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Setting and Achieving Goals

Jun 8, 2008
I love this topic because it usually puts fire under my butt to get off of it and get my life back on track. Whether I need to clean my house, lose weight or write my next book, going back over my goals and re-evaluating my future is exciting. We can blame others, justify why we are not happy in our lives, or we can take responsibility for our lives, grab the wheel of this car called life and drive it to exactly where we want to go. Here is a list of ten things that have helped me live my dreams.

1. Stop the self-pity. Stop the blaming. Stop the justifying. We all have problems. You are not alone. We can look at our lives as, "oh, poor me; I'm not where I should be." We can blame everybody around us. We can justify why our life sucks by saying things like, "if this hadn't happened, I'd be..." or "I'm not successful because..." It is time to stop the pity and take responsibility for your life.

2. Be honest with yourself. This is so important because you will not achieve one goal without honesty. These are the types of questions to ask yourself:

* Would I rather have my finances in order making my life easier or would I rather go shopping when I feel down, have expensive coffee every morning, and spend my hard earned money on other people so I can look like a big shot?

* Would I rather feel good about myself by being fit, healthy and energetic or would I rather binge on junk food, spend hours in front of the TV and stay chubby because that is what others expect of me?

If you enjoy the chaos of juggling your money to pay bills and you enjoy your television programs and junk food, than keep it up, but still love and accept yourself for who you are.

3. List your desires. Write down what you really want in your life. This is a powerful exercise. But remember, you are not writing down your mother's dream for you, or your husband's desires or even what your girlfriends think you should do with your life; this is about you and what you want. So, what do you want your life to look like realistically? Write it down. Now, if you could dream big, huge, what would your life look like? Both are important because sometimes the big dream or what we think we want doesn't look that appealing when it is written down on paper. Dreaming big helps us get to what is really important in our lives.

4. Now you have stopped the pity party, you have gotten real with yourself and you have a clear idea of what you want your life to look like. Exciting isn't it? Now you are going to list the goals that will help you achieve your dream. For example, on your list of desires you wrote that you want to be ten pounds lighter. Where do you start? Maybe you used to enjoy working out to a DVD every morning, but your living room has become so cluttered that there is no room for you to exercise. Then one of your goals will be to clean and rearrange your living room so you have the room you need to exercise.

5. Make a list of possible obstacles. It is very possible that you have set similar goals before. It is also possible that you have hit some roadblocks that discouraged you enough to give up on your goal. One thing that happens when we want to change our lives is that we run into barriers that we did not think about. These barriers will stop us form attaining our goals if we do not prepare ourselves. So write down your possible obstacles. For example, you are exercising every morning in your clean, rearranged living room and suddenly you are required to travel for work. Now what? You know that the hotel room will not have a DVD player; you are not even sure the hotel will have a gym. These are the types of problems you will face, so be ready. Do not let anything stop you from what you want. Being prepared in life will take you a long way.

6. Back to your list of goals, it is now time to break your goals down into achievable tasks. This is so fun, and it will make each goal feel within reach. For example, your goal is to pay off all of your credit card debt. Breaking this down might look like this:

* Use the internet to investigate financial expert advice and create a workable plan.

* Have a garage sale and get rid of items that I do not need; I'll put that money toward paying off my debt.

* Start doing freelance computer work to create extra income.

* And so on

Then you may want to break down that list; how do I have a garage sale? How do I start a side business? Breaking work down is not complicated and neither is achieving small tasks. So, when you start checking your list and notice how quickly you are getting things done, make sure you take some time to celebrate how awesome you are!

7. You have finished your lists, you have made note of your obstacles and you have a plan. It is now time to get to work.

8. Get help when you need it, and you will need it. I used to be so stubborn and thought I could do everything by myself. When I look back, every time I achieved something good in my life, I had many people to thank.

9. Remember, nobody can achieve your goals, but you. Nobody is going to come along and rescue you, but you. In my life today, I always have goals. I feel like if I am not achieving something, I am not really living. I have gone from being homeless and beat down to having much success in my life. It is not always easy, but it is always worth it. Rescue yourself; you can make your dreams come true.

10. Choose to succeed. Achieving your goals is a choice just like happiness is a choice. Choose both!
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