To put it simply, happiness will elude you unless you have a goal. You need to know where you want to go and what you want to do in life, and goals will provide you with an essential road map. Without this information, you’ll be lost, adrift. I recommend using these guidelines to set yourself some amazing, knee-trembling, life-enhancing goals! Here are 9 tips that I hope will help.
1. ♥ Think Big
If you don’t know where to begin or you feel like you have absolutely no ambition, take some time out for yourself and just allow your mind to wander. Give yourself permission to dream. Get somewhere comfortable and drift away on your imagination. What kind of lifestyle have you always wished you had? Would you like to live in a hippie commune in San Francisco, or is a brownstone in New York more your style? How about volunteering in India or owning a fleet of cruise ships? Have you always wanted to run away and join the circus, or would you like to start a community kitchen where people can eat wonderfully hearty but inexpensive meals? Picture everything that would surround that lifestyle. Would you drive a car or ride a moped? Would your bedroom resemble a Moroccan retreat, or would it be minimal and Zen? Would you have a husband, wife, lover, girlfriend, boyfriend, harem, or keep to yourself? Would you have any pets? How often would your friends visit? What kind of friends would you like? Witty, urbane, comfortable, sweet?
Grab a piece of paper and start scribbling down ideas. Don’t judge yourself while you write. Just because you’re writing down something doesn’t mean you have to go out and do it; just give yourself some options. Then narrow it down to things that really turn your crank. How will you measure your success? The best way to set a goal is to define success as what/how many/how much by a certain date. For example, “Get famous” isn’t a real, achievable goal because there’s no way to measure it. How will you know that you’re famous? On the other hand, “Be on the cover of Rolling Stone in 2020” is a great goal because it’s measurable. On December 31, 2020, if you haven’t achieved it, you’ll know. So pick a time frame and put a stake in the ground.
2. ♥ Set a goal that scares you
If your goals are boring, your life is going to be incredibly dull. Goals should feel like a stretch; they should make you nervous! Come up with something that terrifies you! Set a goal that makes you gulp as you write it down. How about something like “Move to Austria by November” or “Start my own business and leave my boring office job within two years”? FEAR! Tremble! Quake in your boots! Your goal will swell in your brain, absorb a whole lot of your brainpower, scare the hell out of you . . . and then start happening. Even better!
3. ♥ Write it down
Unless you write down your goal, it’s just an idle thought—and unless you review and reread your goals regularly, you’ll forget them. Grab a sheet of paper, write your goals nice and big, and then pin it to the wall. You can also try writing your main goal on a small piece of paper and tucking it into a clear pocket in your wallet so you see it all the time. The closer your goal is to the front of your mind, the better.
4. ♥ Break your goals into chunks
If you want to be an Olympic athlete, you don’t just turn up and hope to qualify. Years of work go into it first. For example, if you want to write a book, you need to pick a subject, outline your chapters, write multiple drafts, find an editor, hire a designer, and the list goes on. Think in steps; it will make your objective seem much more manageable and will help keep you from feeling defeated or overwhelmed. For each goal, use a fresh piece of paper and write down each step. When you complete an action, mark it off with a big tick. It’s vital to celebrate the small triumphs along the way!
5. ♥ Visualize what you want, and make your goal as real as you can
Let’s use the previous example of getting on the cover of Rolling Stone: why not make a mockup of the magazine with your face on the front? Or maybe you want to visit New York. Cut out a picture of yourself and stick it onto a photo of Central Park! Take a screen capture of one of the places you want to go, and then make it your desktop wallpaper so you see it every day. I have heard of people who write themselves million-dollar checks and stick them on the ceiling above their bed . . . and it works!
6. ♥ Act “as if.”
One of the best ways to achieve something, strange as it may sound, is to pretend it has already happened. Let’s say your distant goal is to be a publishing magnate. How different would your life be if you managed to achieve that? Okay, now remove all the material things that would change (better car, huge house, office with a view of the city) and think about how you would behave if you were a publishing big shot. Odds are, your posture would be different from how it is today. You might not slob around the house in a pair of moccasins all day either! You’d probably wake up early, exercise, and get into your day. You’d be comfortable with your success and not threatened by other people, so you would ask for what you wanted and tell people if they weren’t delivering what you expected. You’d be polite and charming and charismatic and happy to do favors for others. Start acting that way today. It will prove that you are serious about your goal, and you will start to attract the right people and opportunities to make your dreams a reality.
7. ♥ Don’t fear obstacles.
When you’re trying to achieve something, obstacles are inevitable. Instead of being frustrated or angry or feeling like the world is against you, just see them as a test of your passion and drive. You need to get over the hump and prove that you want something, that you’re hungry for it. There are always going to be little things that don’t go your way or people who don’t have your vision. That’s okay . . . just stay the course. Think about people who have achieved amazing things and consider how they’d deal with it. Odds are good that they would pout for about a second and then just get on with it.
8. ♥ Ask for help and watch other people.
Don’t be afraid to ask other people for assistance. Most people are thrilled to do it, as long as you make it worth their while. Be vocal about how appreciative you are, buy them a really excellent dinner, or give them a bottle of fantastic wine! The other thing to keep in mind is that whatever you’re trying to achieve has probably been done before. This is not to dissuade you, of course; it’s to make you see that it can be done, and that you should watch whoever achieved it before you! Maybe they wrote a book about how they did it, maybe they spoke about it in an interview, or perhaps they even made a movie about it. Take all these things and learn from them. Anthony Robbins says, “Success leaves clues.” Don’t try to reinvent the wheel unless you can help it. Use other people’s experiences to bolster your own.
9. ♥ Always persist. Start now!
Your greatest asset is this day, right now, right here. There is no better time to start turning your life around and manifesting whatever it is you want. It is never too late; you always have today. Start IMMEDIATELY!