Every day many of us make resolutions and set goals to accomplish different things, but how many of us actually achieve those goals? Statistics says 1 in 5 people make New Year’s resolutions and 25% of all New Year’s goals are broken in the first 2 weeks.
I don’t believe in goals.
I don’t believe in simply setting goals, I believe in creating a vision for life. Vision and goals although similar are not the same. You can have goals and not have a vision. You can have a vision and not have goals. To improve your life you need both as they work together for success. Vision is where you want to go, goals help you make the vision a reality.
In 2013 I had a vision: Celebrate my 40th birthday milestone uniquely and to impact others. To accomplish my vision I set out 14 different goals. By the end of 2013, those goals had allowed me to accomplish my vision.
Easier said than done.
People often say things are easier said than done. It’s one thing to have a plan, it’s another thing to get it done. I would normally agree because an old saying says, “where there is no vision, people are lost”. However, if you have a vision that you believe in, then nothing is impossible and all things are possible to them that believe. I’m talking from experience and below are the steps I took to fulfill my vision in 2013:
1) Write the vision down – Without writing things down, your mind struggles to remember it at a later date. Committing your vision and goals to paper and reviewing them regularly gives you a 95% higher chance of achieving your desired outcomes. Studies have shown that only 3-5% of people in the world have written visions and goals – the same 3-5% who wrote them down achieved success. I wrote down my vision for the year: to celebrate my 40th birthday milestone by making a difference.
2) Make it clear & specific – Your vision and goals should be clear enough for you or anyone who reads it to understand. Don’t be vague but be precise, clear, specific and detailed, if possible. Similar to having a wedding gift registry or wish list, I wrote down ideas of things I wanted to do to celebrate and how people could get involved. Friends and family were presented with options of what I wanted, the places I wanted to go, what I wanted to do, how much time I was dedicating to them etc. It allowed everyone to rally round and support me.
3) Make it accessible to others – Allowing others to be aware of your vision and goals makes you accountable and provides support. Be sure to share it with people who believe in you and are willing to work with you. I informed friends and family of my vision and solicited their help in reaching all my goals.
4) Make it achievable – Some goals are not achievable, whilst others are. Make sure your goals are real and achievable in the real world. I made sure the goals for my vision were broken down simply and were easy for me to accomplish. One of my goals was to visit my family in Africa and to make it achievable I had to save money and book my flight.
5) Break the vision down – Break down your vision into yearly goals, yearly to monthly goals, monthly to weekly goals and weekly to daily goals. Goals are like jigsaw puzzles, they take time to complete. By taking your time and having an action plan to either start at the corner of the puzzle or center helps in completing it. I broke my vision into smaller pieces and spread them across the entire year, thus giving myself space and time each month, week and day to add a piece to the puzzle until it was completed.
6) Review regularly – Similar to the jigsaw puzzle, we sometimes need to stand up or step back in order to see where we are at. By reviewing your goals regularly you can measure to see if you are on track to reaching your vision. Every week I reviewed my goals for that week and my level of commitment. If I did not meet my deadlines, I had to put in extra time the following week.
7) Celebrate each accomplished breakdown step – It is important that we celebrate every step we make in the same manner we celebrate every step our babies make when they are growing up; their first step, or first word, or first tooth. Similarly, we need to celebrate every accomplished step to encourage us to keep going.
Following the above steps, I hope you find the courage and strength to develop a vision for your life and develop simple steps to make it a reality.