No, this is not the title of a self-help book and I don’t spend my mornings listening to Tony Robbins’ guided meditation. But I am crazy enough to believe that a person can change their life in ten minutes.
Most of us can think of at least one thing in our lives that we aspire to have, be, or do. It is something that we spend a disproportionate amount of our mental energy on– imagining a world in which what we want is our reality. For most people that is where the journey ends; all too few get to experience the joy of watching a dream materialize before their eyes. Such is the difference between goals and wishes– wishes rarely come true.
Transforming our image of the future into our present is a process; and the most crucial element of that process takes only minutes, a pen, and a little courage.
Step #1 Write it Down
Writing down your goals may seem unnecessary, insignificant, and quite frankly, stupid. You’ve spent weeks, months, maybe even years pondering this goal. You’ve discussed it with friends, family, coworkers, and now all of the sudden you need to write it down?!
Believe it or not, yes. Writing down exactly what you want and when you want it completely changes the way you see your goals– it instantly transforms from pure abstraction into a tangible object that you can see and hold. It may sound strange, but seeing your goal expressed in the written word on a piece brings it to life. No longer does it exist only in your mind, now it becomes real, specific, and focused. Don’t climb just any mountain, pick out the one you want to scale.
Step #2 Make a Plan
By far the most difficult and time-consuming task in goal-setting is making a plan. Plans are specific, feasible, and measurable. All of these things are in opposition to wishes. Wishes need not conform to rational thought or argument; they can be as haphazard and impractical as our minds allow.
Plans are an exercise in pragmatism– what needs to be done, what can be done, and what will be done? The answers to these questions force your mind to focus on the challenges facing you and instinctively your natural problem-solving muscles begin to flex. The path toward the summit begins to come into view and the climb begins.
Step #3 Tell Somebody
The importance of an accountability partner for goal achievement is well-documented. Most people have no problem with the concept that an impartial third-party will likely help keep them motivated and stay the course.
But, sharing that vision with someone requires vulnerability, something we are often keenly interested in avoiding. Having the courage to open yourself up to those emotions will not only provide additional support for your journey, it will foretell your response to unforeseen challenges on your way up the mountain. Be brave enough to be accountable to someone and enjoy the view from the peak.
There is no step-by-step instruction manual for achieving what you want in life but there are steps for setting goals. Stop having financial wishes; start building your financial goals today. Don’t know where to start? I’m here to help.