Your goal needs 3 essential components
To be a perfect goal, it should be directed toward something more significant than a short-term wish or desire. It must be connected to your purpose and vision.
These three pieces—your purpose, vision, and goals—function much like the legs of a three-legged stool that serves as the foundation for success, happiness, and fulfillment in your life. To create the life you truly want, you need to have them all. Otherwise, if one is missing, the whole thing will fall.
Suppose your goals don’t arise from a clear vision and aren’t directed towards an overarching purpose that you have consciously and deliberately conceived? In that case, they can fall far short of providing the joy and fulfillment you want.
Have you ever wondered why some people end up highly successful in terms of income or professional status but hate what they do?
In most cases, it’s because the goals that got them where they are were either disconnected from a vision and purpose or attached to the wrong ones (often, someone else’s — parents, teachers, etc.)
Something like, “Being the best in my industry” is an excellent vision, IF it’s related to and harmonious with a deeply-felt purpose. If it isn’t, then 20 years down the line, you could find yourself looking back on a long string of admirably accomplished goals that brought you to a place you have no genuine desire to be — and don’t know how to get out of.
You and Your Three-Legged Stool
A simple way to avoid setting goals that aren’t right for you is to always consider them in the larger Purpose/Vision/Goals context.
A great way to think of purpose, vision, and goals is as your “why,” “what,” and “how,” respectively.
You can’t have a vision without a purpose—your “why.” So, if you don’t yet know your purpose, take some time to figure it out now.
Simply put, your purpose is what you were put on this earth to do. What do you love? What feels right for you? Dig deep if you have to.
When you strike that gold, you’ll know it.
Once you’ve identified your purpose, you need to determine what you’re going to do in service of it. That’s your vision.
Your vision is a description or intention that gets you up in the morning, guides your actions throughout the day, and fuels your dreams at night.
Creating a vision statement is one of the most powerful steps you can take toward fulfilling your purpose and achievement of your goals. In fact, it’s the bridge that connects the two.
Committing your vision to paper is an important action. It breathes life into your “what,” making it a real thing that you have a responsibility to nurture and bring to fruition.
When you have written a vision of what you want for your life, you always know what you’re doing and why. And you have something concrete and specific to source your goals — your “hows” — from. If you ever get unfocused, overwhelmed, or bogged down, you can simply look to your vision statement to restore your priorities and reset your sails.
Five Steps to Setting the Perfect Goal
If your vision is an exciting idea or image that gets you up in the morning and pulls you forward, the goals you set will be the stepping-stones to get you there.
With that in mind, “perfect” goals for the new year will be exciting enough to inspire you but not so big that they will take years to accomplish them.
Here are five steps to choosing the right goal for you:
Step 1: Make a list
Set aside some time and go to a space where you can fantasize.
Now, with your vision in mind, what is it you would like very much to be, do, or have by the end of the year? Let your imagination go. Write down everything that comes to mind, especially things that feel like they are beyond your reach now.
As you fantasize, do not concern yourself with how you will accomplish the goal. Just think of what you want and ask yourself if it is aligned with your vision. If it is, write it down.
Step 2: Choose the one you want most
Read through your answers and rate each one on a scale of 1 to 10 as it relates to how badly you want it. Then, pick the one you want more than anything else—something extraordinary and meaningful to you.
Keep in mind that we don’t set and achieve goals to get the house, start the business, or marry the person of our dreams. We set and achieve goals for three reasons: to fulfill our life purpose, move closer to our vision, and grow. The biggest reward for reaching a goal is the person you become in the process as you bring more of yourself to the surface.
Step 3: Write down your “why”
Write out why you want to achieve the goal you chose. For instance, if your goal is to start your own business, your reason might be to be free to earn as much as possible or create a legacy.
Step 4: Create a goal card
Most people don’t reach their goals because they keep it “out there” in the future. They think, “I’ll be happy when….”
Instead of putting it in the future, write and say your goal, as one meaningful statement, in the present tense, as if the good you desire is already in your possession.
“I’m so happy and grateful now that…”
Fill this in on your goal card.
Step 5: Read your goal card
When you commit to a big dream and really go after it, your subconscious mind comes up with ideas to make it happen. To keep your subconscious mind focused on what you want, carry your goal card with you at all times and read it several times every day.
Each night, write down three to five tasks for the following day. Make each one manageable enough that you know you will be able to get it done that day and commit yourself to them.
Do this, and you will be making constant, steady progress toward realizing your vision and fulfilling your purpose. And ending each day with a sense of real accomplishment will leave you with an incredible feeling of confidence and control over your life – not to mention a great night’s sleep!
I cannot promise you that success will be instantly yours if you start setting the right goals. However, if you keep the image of what you want in your mind, it will be just a matter of time before it manifests.
And I can guarantee that you will find life far more interesting, fulfilling, and enjoyable when you’re pursuing the right goal. You’ll no longer dread getting out of bed in the morning or wonder if you’ll have a good day. Your vision and goal will get you up early in the morning, you’ll be excited to work toward it, and your enthusiasm will keep you going all day.