It is no surprise to me that there is an incredibly strong correlation between achievement (in whatever shape and form that may take) and self-motivation and goal setting. Ultimately, as much as we like to think that those who achieve success were “lucky”, the reality is that usually the person is in fact incredibly self-motivated and spent years working towards their goals. This should seem obvious because in order to achieve anything, first a goal must be set. The goal also needs to be tangible. This is why despite every human having a desire to achieve, most do not because the goal is not an actual goal. For example, a desire to be rich is not an objective as its so vague. However, building a $10m retail business is a clear goal. To live in a big house is not a goal, but to buy a $1m 4-bedroom condo in a specific neighbourhood is. To do more for charity is not a tangible goal, but to spend 8 hours a week working at a home shelter and organising a fundraiser once every month is a clear goal. Once the goal is set, unless you are self-motivated, you are going to find all manner of excuses as to why you can’t spend time working towards the goals. It’s the wrong time for the economy, you have a family event this week etc. There is always a reason why you can’t achieve something, but the self-motivation and drive to follow through on those goals is what separates the achievers from the rest of us.
Life goals always change
The most important thing to remember when you set goals for your life, is that they are going to change several times over the course of your life. At 22 your main goal in life may be to work for a cool tech company and share a loft apartment with your friends in that trendy hipster neighbourhood. 45-year-old you with a spouse and 3 kids is highly unlikely to have any desire to do the same thing. As such, it can often be more practical to plan your life goals on a 3-5-year time period. This allows for them to be practical and relevant to your current life stage. So, for example, a big goal may be for you to retire with $1m, but if you are 30, then aiming to have say $100k in your retirement portfolio by 35 is a more tangible goal. You can then revisit them and adjust accordingly as life happens.
There is more to life than money and your career
When people set goals for themselves, they often forget to look beyond the superficial items such as a job title or a salary. Whilst ensure you can become financially independent and having a fulfilling career can be incredibly important, work and money should not be the only goals you have for your life. Do you have any academic goals? Maybe you love art or history and would like to become an expert in an area you are passionate about. Maybe you never want to college and have always wanted to get a degree? What about charitable objectives? Maybe you want to end homelessness in your neighbourhood or mentor kids from underprivileged backgrounds and give back? Maybe you want to write a book, or a screen play? Perhaps you want to fall in love, get married and have a load of kids? Maybe you had kids and they have moved out? Maybe you want to travel the world? Its important to keep your goals well rounded. There is no point in being rich if you are in poor health and have no loved ones to share your time with. So, make sure that you have at least one goal for each area of your life.