We all have basic needs. Things like food, a place to live, clothing, paying the bills, etc. Those needs usually are what drive us to keep going day after day, to go to work and make a living of some kind. Most of us also have dreams or desires of having more in life. A larger house (or paying off the one you’re in), nicer car, more freedom with your time …maybe even to take that vacation that you’ve been daydreaming about. Beyond the very basic needs in life, what really motivates you?
Everyone seems to have something different that really drives them. Some people seek fame or recognition. Some look for money. Most people want stability and security to live a peaceful life. No matter what it is that makes up your goal, what you want, is it the journey or the destination that drives you toward achieving that? Is it something deeper?
Goals without a plan followed up by action are meaningless. Make a step by step plan, then DO IT & don’t quit when it’s difficult.
To realize our goals and dreams, there is a process that must take place or we get lost along the journey, easily losing sight of what it was we were moving toward in the first place. The process I’m talking about is the road map or “plan” that will take you from Point “A” (where you are now) to Point “B” (where you want to be). A lot of people have talked or written about this type of planning, the reason for that being that many of us neglect to make a plan to begin with!
Here’s just a brief outline of the process:
- Think about what you REALLY want to accomplish or have. Write it down in detail. This is your Goal – it’s also what motivates you. Dream build – by researching or studying out what you want to achieve. Know why you want it. If it’s a material thing like a new car, go see one & test drive it. If it’s a vacation, study it out on the internet & decide exactly where you want to go. If it’s financial security, list what a difference it would make in your life to have that.
- What’s it going to take to get there? Define the steps and process of getting there from start to finish. This might take some time and a lot of research or planning, itself, but it must be done to draw out the “map”. Make an itemized list, ordering it from start to finish.
- Begin taking action. Start at the beginning of your plan or map and begin doing what it will take to start rolling on your journey. Time to make it happen!
- Put into place protective systems so that others don’t sabotage your plan and you won’t get discouraged, yourself. This includes reviewing your Goal and the plan, making revisions to the plan as you go. Decide not to listen to negativity or sarcasm about your own journey. Be prepared, because sometimes those who are closest to you will criticize what you’re doing. Keep in mind the end result that you want to achieve – visualize it. Have pictures or written phrases or your Goal (your motivation) near you throughout the day and review them as often as possible to keep it fresh & stay motivated. I keep mine in my planner & on my BlackBerry because I carry them everywhere.
- DO NOT QUIT. Things will get difficult. Other people may try to discourage you & talk you down from your goal – don’t let it bring you down. Stay focused on what it is that is motivating you!
Some people scoff at dreaming of the future – but I can tell you from experience, that type of limited thinking does not get you beyond where you are at right now! Dr. Robert Anthony, a highly successful individual & Personal Performance Trainer, taught us to, “Live in the present moment, but know that you are creating your future in this moment.” So, as you live your everyday life, make it worthwhile by actively building your future one step at a time, following the map that you’ve created.
It takes time to achieve anything that is going to be worthwhile. Keep in mind – it’s not just the destination that’s important – but the journey, itself. Along that journey we are learning and growing.