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Goals, Goals, and More Goals

By Peter Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Jul 13, 2010

One of the proven tenets of life: establish goals for yourself and you are more likely to be successful. However, many people set goals and then come up way short (including myself, from time to time).

Goals have to be realistic, and you have to learn how to accomplish them.

Someday, I would like to play on stage with Harry Connick, Jr. and I would like to start at midfielder for a top-level European football (read: soccer) team. Are either of these things going to happen? Certainly not the latter, and most likely not the former (unless I somehow meet Harry, and he is happy-drunk when I ask him to let me sit in). So to create those goals in my life would be unrealistic.

However, there are plenty of realistic goals that I can set, such as getting to heaven, adding a reasonable amount of new revenue to my company, getting/receiving more benefit in time spent with my children, etc.

Moreover, you have to learn how to achieve your goals.

Let’s say you are a college freshman. You have your first paper due in three weeks, on an assigned subject. Ergo, to meet the goal of getting a good grade on the paper you must prepare. You must learn about the subject matter. You must learn how to craft a thesis statement. You must learn how to create an outline, etc. You can’t just say, “OK, now I’m going to write a paper” and then spin it out of the air. You won’t meet your goal.

So many times in life we set goals and then fail to provide ourselves with the opportunity to meet them. We need to figure out how to apply proper discipline to our goal setting process.

Want to improve your spiritual life? Give yourself a chance – get a good spiritual director. If a director is not available, order a good book (like Introduction to the Devout Life) and get started! Set reasonable goals for progress, that are attainable and will create long-term value.

Want to lose weight? Same thing. Learn how to eat healthfully, and learn how to exercise properly. Set up your schedule and keep the goals right in front of you. If you know that you are prone to get bored with exercising, give yourself the opportunity for plenty of variety. Plan it out! Make it attainable!

Want to grow your business? Learn how to market effectively. About 50% of new business growth comes from referrals. Is that true for your business? Can that be true for your business? Set your plan and learn how to execute it.

To be successful in life, you have to be disciplined. A part of applying that discipline is creating realistic goals and putting yourself in the position to attain them.

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