How To Set Goals You Can Achieve

A major obstacle that prevents people from enjoyably achieving their goals is that they set their goals incorrectly to begin with.  This problem occurs because people don’t understand the nature of time well enough.  When people consider a particular goal, they often worry about the time commitment. Eg, If i start a business now, its going to take me 2 years before i start to make profit. If i start to lose weight now, i’ll take 6 months to be slim again. Such thoughts make you demoralised and make you unmotivated, but more importantly they reveal a total misunderstanding of the nature of time.

We’re are unwilling to set goals that will take a very long time to achieve.  Who wants to slog and slog for years in order to achieve something that might only happen?  Most of us simply don’t have the discipline to do that, even if there is a pot of gold at the end of the path.  Discipline is not the real issue i feel.  The issue is a misunderstanding of time.

People tend to think of time as a resouce like money.  How should i spend my day? Where do you want to spend your next vacation?  How will you spend the rest of the year?  Time is money, a disposable resource.

This is a wrong perception of time! Time is not a resouce. You cannot spend time.  Time spends itself.  You have no choice in the matter.  No matter what you do, the time is going to pass anyway.  It doesn’t matter if you do one thing or another for the next five years.  Those five years will pass no matter what you do.

Many people set goals and then assume the path to reach the goal will require suffering and sacrifice – a recipe for failure.  A better idea is to set a goal and pay attention to the effect it has on your present reality.  Set goals that yield a positive effect on your life whenever you think about them, long before the final outcome is actually achieved.  Treat goal-setting as a way to enhance your present reality, not as a way to control the future.

Suppose you set a goal to start your own business.  You imagine some future point where you’re enjoying being your own boss, doing what you love, and making a great income.  Nothing wrong with that.  Then you think about how much work it will be, the risks you’ll face, and other discouraging thoughts.  You’ve left the present and are dwelling in the future, which is only an illusion.  Bring yourself back to the present and realize that none of those things have happened.  You’re just making them up.  How silly it is to make up things you don’t even want!  And your imagination isn’t accurate anyway.

Think about some goals you might have set if not for the imaginary obstacles you focused on.  Do you want to lose a certain amount of weight?  To enjoy a new relationship?  To enjoy a more fulfilling career?  Stop imagining doom and gloom on the path to get there, and simply focus on how each goal can improve your present reality.  What does the thought of physical fitness do for you right now?  What does the thought of finding your soulmate do for you?  What does the thought of a fulfilling career do for you?

As you think about how your goals improve your present reality, eventually you’ll feel motivated to take action.  At the same time, you’ll begin attracting resources into your life that will help you achieve your goals.  There’s no need to force yourself — you’ll find yourself naturally drawn to take action as you keep bringing your focus back to the present.  When you think about a goal in a way that motivates you right now, it’s only natural that you’ll begin taking action congruent with the goal.

When you set goals that increase the quality of your present reality, then what does it matter how long it takes to achieve the final outcome?  Whether it takes one week or five years is irrelevant.  The whole path is fun and enjoyable.  More importantly, you feel happy and fulfilled this very moment.  This drives you to take enjoyable action, so you’re productive too.

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