Can we do without goals? Is there happiness without them? And how do we set an objective so that it is challenging and yet achievable?
We’ll answer those today and on top of that, we’ll tell you how to strengthen your perseverance in the pursuit of your dreams.
Question 1: What are goals and why do we need them?
Let’s start with the second part.
Do we have to set any objectives? Well, we don’t know for sure.
The results we get are born out of the actions we take. If someone is pleased with how things are going then they don’t have to set clear-cut objectives.
Many people don’t see the point. But it doesn’t matter. In reality, they still do follow some rules, one can even call it a “system”, to reach an objective. This process doesn’t have to be formalized, i.e. it is all done at a subconscious level.
Many words in English are synonyms for “goal” – purpose, objective, target, aim… just to list a few. Any of these could be used depending on the context. But in Bulgarian, we have only one and that’s how we understand it:
An objective is something that we want. Subsequently, we do act on it. Otherwise, it’s simply an exercise in day-dreaming.
Sure, things can happen even without pre-planned efforts. But we are convinced that a systemic approach is the best way to go about it.
There are some indisputable advantages when you explicitly name your objectives, write them down, and then work on them regularly.
Let’s look at some of these:
# 1 Clarity
First, you take the time to examine carefully what your target is. That’s what we call creating a long-term vision. Your next step is to choose the direction of your future path.
Knowing where you’re going is a must. Written goals are like a GPS that directs your movement from point A to point B. The road may not be as straight as you wish but it will take you to the end.
As it is well said in Alice in Wonderland, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” But, are you sure that this “there” is what you wanted!
# 2 Focus and decisions
There are so many opportunities in the world of today. They pop up all the time – be that a new holiday destination, an investment, or a prospective business idea.
If you see your objective’s role in the bigger picture you will be able to make the right choices by quickly sifting through the many opportunities.
The alternative is time and energy wasted on an unnecessary weighing of pros and cons.
# 3 Confidence and control
The best thing about employing a system is that we learn how to direct our lives the way we think is best.
Without this “skill” we can go through life feeling too much pressure and being overwhelmed by unforeseen circumstances and emergencies. Not to mention the passing time and the looming mid-life crises.
But if we’ve clearly defined our objectives we end up working on them with the conviction that we are in charge of it all. We get out of bed in the morning bursting with energy and determination to follow the chosen path and make progress every single day.
Question 2: Can we have a happy and meaningful life without clear goals?
Well, with this we enter the realm of probabilities.
The truth is that pretty much anything is possible. But how likely it is?
One can get lucky, of course. Some, even without any effort, will get what they aim at and feel good about it. There is nothing wrong with that. And yet, we prefer to be practical and look for consistent results. Let’s add a little bit of context here.
An example – financial independence
Most of the people in our community, i.e. the readers of the book and the participants in the “GoalBuddy” workshop, have such a long-term goal. They do take certain actions – they learn, plan, set budgeting rules, and whatnot. They set up 90-day goals for investments, debt payments, and more. All of this shows how concerted their efforts are.
And what if don’t do anything? You wouldn’t even buy a lottery ticket. Well, one Friday you do just that at the gas station and it turns out to be a winner…
Sure, it’s a possibility but statistically, the odds are against you.
There is something else. Many studies showed that money not earned will most likely leave you worse off.
It’s a simple explanation. Those people never learned how to wisely spend their earnings. Not having any money management skills can’t be substituted by the biggest lottery win.
Of course, one could be fully satisfied with life without having precisely defined objectives.
But keep in mind there is not a single athlete or musician who would go practice without a plan. The same applies to any professional, or, let’s say a responsible parent.
Those of us who are successful and happy have made the conscious decision to become so by working on their objectives with dedication and focus.
Question 3: How to make goals realistic but not too easy? How to choose from the many options?
There is the obvious solution to this dilemma which is common and yet misleading.
Of course, we are talking about the so-called SMART goals. We made this mistake too when in the beginning we were looking for a way to choose the right methodology.
But the letter “R” for “realistic” is what that got us tripped.
Setting achievable targets was going against our understanding of how important is to be bold and daring in our aspirations.
So, this idea did strike a chord with us.
We don’t hesitate when it comes to reconciling the “too hard”, aka challenging and “easy”, aka realistic.
The right balance between the two lies in the time-frame of their executions.
We put in the introduction of our book a quote from Dan Sullivan who proclaims that there are no impossible dreams, there are only impossible deadlines.
Here is how these two should work together most effectively:
- The bold ones are those that represent your vision. However, these have the time-frame of something like 20-30 years. You will have to know that these aren’t to be achieved overnight. That can give you the peace of mind that you have plenty of time.
- Realistic, achievable action-oriented goals – 90-day and weekly steps. These are the steps that get you closer to your dream. And then there is the cumulative effect of the many small steps that move you forward.
When the seemingly impossible is set at the right time and right place it becomes possible. That’s what we try to do in our “GoalBuddy” system.
The only two conditions are to know what you aim at, and then to stick to your choice. We’ve come up with quite a few approaches and methods on how to do that.
… and how to choose the right goals?
First of all, try to figure out if it is really in line with your vision!
So, if it takes you off the path to the greater objective then it won’t make sense to waste your time and effort.
That is why for every aspect of our life we must have a top priority which we should strive for by working with focus and resolve every single day.
Did we succeed in answering these 3 questions?
In the end, everyone decides for themselves. But if you want to be happy and successful, we are here to help.
And if you feel like learning how to benefit from a goal-setting is very simple: join our free email program “7 days” here. Good luck and see you soon!