“All successful people have a goal. No one can get anywhere unless he knows where he wants to go and what he wants to be or do.” – Norman Vincent Peale
Norman Vincent Peale is right – you can’t get anywhere if you don’t know where you want to go. If you want to ultimately end up successful in life, then you need to have a goal in mind.
Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years? Are you happy with where you are right now? Can you see yourself doing the same thing until you say goodbye to this world?
If you can, then good for you. Maybe you’ve already found your passion, and you’ve achieved your life goals. But I bet, for the majority of people reading this guide, you’re not truly happy.
If you can see yourself doing something else, doing something you really love, then you can set that as your goal.
If you can see yourself moving someplace far away doing the things you really want to do, then start planning how you’re going to get there.
Now, this is where it gets tricky. How do you know if you’re setting the right kind of goals for yourself?
Realistic Versus Unrealistic Goals
Ask yourself this question before you embark on your journey, “Is my goal realistic?”
If you answer “no,” you could end up wasting all your time, energy, even money, for nothing.
Dreaming big is perfectly fine. Many successful people started from humble beginnings, but they dreamt big and they managed to achieve their dreams!
However, it’s important to mention here that when they first set their eyes on their target, they already knew there was a possibility – no matter how small – that they can achieve it.
If they set their eyes on something where they have zero chances of succeeding, then they wouldn’t have succeeded. At all.
If you want even the slightest chance of succeeding, then you need to make sure your goals are still within the realm of possibility.
Let me give you an example: you love basketball so much that you want to someday play in the NBA, the most prestigious basketball league in the world.
You’re a great player, but you’re only 5 feet tall and you’re not going to grow another inch. Plus, you’re scrawny.
What are the odds of you ever becoming a professional NBA player? Zero. That’s the harsh truth. You may be a great shooter, but you’ll be a defensive liability on the court.
There are many great basketball players who are tall, strong, and talented. But a great majority of them are never going to make it to the NBA.
So, why would you think you can? If getting into the NBA is your dream, then you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Maybe a more realistic goal for you would be to someday watch a live NBA game. Or have your picture taken with your favorite player and get his autograph, too. Most people would be happy with that.
Now, if you were 6 feet tall and you’re really, really talented, then you may just have a shot at getting into the NBA. If you’ve got the skills, then you can work on it, and do your best to get the attention of a basketball scout.
I hope you can now see the difference between having a realistic and unrealistic goal.
How To Set The Right Kind Of Goals
Knowing how to set the right kind of goals is the only way you can ensure you’ll have a shot at success.
To start with, your goal would need to be a S.M.A.R.T. goal. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. When you identify a goal that meets this criteria, then you’ve got an excellent goal right there!
Let’s go through what each characteristic means:
Your goal should be Specific.
You don’t just say you want to become a millionaire by this time next year. Rather, you should say, “I should be earning at least $84,000 every month for the next 12 months.” Or, you can even break it down further by specifying the exact amounts you should be making each day or each week for the next 12 months.
If you’re selling a product that costs $20 and you make a $15 profit per item, then it means you need to sell at least 5,600 units per month to make an $84,000 profit. Divide that by 30 days, then you need to sell at least 187 units per day to reach your monthly goal.
You need to be as specific as possible when it comes to setting your goals. There’s less ambiguity, and you know exactly what you should be aiming for.
Your goal should be Measurable.
Measurable means you can identify or measure when you achieve your goal. It means you can easily track your progress which, in turn, can help motivate you when you see you’re getting closer to your goal.
Going back to our millionaire example, you can easily check your sales, your spreadsheet or your bank account to measure how you’re getting along.
It’s easy to see how much you’ve earned, and you can adjust your goals if you see you’ve had a couple of months where you didn’t meet your quota.
Maybe you need to market your product in other places or look into adding more talented salespeople to your team.
Your goal should be Achievable.
Here’s where having a realistic goal comes in. Being a millionaire in 1 year is entirely possible. You’ve got a good product, you’ve had good reviews from past customers.
So, you know perfectly well your goal is achievable. You just need to work on tapping hidden markets or maybe do a better job at marketing and selling your product.
You may even think about adding a new source of income within the next 12 months.
You can sell a new product or have some other projects on the side, maybe a bit of freelancing, stuff like that. When you find another income stream, then it will help you reach your goal of becoming a millionaire faster!
Your goal should be Relevant.
Is your goal relevant or reasonable? Is it really what you want? Will your current status in life allow you to pursue your goal? Is it the right time?
Do you have the resources to successfully achieve your goal of becoming a millionaire? Are you or your team capable of selling almost 200 units of your product every single day? Will you have enough money left over once you’ve paid your staff for their hard work?
If, at the end of the month, you’re left with far less money than the amount you’ve targeted, then you may want to readjust your goal (how about you make it 2 years instead of 1 year), train your team to become better at sales, etc.
Your goal should be Timely.
You need to have a set deadline for your goal. Earlier, we’ve mentioned 12 months for our goal to become a millionaire. When you’ve got a big goal set in the future, you can easily get distracted.
So, it’s important that you also set mini-goals, so you don’t lose sight of the big one. You can set monthly goals – like earning at least $84,000 per month so you’ll become a millionaire in just 12 short months.
What wouldn’t be a good idea is if you just hope of someday becoming a millionaire with no particular timeline in mind – it can be in 1 year, 12 years, 25 years – it doesn’t matter to you.
When you set a non-time bound goal, then it’s really not a good goal. Set a deadline, so you have something to work towards.