By Anubhav Srivastava ( Register for his Workshop – Build Super Confidence For Super Success!)
One of the most powerful examples of what goal setting can accomplish can be seen in the story of mankind’s progress in space. It may seem we have made astounding advancements. After all we have a permanent presence in low earth orbit in the form of the International space station. However, when you look at the fact that 40 years ago man, reached the moon, still being stuck in low year orbit does not seem like a remarkable achievement anymore.
Can you figure out the reason why 40 years earlier a seemingly impossible thing was accomplished and yet since that time we have made little progress. The answer to the question lies in the space race between the United States of America and the Soviet Union. Not only did the Soviet Union launch the first man made satellite into space, it also launched the first man into space.
The US which was already in a race with the Soviet Union to establish its supremacy saw this as a grave threat. Alarmed by their progress, the American president John F Kennedy made a historic announcement and for the first time set a clear goal for America to reach the moon before the end of the decade.
Kennedy did not live to see this dream come true. On November 22, 1963, he was assassinated. America plunged into mourning. The desire to go to the moon was no longer just about beating the soviets. It was something much more. It was about fulfilling the greatest wish of their fallen leader. The desire to accomplish this goal collectively was now stronger than ever.
And what happened? On the 21st of July, 1969 we achieved it. Something that was dreamt of for thousands and thousands of years was achieved within merely seven years of someone seriously committing to the goal. Why is it that within 7 years, man managed to land on the moon? Why is that more than forty years later, man hasn’t landed on Mars?
The answer is simple. The former was a clear goal, with the availability of the right resources, with the right timing and the right competition. The latter is still a wish because even though we have the right resources there simply is no clear goal to go to Mars at this stage at all. When that becomes a goal, nobody can stop mankind. When your dreams become a goal nobody can stop you.
How to set Goals.
Now the above was a large scale goal but personal goals can also be accomplished with the same methods.
1) Determine your life goals: Ask yourself what is it that you want out of life in one week, one month, one year or twenty years. For the sake of example, lets pick a fitness goal. So state to yourself “I want to be Fit and live healthy.”
2) Break the goal down into smaller pieces. Now you need to get into the specifics.
For the life goal “I want to be fit,” I want to achieve a body weight of 70 kg with a body fat percentage of 10 before the end of 2015. And then I want to maintain it. You have clearly defined the specifics of what exactly your objective is and you have set a DEADLINE. A goal is a dream with a deadline.
3) Write down those goals: Once you know what is it that you wish to accomplish, you need to go after them by committing to them. Writing has been shown to leaver a bigger impact on the subconscious mind than just making a vague goal in your head. Writing will engrain your goal deep in your mind and your chances of staying on track will be many fold. So write down your major goal and then all the small goals you need to accomplish in order to fulfill the bigger goal.
“I need to get to the right weight, I need to workout four times a week for 60 minutes, and I need to do Cardio 3 times a week. I need to eat only 1500 calories a day to ensure I am losing weight. I need to cut down on my salt. I need to cut down on my sugar intake. I need to weigh myself every few days to see where I am going.”
4) Keep adjusting the goals as you go: Sometimes you may see that you are going off track or sometimes you may no longer wish to achieve the same goal but rather a variant of that goal. In this case, a course correction is important.
So let’s say you have a target to lose 20 kg and mostly you are on track but you go on a holiday and then you find you have gained a few kg because you were eating a lot and were not able to exercise properly. That is ok. But now to get to your goal within a time frame, you may need to exercise more or cut down on calories further. So you need to keep evaluating whether you are on track and take the right measures.
5) Set big goals but do not become delusional: Goals should be out of reach but not out of sight. You cannot fly when you haven’t learned to walk. Evaluate yourself realistically and recognize what goals make sense and what goals do not seem to be achievable in the short run. Going to the moon was attainable in the 20th century for a nation with billions of dollars and the right technology available, but not for a group of everyday people back armed with sticks and stones in 5000 BC.
Let’s come back to the fitness example. If you are massively overweight, your goal cannot be to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger in 6 months. You need to take it one step at a time and achieve the goal of weight loss first and when you have achieved it, then you focus more on the muscle building over a period of a few years. If you set unrealistic goals, you are going to end up frustrated and might quit.
6) Set One major goal at a time: At any given moment, you cannot have a number of goals all in different states of completion. You can’t say ok I want to be a marathon runner and a sprinter both at the same time. Its not possible, both have different requirements. But you can be a marathon runner for a couple of years and then decide that you want to be a sprinter but then you have to make changes accordingly.
Anubhav Srivastava is an author, motivational speaker and the director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind inspirational documentary featuring some of the most famous personalities from diverse fields, who teach the viewers how they too can make all of their dreams come true. The movie itself has been seen on Youtube by over 700,000 people. Anubhav has also been featured in numerous International and India Media outlets such as BBC , The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Rediff.com, Leicester Mercury and many others.
Email Anubhav Srivastava for coaching, consulting or motivational speaking queries at email@example.com. Facebook Profile: http://facebook.com/anubhav981
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