I used to chase after my goals as if they were prey and I was the hunter. Whether I focused with laser-like intensity, wrote a detailed grammatically correct wish-list or made bargains with God, I was a person who was on task. No half-hearted attempts from me!
When the goal-object of my affection—whether a desired writing project, a person or other goals—didn’t manifest, I would try to figure out what had gone wrong, what I could improve. Then, like Sisyphus rolling that boulder up the mountain, I would gather my energy for another try. It never occurred to me that only 50% was required from me to manifest my goal.
Most of us have been taught that if you want something, you should go after it. And it’s true that without initiative and activity, you will have a hard time accomplishing much of anything. But have you ever wondered what your goal wants from you?
If you think of your goal as checking you out to see if you are a good fit, it makes sense that being attractive to your goal is just as important as concentrating on what you want.
Follow these seven goal-writing tips and you will be well on your way to achieving your dreams.
1. Write Down Only One Goal
The reason that I advise starting with only one goal is so that you can give it your undivided attention. Many, many goals never get enough umph to manifest simply because too little attention is paid to them. If you focus on several goals at the same time, it’s a bit like double-dating. Can you blame a goal for feeling lukewarm about you or wanting to find someone else—someone who will appreciate it and give it lots of attention?
2. Write Down Your Goal in One Sentence
Writing your goal in one sentence forces you to be clear about what you want. People love it when you are concise. Nobody likes to play guessing games or to be held hostage listening to a long rambling list of requests or demands! It’s the same with your goal. So make sure your sentence is specific and concise.
3. Give Your Goal a Time Frame
Deadlines give you something to aim for whether you are training for a marathon, planning a wedding or finishing a work project. A goal is more likely to spring into action when it has ten days to deliver than if it has an unlimited amount of time to get it done.
4. Your Goal Should Be Simple and Specific
The more specific you are, the more your goal has to work with. This is true for any conversation or any relationship. But too much information up front can be a bit arduous for your goal. If you are on a first date, for example, and your date presents a long list of requirements that include specifics about love-making ability, plans for children and salary must-haves, would you think twice about seeing that person again?
5. Don’t Get Hung Up on How Your Goal Is Worded
If it’s not spelled correctly or the grammar is incorrect and you have a double negative in your sentence, don’t worry about it unless your goal is to be an English teacher. Just start the process.
6. Your Goal Should Be Measurable
You need to know when you have actually achieved your goal. For example, if your goal is to get a job, you will know whether you have a job or you don’t. If your goal is to be happy or to feel good, ask yourself how you will know that you have reached your goal.
7. Don’t Limit Yourself
Don’t decide ahead of time that your goal is unrealistic. Write exactly what you want. You are starting a relationship with your goal. You and the goal will work out some of the finer details as you get to know one another.
Once you write your goal down, set it aside. You are now in a relationship with your goal. Be a good partner; be kind and considerate. Listen carefully so that you can receive what your goal is saying to you.
My boulder-rolling days are behind me. I now know that I am in charge of 50% and my goal has the other 50%. And I am always interested and eager to hear what my goal wants from me. It’s a relief to have the input and help!
What does your goal want from you?