Turn dreams into goals
Your vision for your life begins to become real the moment you set goals.
So often, however, goals are one-dimensional and centred around chasing a single outcome. For example, you may have a figure in mind for the profit you’d like your business to make or you may want to reach a particular career destination by a certain date. You, understandably, want to go all out to get there.
Goals can become even more one-dimensional when there is a sense of urgency. Maybe you hate your job so much that you want to quit right now and take off in a new direction. Or an event in your life has made you realise what’s important and you want to make that happen without delay. Panic and urgency can lead to your life taking on a single focus.
True fulfilment, however, comes not from having a single mission but multiple goals balanced across your life. It comes from harmony.
The four goal focuses you need
To live a fulfilling life, you need four goal focuses:
Use the goal setting pages in your Life Planner or copy the quadrants below into a notebook to begin setting meaningful, balanced goals. At any one time, you should aim to have at least one goal in each quadrant.
Your quadrants don’t have to have equal focus, but none should be neglected.
Goal focus 1: Wellbeing
Most people lead their goal setting with purpose-led targets. But, the truth is, your wellbeing comes first.
Your wellbeing is your foundation. You can’t do anything without it. Too often it’s neglected. People spend years sacrificing health for wealth then having to sacrifice wealth for health when it is lost.
Many also live with a belief that it’s important to put others first, especially if they have family to look after, leading them to sacrifice themselves with good intentions. The thing is, the more people depend on you, the more important it is to look after yourself so that you are always well enough to be there for them in the way you need to.
So, what does a wellbeing goal look like?
If you have any unhealthy habits, such as drinking wine every night, being overly-dependant on caffeine or addicted to sugar, that’s a great place to start. Set a goal around cutting down at a pace that works for you or replacing these habits with healthier alternatives such as yoga to energise you in the morning rather than a double espresso.
If your health is suffering right now, you can set goals to build yourself back up. For example, after I developed ME and Fibromyalgia years ago, I set a goal to be able to walk to the end of the street, then to my children’s school, then eventually up a mountain. Soon I was strong enough to do everything I dreamed about.
You could also set a goal around how much you want to work. Only want to be at your desk three or four days a week? You can do it when you adjust your other goals so that they are achievable in the time you want to give them.
Alternatively, your goal could be a rewarding experience. You could commit to meditating daily for a month, doing yoga three times a week or making time for a long bubble bath with a book every weekend.
Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to work on everything at once. Pick just one thing to address, be honest about where you want to be and set a goal around that.
Goal focus 2: Purpose
With your wellbeing taken care of, the next goal you need to set is around your purpose.
A great place to start is by looking at your vision board. If you don’t have one yet, you’ll be pleased to know it’s an enjoyable process. Try these vision board tips.
Your vision board will remind you what you truly want. Not what you feel you should be doing, what others are doing or what’s expect you, but what truly matters.
If you feel stuck in this area, don’t force purpose or passion on yourself if you can’t find it. Instead, focus on what energises you and let that guide you over time.
Goal focus 3: Relationships
There’s a common myth, often perpetuated by Hollywood films, that if you pursue your purpose, you may have to sacrifice your relationships. So often there is the stereotype of the person who works hard for their dreams at the cost of their marriage or the love of their children and they have to quit it all to win them back.
The truth is, when you live a purpose-led life and you’re looking after your wellbeing, you should feel more fulfilled, enabling you to bring your best self to your relationships.
When you’re ready, try sharing your purpose goals with the people your trust. Make them feel included and reassure them that you want to be together on the journey. Think about ways you can involve them, celebrate achievements with them and be joyful.
Setting goals for your relationships can show those you love how important they are to you. They don’t have to be about getting engaged, married or having children although it’s wonderful if you do. You may instead choose to commit to taking a romantic break away every few months, having a weekly date night or deciding as a family to turn off all devices every Saturday so you can have a quality day together instead.
Relationships extend beyond your home and your immediate circle. You could set goals around creating a community to support your vision. Could you meet people across your network one-to-one once a week or attend events to make new contacts? A strong community is especially important if you have a mission to make a difference for others.
Goal focus 4: Wealth
Finally, set goals for your wealth. This is last in the list but equally important. The reason for the order is because having all the money you desire is fantastic and will afford you many of the things you love but it can’t buy wellbeing, purpose and strong relationships. However, if you’re nailing the other three, you are likely to enjoy your wealth more.
You’ll be making money by doing something you love, you’ll be well enough to make the most of it and will have wonderful people in your life that you can enjoy it with.
Achieving your wealth goals begins with believing you’re worth it.
You deserve to live well.
Set meaningful goals
There is a lot of advice out there around how to set goals but less around making them meaningful. Finding this meaning is critical to enabling you to sustain the energy and motivation you need to achieve them.
So, try setting LIFE Goals™:
- Loving – Begin by establishing how you want to feel when the goal is achieved. Believe you deserve what’s best for you and the people you care about.
- Intentional – Have your vision board in front of you each time you set a goal. Make sure you know how it will take you closer to where you want to be.
- Focused – Spend time ensuring each goal is simple, clearly defined and has a deadline. Believe you can achieve it right from the very beginning.
- Energising – Set goals that will motivate you. Make them achievable but add just the right amount of stretch so you’ll need to work purposefully toward them.
A goal is so much more than a target. It’s a promise.
Keep goals in each quadrant and work at them regularly so they will reward you with the wellbeing, purpose, relationships and wealth you desire. You deserve your dreams!