Goal: The end result. It is what you want to achieve.
Action: The how. It is the steps required to achieve.
One of the most vital skills that sets us apart from much of the animal kingdom is we are able to see into the future. Not predict the future, but envision it. We can imagine a time that has yet to exist. This skill has made it possible for us to have goals and dreams. We all aspire to do something with our lives. No matter how big or small, we dream of the possibilities that can exist for us tomorrow.
So the question is this,
Why doesn’t everyone reach their goals?
Why don’t we all have what we imagine for ourselves?
What is holding us back from making our dreams a reality?
I have been goal-setting long before I understood what goals were. If there was something I wanted, I found a way to get it. Over time I have observed that making progress on a goal is never linear. People fall into a rhythm, a stage so-to-speak.
The 4 Stages of Reaching Your Goals
Stage 1: The Hopeful Stage
You hope for a life better than the one today. You can see what you aspire to have clearly. You imagine yourself there and finally making it. But you have yet to take any real action to get there, no plan, no progress, only potential. In this stage, the goal is only a dream.
Stage2: The Acting for the Sake of It Stage
You don’t know exactly what you want, but you know you don’t want what you currently have. So you try any and everything hoping that it will land in the right place at the right time. You tell yourself when the opportunity presents itself you’ll know. In this stage, a goal doesn’t exist. You think one doe,s because you’re putting effort towards something, but that something consistently changes. You’re never makes progress in any one direction, therefore you have no finish line to cross, no goal to reach.
Stage 3: The Lost Stage
You know what you want and you’re doing things randomly to get there. There’s no true commitment or consistency in what you do. You’re hopeful that you’ll reach your goal in due time, but you’re constantly in and out of this belief. Your feelings are as inconsistent as your efforts to reach your goal. This stage is the hardest of all, because you know what needs to be done and where you want to go, but your dedication, your commitment wavers. And this is where a lot of people get stuck. This is where progress gets stagnant.
Stage 4: The Reaching Stage
Everyday you are reaching for your goal by working on the plan you’ve put in place. You are clear on where the finish line is and you know what you need to do to get there. You don’t care if it’s big or small steps, everyday to take one step closer to reaching your goal. You see the progress increase over time. Where you are today is different from where you were months ago. It may not be grand, but there's definitely a change. Your confidence, dedication, and skils are growing- YOU are growing.
I have found myself in each of these stages from when I started my blog. Initially I had no idea what I wanted to do with it other than release my creativity. Then I had a vision of where it could go, but I never made a plan on how to get there. I committed to blogging consistently but that’s it. My effort didn’t align with what I wanted, which is turn my blog into a piggy bank. It took me some time and a lot of trial and error, but my goals and actions have finally started working as one each and every day.
If you find yourself in any of the first 3 stages and you’re ready to make it to stage 4 continue reading. .
How To Reach Your Goals
GET CLEAR ON WHAT YOU WANT- If you don’t know exactly what you want just stop. Stop everything you’re currently doing. You can’t know what to do if you don’t know what you want. Getting clear on your vision will make planning out your actions much easier. And that leads me to the next point..
PLAN IT OUT- Work backwards. For example, if you wanted to make $100,000 a year as a speaker, ask yourself, ‘ What do speakers do to make 6 figures a year?’ You may find they do college tours and workshops. You would then inquire how colleges go about picking their speakers. Based on their criteria, you would start working on a single speech that falls in line with what they’re looking for. For the workshops, you would research the track record of speakers featured at workshops. You may find that before they were paid to speak at other workshops, they hosted their own. You would then find a topic your passionate about that you can master and start putting on workshops of your own. To learn how to speak publically, you would consider joining Toastmasters- a widely respected, national public speaking organization. This is long and drawn out and will take time to accomplish, but each year you will know you’re getting one step closer to your ultimate goal- making six figures as a speaker. Which leads me to step 3..
GET COMMITTED- This is most difficult but also most powerful. This will be driven by why you want what you want and will be reinforced by your plan. There is no reaching your goals without true commitment. You can know what you want and plan it out, but if your actions don’t say the same, then you aren’t committed to getting what you want. Think about it. If someone says they are committed to this relationship, but never follows through on what they say, is not around when it counts, wants to be in a relationship one day, then single the next, you simply wouldn’t believe them. This person is not committed to their partner or having a loving relationship. Once a person’s actions align with what they want, what they want will appear.
Reaching your goals is not as complicated as we make it seem. If you get clear, plan it out, and get committed, you’ll start to see the progress you’ve been longing for. We all have the abilities to make what we want a reality. That is not my opinion, that is fact.