Tag Archives: goal setting

How to Get Where You Want to Be in Life

Getting where you want to be in life seems hard and confusing sometimes, doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to. It’s quite similar to using your computer or GPS system to guide you from one location to the next.

There are a couple of basic requirements for GPS to work. You need to know where you’re starting from, and where you plan to go. The more specific, the better. You can say you want to travel from Chicago to San Francisco and get most of the necessary directions. If you add specific addresses to both locations, you have a plan that takes you from door to door. How simple is that?

You have your own ability to go from one place in your life to another. It’s called your Inner Global Positioning System (GPS). It has the same basic requirements as the auto GPS; you still need to know where you are and where you want to go.

This question, however is a bit more involved. Not all of us know where we are, or where we want to go. Your Inner GPS can’t give you any help without this information. You are at a standstill, or you are lost.

What does it mean to know where you are now? This involves asking some tough questions and giving honest answers. Start by taking stock of your life in these areas:

  • Career/work
  • Family life
  • Education
  • Finances
  • Health
  • Relationships
  • Spirituality

 

Think back 3, 5 or 10 years and ask yourself, “Where did I hope to be right now in these areas?”. If you regularly set goals for yourself, this should be fairly easy to determine. If you don’t set goals, or write New Year’s Resolutions, you may not have a yardstick to use as a measure.

This is a critical first step to calibrating your Inner GPS. Even if you have goals or life plans, updating them every 6 months or so is an excellent habit to keep you on track, as you never know when construction detours by way of unforeseen circumstances (lost work, sickness, divorce, etc.) can impact what you want for your life.

Take some time and write down where you are in your life right now. If you don’t know where you are, you won’t know how to get to your desired goals! Make this a priority so you don’t wander aimlessly through life.

The next step is to know where you want to be with your life. Do you want to start a new career? Are you itching to live someplace warmer? Have you thought about your family size? What about feeling healthier and happier? What specifically do you want to accomplish in these areas?

These are the next questions you need to clarify. Using goals and visualizations in all areas can help you stay focused on getting you going in the right direction. The clearer you are about your plan, the easier for your Inner GPS to lead the way, and show you the steps to take to get there.

It’s time now for you to turn on the GPS and start taking steps to your ideal life. Start today, don’t look back 3 years from now and say, “I wish I had started sooner”. For more help, see some of my other articles on Goal Setting on my website.

Enjoy, and may all your traffic lights be green!


Are You Where You Want to BE?

 

Picture a 40-something man, high school grad, been working at a variety of blue collar jobs, a wife, two kids, with a third on the way. One morning, he sees his reflection in the mirror and thinks, “What happened to my dream of coaching high school football?” Is it really too late to make it happen?

Many of us, when we take stock of our lives thus far, are loathe to admitting that time has gotten away from us without our achieving all the lofty plans we had in our youth. This is the ultimate example of goal-setting gone wrong. In reality, it’s the lack of goal-setting that is to blame. It’s just daydreaming. A dream, as they say, is a wish. A goal, on the other hand, is a dream with a deadline.

A dream with a deadline. The first step in righting all the goal-setting foibles is to make your goals measurable. Part of the problem for many is not really knowing how to set a goal. Maybe riding along on the roller coaster of life has seemed like the only way to survive. Perhaps someone else has traditionally made the decisions for you, and all you needed to do was follow through. This process seldom leads to satisfying and challenging results.

How then to best set goals and follow them to great results?

The first step is to do some self assessment to determine what it is that you would like to do. What is your passion? What would you rather be doing that really makes you feel alive? You need to buy into the goal, or you will never feel motivated to achieve it. If you need help with this, career or vocational counselors, or personal coaches can be instrumental in sorting this out.

Once you have an idea, it’s time to narrow down the specifics about your goal. If you decided that you still really want to be a high school coach/teacher, find out what that would take, and set some mini-goals or action steps which will lead you surely to that dream realization. You will know when you’re planning and hard work have paid off; because you will be offered a bonafide position at a high school where you would enjoy working. The goal statement and mini steps might look like this:

GOAL: To earn a Secondary Education degree within 4 years.
MINI-STEPS:

1. Find a college program and apply for admission by March 1.
2. Fill out a Financial Aid Application (FAFSA) by Feb. 1
3. Once accepted, meet with an advisor and plan your coursework for the first year by June 1.
4. Buy textbooks and supplies by 2 weeks before classes begin.
5. Carve out at least an hour per course for reading/studying per week
6. Revisit these steps and goals monthly to revise and update until goal is met.

The more specific the steps are, with deadlines, logical sequences, concrete actions, and the clearer the ultimate goal, the greater your chance of reaching it. The final goal may seem to you like biting off more than you can chew, but if you can beak it down into bite-sized pieces, even the 32 ounce steak can be savored, one bite at a time.