Stop Ignoring Your Goals (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 293)
(30 Things To Stop Spending Time On If You Want to Be Successful #25)
“The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire not things we fear.”
— Brian Tracy
Most people have no clue about the massive ability and capacity we have to set a goal and focus all our time, energy, and resources on accomplishing that one thing. Goals give us something to focus on and give us an excuse not to turn our attention to something else for any length of time. Once we master a goal, we have momentum to set and accomplish the next one.
Goals are like the nagging spouse or the whining toddler. They never leave us alone until we give them what they want. Goals in this case want to be achieved. They force us to make progress and to accomplish whatever it is we have set for ourselves. They cause us to eat, sleep, and breathe them until we find ourselves at the finish line. Goals don’t give up, neither should we.
So why is it that many people set goals and then ignore them? Or don’t set any goals to begin with in the first place?
Well, there a couple of reasons for this. When it comes to setting a goal, many of us get paralyzed. We have dreams and things that we want to do, but to actually chart a course or plot a plan of action is scary and risky. All of the what-if questions begin to bombard our minds and so we think about setting the goal but never actually set it and thus never accomplish it.
We also spend a lot of our time waiting for the right opportunities to fall into our lap. And so many of us are guilty of doing this — sitting on our hands or standing on our heads, watching the world pass us by, and waiting for that right moment to come and zap us and take control of our present and future existence. Life isn’t something that happens to us which is how a lot of people treat life. But it is a great adventure that begs us to start the journey.
I’ve found that it isn’t just young people who are confused about the direction of their life, but many older people have no clue as to how to get to the place where they are able to realize their dreams. You realize your dreams by setting goals. Setting a goal means that you have a dream and that you are courageous and committed to reaching it. A plan to achieve your goal shows that you are giving yourself vision and clarity which makes the goal easier to achieve.
Fear is another factor. We get scared when it comes to goals. We don’t know if we can. We don’t know if we should. We don’t know how it’s going to turn out. We don’t know if we’re good enough or smart enough to make it happen. And so we allow fear to push us into a corner and not venture out into the seemingly scary unknown. Goals are more often than not in the unknown and the only way to reach it is to venture out and to keep going until you get there.
And then some of us are just plain lazy. We don’t want to work. We don’t like the idea of work. We don’t want to be held responsible or accountable for the results of work. We don’t want to fail and subsequently we don’t want to succeed. So even though we may have a dream or idea that we want to bring to fruition, we choose not to do the work to create a plan to get there and if we do get around to creating a plan, we don’t want to to do the work to actually work the plan. Many goals aren’t set and many more goals are set but ignored because we hate the difficulty and the brilliance of work.
Then too many of us want everything to happen now. We live in a short-term immediate gratification culture where everything is advertised as fast, quick, speedy, or instant. Motivation speaker Gavin Ingham said, “Goal setting requires a focus on the future…I want it now is not the best way to set goals. I want it now doesn’t worry about goals. I want it now will be blown about in their life by the winds of want and desire and instant gratification.”
Goals take time. And time is another thing that doesn’t exactly work in our favor. If we waste it, we cant get it back. If we do nothing, it keeps on ticking. If we use it wisely, we find that we have more of it than we ever needed. Goals require us to be courageous because most of the time it’s going to be uncomfortable and downright irritating but instead of avoiding these situations, we allow it to challenge us and in so doing, we grow.
So how do you stop ignoring your goals and start achieving them?
It first begins with a choice. You have to fix it in your mind that you want this one thing or that one thing so badly that you are going to take every step necessary to achieve it. Imagine where you want to be in one year, three years, five years, or ten years. It can even be as short as one week or one month. What you want to have achieved at the end of whatever time frame you set is your goal. In between now and then, you need to create a plan that will actually get you there.
The plan doesn’t have to be perfect. You will make mistakes. You will fall flat on your face at times and question your abilities at other times. You will bend, but you won’t break. It will not necessarily be easy, but it isn’t hard. Anyone with courage and determination can set a goal, create a plan, and focus on it until it comes to pass. Rocket science isn’t a part of the equation. Achieving your goals is possible so long as you stop ignoring them and start being intentional about living the life you create for yourself.
“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”
— Alexander Graham Bell