Setting goals is the first step in achieving success. The goals themselves are useless if we don't achieve them and sadly the majority of goals and resolutions created fail to materialize. So, once you've got your list of goals what do you do with them?
Seeing is Believing
Fantasy in life is important. We spend most of our childhood in fantasy play. We pretend. We create imaginary worlds and interact in these worlds as if they're real. We play "what if" and "you be" games. Our freedom from judgment and self-censoring allows us to believe that we are what we imagine.
As we grow older, our minds change. We learn about truth and reality. We begin to understand that those childhood games aren't real and we stop playing them.
Yet, as adults, we continue to escape into stories, movies, books, and music, mediums that allow us to alter our present, at least for a few moments. This proves that we still have the fantasy play skills of childhood, even if they're a little rusty.
It's a long-standing belief in Eastern philosophies that visualizing goals, seeing ourselves being successful is the first step in achieving our goals. We have to believe we're capable of success to arrive at the destination. Seeing is believing doesn't only apply to our physical world, but to our mental world, too.
Several times a day, fantasize about achieving your goal. See yourself at the destination. Amazingly, you'll find yourself believing you can get there. That belief is the key to success.
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but taking in the scenery can be fun, too!
When you take a car trip you plan a route. You may choose the back roads and take in the scenery, or you may choose the highways to get there faster. Either way, you make a plan. Some travelers go it alone. They get the road maps and plan a route and take the trip. Others turn to someone else for help, like visiting MapQuest or requesting AAA TripTiks.
When we plan our trip, we also estimate a time of arrival (ETA). If we're going to grandmother's house for dinner, we know we have X number of miles to travel and grandmother always serves dinner at 6:00. A little math determines how long it will take to get from our home to grandmothers, but there are a few other possible considerations. Will there be snow in the woods that will require a little extra time? Will we stop on the way to pick up grandmothers favorite maple syrup from that little riverside stand? Do we want to arrive a little early to have time to show grandmother our vacation pictures?
Arriving at goal success is exactly the same. We need to plan our journey, decide if we'll go it alone or need help, and determine our ETA if we hope to arrive at our destination.
Will you go it alone or ask for help? If you've never set out to achieve a specific goal before you have some different options. One way is to figure out the journey on your own. This will make for an interesting personal adventure, but you'll need to be prepared for possible mistakes and setbacks as you learn your way through. Another option is to look for help. If someone else has done what you want to achieve turn to them for advice. Take a class, read a book, newsletter, or article, and study how they succeeded.
If your goal is to sell an article to Big Glossy Magazine (BGM) what are the steps? You need to come up with an idea, read BGM to understand their style, write a query letter, let that cool, rewrite the query letter, get envelopes and stamps, find the correct editor's name and address, print the query, sign the query, address your self-address-stamped envelope, print your additional clips, put the package together, mail the package, wait for the six week's later acceptance, research the article, interview experts, write the article, let it cool, rewrite and edit the article, send the article, wait for the article to be edited and published, wait for the check, deposit the check, do a happy dance because you're a published and paid author.
Goals and dreams can be as big as we want. Anything truly is possible. We just need to be realistic about the steps involved and time frame required to achieve our goal. If the trip to grandmother's house takes two hours, we'll never get there in 30 minutes. Likewise, if our goal is to be published in BGM in a month, but BGM doesn't even respond to queries for six weeks, we'll never achieve our goal.
What individual steps will it take to get from where you are today to where you hope to be when you achieve your goal? What's your time frame? Have you padded that enough to take in the scenery? Now, see yourself at the dinner table and plan your journey.