Desires and wants are meaningless without action. The first step to creating actionable goals is to make sure your mind is in a state that is able to accept change, believes in your potential and is open for education. Once your mindset for success is formed you can then chip away and become your true self.
There are three steps you can take to determine what you will accomplish:
Decide what your abilities and talents are.
Define what your calling and purpose means to you and what it means to others.
Defend your mission to your support team.
Decide. We must decide what our purpose will be. We all have been given talents and must focus on developing our true core selves. While working on strengthening weaknesses is important, more success will be found if your focus is doing what you were born to do. Finding what you are good at is the first step. Are you good with numbers? Do you recognize patterns in sets of data? Do you connect well with children and youth? Do you understand and empathize with people who are hurting? Can you organize complex details and explain them to others? Do you have the ability to teach? Are you a writer? Are you public speaker? Do you have a good memory? If you know what you excel great, move on to step # 2. If not write down the 10 most successful moments of your academic and work life. What were you doing during those times. Next, ask your 5 closest friends and 5 closest family members to give you a list of the ten things that you do well. Once you can aggregate all of the items from others combined with your 10 most successful memories, you will be able to paint a clear picture of what you do well. (Note, this is not about specific business or academic fields, but more so the characteristics and abilities you possess)
Define. Every situation we are placed in has a meaning. That meaning is created by us. We can choose the meaning for every event, every circumstance. We have the power to control our thoughts and responses.There are unlimited possibilities that could be our calling, the beauty of life is, that we can choose our calling as much as the calling chooses us. Once you have decided on your main ability now you must define how it you will use it. Is your calling to build a business in our local community that creates jobs for others, it is to teach youth about self-esteem, is it to reduce conflict in divorces, is it to help bring technology to those who do not have access, it is to help make food more available to others? Whatever you define becomes your meaning. Specifically write down what your ability will do for others and for yourself. How many people will you help? How much money will be in your bank account? How many people use your services? What type of relationship do you have with those you love? The areas to think about are professional, monetary, service, spiritual, family, and community. This is where traditional goal setting comes in – you take your talents and turn them into results. Make sure your dream big, not what others think is possible, but what you actually want to accomplish. What will be your legacy? What will you leave behind? Your purpose is created by your intention, your ability, and your action. You need to know yourself and be detailed in what you want to do with your passions. You can define 3 goals, 5, goals, 20 goals, or 100 goals, it does not matter the number of goals. What is important is that they align with your belief system, that they have a powerful effect on you, and that you are willing to do whatever it takes to get them. The final step in the define stage is to organize them in order of importance to you.
Defend. The last step might be the most important. It is determining how you feel as you explain them to others. Go to your spouse, your best friend and tell them about your goals. Make sure the person is naturally someone who encourages you and believes you. Do you feel inspired or passionate when you are explaining them, or are they just empty words? When you defend your goals you realize how much they mean to you. If you do not feel excited or passionate about your goals, go back to step 2. If saying your goals out loud, defending and explaining them give you energy or make you feel alive then you know you are on the right track.
In order to achieve your potential you must know what you really want to accomplish. Not vague dreams, but specific results of your individual contributions. Your accomplishments are as real as you make them. Your talent and passion when aligned with purpose and action will help you form a creative guiding force in your life. As you analyze your abilities and align them with your ambitions, you can create the life you want and realize your potential.
– Mareo McCracken
Some additional resources include a great book by Brian Tracy called Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want — Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible