Updated: Oct 8, 2020
Imagine you have to take a trip across the United States to attend a friend's wedding. You live in California, and the wedding is in Maine. This means you have to traverse the entire country to get there, but you're afraid of flying, so you choose to drive instead. The problem is that you've never driven across the country. You don't know how long the drive will take or how much gasoline you'll need. And you don't know which roads and highways will lead you in the right direction.
Essentially, you don't have the foggiest idea of how to get to the wedding. So now what?
You have two options: Option 1) Start driving without a clear plan, crisscrossing the country while praying you'll find your way to the wedding before you die of old age. Option 2) Develop a plan using a map, a budget, and a schedule to ensure you arrive at your friend's wedding on time. Obviously, option 2 is the wisest choice.
Setting realistic goals is essential to obtaining the things you want in life, just like planning a cross-country road trip requires a map, a schedule, and a budget.
Too often we decide we want something, but never create a clear plan about getting it. Simply deciding we want something without setting up realistic goals to obtain it is like driving blindly around the country, hoping and praying to find where you want to go. Most likely, you're just going to end up driving in circles without ever reaching your destination.
The top reasons to set goals:
· Goals give you focus and a clear vision.
· Goals allow you to measure progress.
· Goals encourage you to take action.
· Goals give you motivation.
· Goals make it more likely you'll obtain what you want.
· Goals help you organize your time and actions.
Are there certain things you want out of life? Are there things you've always wanted to achieve, learn, or experience? Perhaps you want to start a new career or travel to an exotic country. Maybe you want to write a book, learn how to play guitar or launch your own company. Whatever you dream of having or doing, set up a clear set of goals you can follow, like a map leading you to your destination.
It's also essential to keep your goals realistic. There's no sense in deciding you want to become an astronaut and fly to the moon if you're 70 years old, blind, and have a heart condition. NASA probably won't be interested in your services. Instead, set goals that are in-line with your circumstances and abilities. Keep things simple as you start, and over time you can add more dreams and goals to your life that are increasingly challenging but also realistic.
List two goals that you want to achieve over the next week. Keep them realistic and straightforward. Perhaps you want to exercise more often or update your resume. Whatever your goals are, make sure they are within the realm of possibility for your given circumstances.
*This is an excerpt from the new book “Sobertude: 50 Uplifting Habits that Create Gratitude, abundance and Joy in Sobriety.” To learn more about Sobertude Habits, visit https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BFPDJX8