Goals - How can they change YOUR life?

What is success? Does it mean a healthy lifestyle and living well? Is it a dream job in your career of choice? Or is it having the financial ability to retire at 45, and spend the rest of your life in the Maldives drinking cocktails? Whatever your idea of success is, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of what sets those apart who achieve in life and know where they’re going and how they’re going to get there: goal-setting.

As Napoleon Hill once said, “A goal is a dream with a deadline”.

Let’s talk about goals. Whether you set them or not, we need to talk about them. When people hear the term ‘goal-setting’, they cringe and sigh. Who needs that dreamy, hippie crap in their lives? Well I hate to break it to you, but YOU DO.  The reality is, the most successful, driven people set goals, take control of their lives and turn their visions into reality. It takes strength, commitment and drive and that is how they become ultimately successful, in choosing where they want to go in life and kicking those goals.

Take Finder.com.au CEO, Fred Schebesta, who believes goal setting really is the key to success. “From a young age – we’re talking high school, it was my dream to take a business global. That fight to make a lasting impression on people of different countries was something that began with finder.com.au in 2009, and 16 years later – in 2015 – we finally went global with finder.com.” 

"The key to success in my goal was that it was directly measurable (going international) but allowed for some degree of flexibility. No aspiration will be 100% the same over time, but there’s also a core focus that can be improved to the point when you hit your dream.”

Your goals might be as challenging as becoming Prime Minister of Australia, or as simple as not eating chocolate consecutively for 3 weeks to improve your physical health (guilty!). Whatever they consist of – you’re going to have a better chance of achievement through planned goal-setting.

To live a balanced, healthy lifestyle, we need to prioritise.

Where do see yourself tomorrow, next year or in the next decade?

What do you want to be doing?

How are you planning to get there?

That’s what goal-setting does for us – it provides an outlet to write everything down and motivate ourselves to reach those goals, so we find the energy and focus to keep going.  Keeping the end goal or goals in mind provides the mind with purpose, and a sense of accomplishment when you hit those milestones along the way.

“Setting goals helps you stay focused and wherever your focus is, that’s where your energy will go,” says life coach, Hannah Hempenstall. “Without goals, you’re simply drifting. Knowing where you want to go and planning how to get there will help you get there more efficiently.”

Think SMART - your goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. In short, this means that it’s fine to reach for the stars, but you need to have a detailed plan on how you’re going to get there. You can read more on how to set SMART goals here.

“Work with your instinct. Setting goals is a great way to working towards career or life development, but when we don’t achieve these things it can feel disheartening. Really tuning in to what’s right for you, rather than what your parents say you should do, or what other people think you should do can lead you to a place of confusion and disillusion,” says Hannah.

In order to create goals, you need to really have a good sit down and indulge in some self-examination: something we certainly need to do more of in this busy world.

Are you happy with where you are?  What would you change right now, if you could? Hannah agrees, saying, “Get curious about who you are and what your life is about, read books, ask yourself ‘why’ and start tapping into what feels right for YOU. This is the best way to gain clarity and create a life that is in alignment with your deepest desires. Once you are in that flow, goals become a whole lot easier to achieve.”

So whether it’s something small you want to achieve this week or a longer term outcome, get planning! And remember that looking after the temple that is your body and mind is the first step towards a more balanced overall life, improving not only physical health but providing you with the energy and motivation to achieve whatever it is that’s important to you.  It may sound cliché, but every journey has to start with the first step, no matter how small.