GOAL!  As I watched the football just barely make it through the posts, I breathed a sigh of relief.  With just 1:12 minutes left of Super Bowl LIII, that field goal clinched the win for the Patriots against the Los Angeles Rams.  My heart is in Southern California, but my roots are in New England…don’t hate me because I’m a Pats fan!

While going for the win is the ultimate name of the game, the focus and determination of any athlete is admirable; it’s character building.  They don’t just sit around on their couch dreaming about football or their workouts.  Granted, they are definitely enhanced by positive thinking and visualizing themselves performing with skill and ease, but it takes hard work, carefully planned goals, and many smaller wins along the way.

I’m all for positive thinking, and I truly believe our thoughts create our reality.  Our thoughts, especially our subconscious thoughts and programming, dictate our lives.  They inform our reality, providing context and meaning to our feelings, sensations and experiences.  And as much as I love the idea of thinking up a new reality (imagining, visualizing, dreaming, fantasizing), without a goal, it more often than not will remain a pipe dream; nothing more than wishful thinking.

We’ve been accomplishing goals our whole lives.  In our formative years, most of our developmental goals have been set by our parents, culture and society.  Some of our early goals were just crawling, walking, our first words, and potty training.  Our parents and doctors would be concerned if we did not reach our pre-established goal by a certain age in any given area.

Then there’s the goal of getting through school.  The very least would be graduating high school, and then moving on to college or postgraduate school, with the hopes of accomplishing the goal of becoming a doctor, lawyer, teacher, accountant, scientist, engineer (fill in the blank).

With your career in the bag, then there’s the goal of getting married, buying a house, having kids…and then your goal turns into setting goals for them.

At some point, we must take goal setting into our own hands.  Maybe things start out as goals our parents want for us: following in the family business, living vicariously through us with a goal that they may have wanted for themselves, or just living by cultural norms.  Ultimately, if your goals and those around you are in harmony, it makes for greater success, as you get the added benefit of support and positive encouragement.  But often, we need to pave our own way.

I’ve always been a big dreamer and I love to entertain my ideas.  I will eagerly chase a dream, flying by the seat of my pants, but things don’t always pan out the way I imagine.  My MO is to just jump in and hope for the best.  I usually live in the moment and I thrive on change and adventure, but I don’t always think things through.  In fact, most of the time, I never think past the initial venture.  Leap and the net will appear!  Well, the net has always appeared: the net just catches me so I don’t fall, but the net doesn’t tell me what to do next.  I end up “wish”y washy.  That’s where I fail to meet expectations.

So I am trying something new.  Not a novel idea by any means, but definitely new to me.  I am starting to actually set specific goals with a plan!  I’ve always had goals in mind, but they’re usually “big picture” and somewhat vague.  I am learning how to make them tactical and practical.

“A goal properly set is halfway reached”   – Zig Ziglar

There is a common guideline for setting objectives called SMART goals.  While there are some slight variations, the acronym stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rewarding, and Time-Bound.

Specific:  the goal must be specific, clear and concise…it must be easy to describe.

Measurable:  you must be able to quantify it, have some indicator of progress.

Attainable:  it must be a result you can achieve, or broken into smaller goals that are realistic.

Rewarding:  there has to be some incentive that will help motivate and encourage you to follow through.

Time-Bound:  you have to set a deadline…once you have a time frame, you are sealing in and committing to achieving your goal.

To really accomplish anything, we must have the specific who, what, where, when and how aspects in place.  This helps us to manifest what it is we truly want…bring our dreams into reality.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible”   – Tony Robbins

Challenge for the week:  Set a goal!

Are you focused on YOUR goals?

Pick a goal…something that you’ve been wanting to do or accomplish.  Make it a SMART goal.  Create a plan using the SMART guidelines and write it down.  Just the exercise of going through each criteria gets your manifestation juices flowing.

If you are having a problem with it, start out small.  When you figure out how to achieve smaller goals, you will not only gain confidence and know-how, you will begin to set a habit of success.  Just go for it!

Have a great week!  Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below.

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