But no matter when you decide the time is right, these five ingredients are essential for those dreams to become a reality. And they apply whether your goals focus on physical health, finances, relationships, career or spirituality.
What you think is possible for yourself will influence the goals you set in the first place. These beliefs also impact the effort you’ll put forth initially – and later.
That’s why your first step needs to focus on identifying the deeply-held thoughts you already have and examining if they’re actually true. You may have imaginary boundaries in place that are simply a reflection of what others have told you is realistic. When you allow yourself to consider possibilities outside this restrictive view, many more options emerge.
Your WHY comes into play when you’re in “implementation mode.” But you also need to consider your reasons for selecting these specific goals in the first place. You may set a certain target because, somewhere along the line, you determined this was something you should do. But if you’re not driven by a deeper purpose, a clear vision and a strong passion, you’re more likely to give up at the first sign of trouble.
By definition, a goal represents a gap between where you are now and where you want to be. That means you’re going to be investing personal energy over a period of weeks, months or even years to achieve the results you desire. You’ll need determination and perseverance to stick with your plan when you encounter obstacles, disappointments, setbacks and failures. If your goal means that much to you, you’ll heed Winston Churchill’s advice to “Never, never, never give up!”
Elite athletes have long understood the value of practicing moves in their minds before performing them in competition. This involves spending time each day vividly imagining yourself performing the actions successfully, in very specific detail accompanied by strong positive feelings. You can invest just a few minutes a day and get some benefit. But if you commit to 30 minutes of mental rehearsal, you’ll be astonished at the impact it has on your results.
When you’re trying to achieve anything ambitious, you’ll have times when you feel discouraged or tempted to slack off. That’s why you need someone who supports you and checks to make sure you do the things you say you’ll do. Knowing you have to answer to another person is a powerful driver to taking action and following through. Enlist the help of one person who will consistently hold you accountable for taking the actions you commit to.
Having a coach, combined with the first four factors, will make all the difference in your achievement of your goals.
"A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work." - Colin L. Powell, American secretary of state (1937- )
"It is only by working with an energy which is almost superhuman and which looks to uninterested spectators like insanity that we can accomplish anything worth the achievement." - Woodrow Wilson, American president (1856-1924)
"Most people never run far enough on their first wind, to find out if they've got a second. Give your dreams all you've got, and you'll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you." - William James, American psychologist (1842-1910)