There’s a huge difference between a dream and a goal. A dream is a desire to experience or do something, but a goal is a concrete step closer to making it happen. A lot of little girls dream of being a princess when they grow up. But if she wants to be a princess, she needs to set goals to self educate, develop social graces, study hard, get into an Ivy League school, make friends and network so she can meet a prince.
A dream is a destination. Goals are the way points to get there.
The world is full of successful people from all walks of life. They all may take completely different steps to get to their goals, but they have them. Here’s what people’s goals all have in common…
They’re definite, realistic, achievable, and measurable.
I was a dreamer once upon a time, but that’s all I was. I jumped from dream to dream, but I never set goals to make them a reality. I had all these dreams, and nothing to show for it. One day, my husband introduced me to a man named Brian Tracy, who is an expert in goal setting in particular. The man is a genius…I mean Brian Tracy, not my husband (he’s just kind of smart).
His advice has changed my life completely, and it wasn’t even that hard.
All I had to do was to write down my goals. But not just any goal, they had to be definite, realistic, achievable, and measurable. You start by writing out 10 goals that you would like to achieve in the next 12 months. Then, you examine that list of goals and pick one or two that you feel are the most important (or he says if you could make your reality in the next 24 hours). Take a separate piece of paper and map out how exactly you plan to accomplish it. This could be month by month, week by week, day by day, even hour by hour. Just a sequence of how you plan on actually achieving this goal (or goals). Brian Tracy says that if you do this, somehow you will start accomplishing goals that you weren’t primarily focused on from the list. I didn’t believe it at first either, but here I am a year later and 9/10 goals are accomplished (the tenth will be checked off in December).
Here’s another step to add to his recommendation that works absolute wonders!
Dedicate a special notebook to writing down your goals. Each morning, wake up and rewrite your goals. Get up and go stand in front of a mirror and look at yourself as you recite these goals. Say them out loud. Say them proud. Don’t stop saying them until you truly believe that you can and will make those goals your reality.
This works because you are the sole person that is responsible to make your goals happen. This means you have to believe yourself.
You can look at a person and tell when they’re lying. You won’t lie to yourself.
It might seem a little weird and crazy at first. After all, you are talking to yourself in the mirror. However, it won’t seem weird once it becomes a habit, AND when you start crushing all the goals you write down.
Here is my first set of ten goals as an example.
1. Graduate from college (The only goal that I haven’t checked off. I am graduating December of 2016!)
2. Continue breastfeeding (I made it 8 months, and unfortunately had to stop for a number of reasons)
3. Run a marathon (Accomplished October 2015)
4. Make Dean’s List until I graduate (Successful Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Both Summer Sessions 2016)
5. Deadlift and Squat 200 (Successful Summer of 2015 and March 2016)
6. Lose 60 Pounds (Successful in October 2015)
7. Communicate better with my husband (has improved tenfold, but we can always make progress)
8. Get the baby Bruce on a good schedule (kids will be kids, but he goes to bed at the same time every night and has a nap every day)
9. Make all of Baby Bruce’s baby food (I made all his baby food from scratch until he could eat textured foods)
10. Get JennyMetCon.com launched (The website launched in October 2015)
After I crossed all of these off, it was time to make a new set of goals and really focus on those. Things have changed in my life significantly and it has shifted what I would like to accomplish. You will find that your goals are constantly changing because you’re growing, too. Once you cross a goal off, you replace it. It’s a never ending, productive, and healthy process.
My current goals are
1. Keep baby Bruce on his schedule
2. Beat my previous marathon time
3. Graduate in December
4. Squat 300/ Deadlift 350
5. Make straight A’s my final semester
6. Get my CPT and CSCS
7. Write one article per week for the next 6 months
8. Stretch after every workout and before I go to bed at night
9. Lose 20 more pounds
10. Keep time on my phone and social media to under 30 minutes per day
As you can see, my goals are similar to what they were a year ago, they have just shifted a little bit.
I share these with you for two reasons.
1. So you can hold me accountable
2. To give you an example of realistic goals
These are all a part of my everyday life. Apply this concept to your everyday life and find out what you are truly capable of. The combination of having these on paper, and hearing/seeing yourself say them out loud in the morning will change your life. When you start crushing your goals, you make your dreams your reality.
My final bit of advice to you is to figure out why you want to accomplish your goals. It’s easy to have a “what”, but we are often out of touch with “why” we truly want something. Once you figure that out, there’s nothing you can’t do.