Why is Having Written Goals so Important to my Success?
Goal setting is the ultimate tool for formulating a plan and executing to achieve financial/personal success (or for success in any area for that matter). Having clearly defined written goals with 1 year, 5 year, and possibly 10 year targets will help you to stay focused on your overarching objective. Additionally, once goals are defined and set, they should maintain fluidity (meaning if you find something is no longer driving you or no longer paints the compelling picture for your future it once did, change your goals; be flexible). Studies have shown that those with a plan and clearly defined written goals, typically end up with more wealth and success than those who do not have them. On a fundamental level, this makes perfect sense as those with a written plan and clearly defined goals know what they are aiming for and put massive amounts of focus and effort towards it, whereas those who are uncertain or don’t may fumble through many things without fully committing to many if any of them (therefore not mastering or achieving the desired success). Having a written plan allows you to focus your efforts and hone in on the success that you want and determine why you want it (which is extremely important).
What Types of Goals Should I Set?
This is going to be very personal to you and what it is you desire in life. However, it is extremely important that you not limit yourself, and that you pick goals that excite you, that will drive you forward. Close your eyes and think, what is the picture you paint in your mind of a compelling/exciting future? Do you own your own business? Drive a Lamborghini? Have lots of free time with your family? Have financial security? What is it that excites you? Think for about 10 minutes for each of the below and write down your 1/5 year goals. Make sure your goals are specific with a timeline and clarity so that you can paint the picture in your mind. Once you have written them down, think about which goal in each category is the most important and circle that goal. Then write a paragraph as to why that goal is so important to you and what it means to you to accomplish that goal (the why is very important).
- Personal Development
- Dream Goals
- Contribution Goals
Do these goals excite you? Is it something you feel passionate about? Something that will make you put in the extra effort and time, knowing you will hit your destination/target? If not, repeat the above exercise until you find something that will drive you forward. Think big.
Set a Specific Plan with Timeline
Now that you have the target/destination for your goals, you will need to set a plan with timelines (be specific) as to how you will get there. List your most important 1 year and 5 year goals, remember to write why they are so important to you.
How would you feel if you had already met these goals? On a regular basis that is exactly what you should do. Close your eyes and visualize as if you have already met these goals. How does it feel? Picture every detail, you sitting in that car, paying all of your bills, having $1 million in your brokerage account, etc. It is very important that you takes these steps and do this. Doing so will make you take consistent action toward your goals, being resourceful and confident as you charge forward toward your goals. This is absolutely necessary to achieve what you desire. Otherwise, if you feel your goals are not exciting or not attainable, you won’t take the required actions out of fear, uncertainty, doubt, etc. Set a compelling future for yourself that excites you, picture as if its already happened, then take massive/focused action toward your goals on a consistent basis and achieve more than you ever dreamed.
The Reality of Goal Setting
Many of us will not achieve every goal we set for ourselves, but will achieve much more than we set out for when taking the above approach. Additionally, when you determine the reasons behind your goals and why you want them, you may find that you can have what you desire today if you just work on changing the way you feel about something. Many times the reason we want something is due to the feeling we believe we will get from having those things. Sometimes, our goals will change over time as our priorities change. However, many times although we end up altering or achieving something varied from what we set out for, we end up feeling much more fulfilled/satisfied with the ultimate destination and the feelings we get from ending there. Stay motivated, set big goals for yourself, take massive/consistent action toward them, revisit them often, picture them as having happened, and watch yourself achieve more than you ever dreamed possible!