Have you decided what you want to accomplish in 2011? A new decade has started, are you ready for it? You may have a good idea of where your paychecks will come from; you may know where you are going on your next vacation; you may even know what you want to be at the end of the year, but do you know what you want to do?
What I mean is how are you going to get there? Even if by some miracle you have a few vague 2011 goals do you have any clue how you are going to accomplish them? A year is shorter then you think and before you know it December 31st will be here and you won’t be any closer to your goals then when the ball dropped for 2011. Are you who you wanted to be when 2010 began?
You need Goals, not Dreams
A goal is not a dream. Dreams are what you do when you are sleeping. They are what most people think of when they hear the word goal. Dreams have no plan, no outcome, nothing but pie-in-the-sky hope. Dreams sound like, ‘I want to help people,’ or ‘I would like to learn Spanish,’ or ‘I hope to eat better.’ They include phrases like, ‘I want,’ ‘I hope,’ ‘I would like to,’ and ‘someday I will.’ They are useless in living out your life. You don’t need dreams, you need goals.
What is a goal? A goal starts as a dream. In the summer of 2009 I realized that I was gaining weight. By March of 2010 I had gained about 20 pounds. I had a dream of losing the weight and being healthy, but it wasn’t until December that I turned my dream turned into a goal. How did I do it? I’ll explain more in a minute but the point is you will never accomplish anything if you only have dreams.
What makes a goal?
For your dream to become a goal it needs to be five things:
- Your Own Goal
- Have a Set Time Limit
- Written Down
In my weight loss examples I had to sit down and think through how I wanted to become healthier. (1)My goals started out by being specific: Lose 20 pounds by walking 45 minutes 3 to 4 times per week. (2)It is measurable, when the scale says I am 20 pounds lighter I will have accomplished it. (3)It is my own goal; no one told me to lose 20 pounds; it is something I wanted to do for myself. (4)My goal has time limits, lose 2 pounds per month in 2011 (I may increase that, but for now I believe that is the best time line for my schedule). (5)I wrote it down here on my blog and in a file I have called “2011 Annual Review.” It meets all the qualifications for a goal. I know what I want to do, how I want to do it, and when I want it done by. I will know if I succeed or fail.
I will write more about the different goal elements in the coming weeks; until then take some time to think through what dreams you want to turn into 2011 goals.
Do you have any goals or are you merely dreaming about a better life? Let me know in the comments.