Last night I did something fun. Not fun in the “traditional sense” of the word, but something fun for the part of me that loves to dream exciting dreams, go on adventures, and experience newness in all areas of my life on a consistent basis.
Last night I sat down and left my mind completely open to ideas of what I’d like to see happen in my life in 2019. Any and every exciting and compelling idea was quickly written down and prayed over. I got motivated just by looking at the words.
Now, truth be told, I’m not your typical dreamer. I have a minor in psychology and I’ve studied and implemented success habits for years. Because of this, when my mind starts dreaming about changes I’d like to make, it immediately goes into goal setting mode and makes the dreams concrete and tangible.
Let me explain.
You see, the rule number one of goal setting, dream casting, vision planning, or whatever you’d prefer to call it, is that it cannot be abstract. Your ideas must be concrete, specific and measurable. Otherwise, it cannot truly become a goal.
Last night I wrote down an entire page, front and back, of various goals for all areas of my life. Let me explain the concept by using one of my goals as an example.
One of my hearts desires for 2019 is to invest more time into the significant relationships in my life. This may not come as a surprise, but I can get pretty consumed by work and “productive” tasks. As you can imagine, this can often lend itself to leaving very little time to just “hang out” with people I love and want to stay close with.
So, this year, I’m aiming in a slightly different direction. Why? Because it’s important to me.
But, I’m not going to do what an untrained goal setter would do and just say “in 2019 I’m going to spend more time with friends and family.” That would be way better than not setting a goal at all, but it lacks specificity and is very difficult to accurately measure. In other words, it is an abstract idea, not a concrete goal.
So what did my mind naturally think of as I thought about wanting to spend more time with friends and family? A very specific and measurable goal that will lead me there.
My mind said, “In addition to the normal family gatherings, you should aim to have at least 3 sit down dinners with just your mom, at least 3 rounds of golf with just your dad, at least 3 phone calls to your sister who is overseas, and you should aim to connect with each of your 10 closest friends at least once per month.”
That I can see. That I can feel. That I can plan, track and measure. That’s a set of goals that is very doable and can absolutely get accomplished.
Can you see the difference between an abstract idea and a concrete goal? Can you see how if I had not made some clear and distinguishable goals that lead me to my overall desire (to spend more time with people closest to me), it would be similar to having an address but zero directions and no GPS?
You might end up there by accident if you just kept driving around, but chances are, you never would.
So, with that said, take a peek inside your own heart today and ask yourself these questions-
“What area of my life would I love to see improve this year?”
“What can I do to help make that improvement possible?”
“What is ONE thing that I can do each day/week/month/quarter, starting now?”
As soon as you have those questions answered, you have yourself a goal. Yes, it is that easy. Congratulations in advance.
Play this little game as often as you want. You’ll find it’s actually quite fun and empowering.
What happens to your psyche when you do this as a lifestyle is that you develop a stronger sense of self confidence, motivation, life satisfaction, autonomy and pleasure. You also get the joy of seeing your life improve and you get the pride of accomplishing what you set out to do.
You will also find that this helps give you a greater sense of control which helps ease fears over what will happen in the future.
If this resonates with you, let me know. Let me also know what goals are stirring in your mind. I find it’s fun to share them with people. Maybe you will too.
Wishing you joy on the journey. Or should I say, on the adventure!
P.S. You and I both know that there are many things in life that we have a large degree of control over. There are also some things we have little or no control over. That can be scary.
I have a friend who was in that same position. Her name is Naya Toledo, and I’ve known her for over 18 months. Naya was born blind in one eye and lived 33 years without seeing a thing out of it. Exactly one year ago today, her left eye saw light for the very first time.
I was at a retreat with about 100 other people, singing songs and praying to God. Without anyone even asking for this specific miracle, God showed up and caused Naya’s blind eye to see. It’s now a year later and she can still see everything clearly.
Since it is SUCH a cool story, and since it is the anniversary, I figured I’d mention it. Also, if you want to see the video of her telling the story and the video of it actually happening, click here-