Most of us have a pretty good handle on what “The American Dream” entails. This is a capitalistic society.
Thus, it’s only natural that the biggest dreams revolve around wealth and all that comes with it. In America, we’re always striving for more in a never-ending bid to keep up with the Joneses.
Why? In this country, there is a divide between the haves and have nots. This has instilled a desire to do more, and better. Better than our parents, our peers, and truly, ourselves.
This gains us the cash on hand to pay our bills, buy a home, purchase cars, and go on vacations.
Additionally, it provides the ability to support a family and plan for future retirement. Plus, it leaves something behind for the next generation.
Of course, this is all very general, in the way of big dreams. What do you, as an individual, really hope to accomplish in your lifetime?
Do you want to be above and beyond earning a living and socking some money away? Do you even know what you want or how to go about setting and achieving goals?
If you’re like many adults, you are going through the motions and working toward outcomes you never bothered to consider if you actually wanted.
Therefore, it’s time to wake up and become aware of your path and where it’s leading you. What do you want to achieve in life?
Here’s how to answer this fundamental question and set yourself on the proper trajectory.
Set Your Goals
Easier said than done, right? Think about how many times you’ve started a new year with resolutions. You plan to lose those ten pounds or pay off your credit cards.
You think you can finally save for that dream vacation. How many times have you followed through?
Setting goals, or more to the point, setting realistic goals, is not as easy as it sounds. There are several factors involved.
The process begins with desire. What do you want and how badly do you want it?
At the heart of the matter are comfort and happiness. We all yearn for love and acceptance. Many people want a partner and a family.
Many want a home and financial stability. How can you attain such lofty goals? Break them down into smaller goals.
Before you can have a family, you have to find a partner. Though, not just any potential mate will do. How do you find the perfect companion?
These days, it’s made a lot easier through online dating. Give truthful answers to their questions. In doing so, a program can match you with a number of suitable partners.
What if your goal is to purchase a home? Perhaps, you want to launch a successful business venture, and build a strong financial future. Setting smaller, more specific goals will help.
Let’s say you want a 3-bedroom home in a nice neighborhood with good schools. You know you can afford something in the $300,000-$400,000 range, for example.
Your goals could be to save up a sensible down payment. You also will need to improve your credit score and pay down existing debt.
In fact, you need to create specific and attainable goals, if you want any hope of reaching your achievements. The overarching goals can be reached through stepping stones of accomplishment.
Know What You’re Good at and What You Love
Robert Frost espoused the benefits of taking the road less traveled. However, there’s no reason to spend your whole life swimming upstream where your goals are concerned.
You’ll make a lot more headway by pausing. Consider what you’re good at and what you enjoy in life.
Maybe your strength lies in communication and you enjoy working with people. In that case, why would you suffer a job that lands you in a cubicle, bereft of human connection?
You know you’re good at making decisions based on the information at hand. Plus, you love leading the pack. Thus, you’re going to flourish in your own enterprise.
Happiness and success start with self-awareness. Take stock of your situation. Understand your passions and your strengths.
In doing so, you have the opportunity to set goals that will provide you with challenges and fulfillment. These are the achievements that truly matter in life.
Use the SMART Model
You may already be familiar with the use of the SMART model in project management. Yet, it also has applications in your personal life.
The SMART acronym is a roadmap for setting goals. They should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time bound.
Suppose you’re interested in leaving the corporate 9-to-5 behind and starting your own business. Make your goal specific.
Develop a business plan that lays out the type of business you want to start. Create measurements such as the money you’ll need to get started. Also, include the facilities, supplies, labor, and other resources you’ll need.
Make your goal attainable by setting smaller goals. These can include conducting market research, finishing your business plan, and obtaining loans or investment capital.
Every part of your plan should be relevant to the end goal of launching a successful business venture. Therefore, of course, you need to create a timeline to complete individual tasks, as well as your overall goal.
The SMART model is really a way to break your big goals down into bite-size chunks. It ensures that you stay on track.
It keeps you from drifting into tangents that can slow your progress. It’s a way to plan for success.
Setting goals is one thing, but achieving them is another entirely. It’s all too easy to lose steam when other obligations encroach. That’s also true if you’re not seeing the progress you need to maintain motivation.
It is for this reason that you must be honest with yourself about what drives you. Thus, if you don’t have the passion, you might not make it though.
However, even with a strong impetus, you still need some measure of discipline and organization in order to persevere.
The best way to hold yourself accountable is to create a plan and track your progress. Social accountability is also wise. Therefore, you might want to involve others in the process.
Figuring out what you want to achieve in life is not easy. Neither is reaching your goals. However, with the right tools, motivation, and self-knowledge, you can get the most out of life.
If you have a comment about this topic or suggestions about future topics leave them in the comment box below.
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