Creating a compelling future
Morolake Akinosun is an American athlete of Nigerian descent. At age 17 in 2011, Morolake was in her senior year in Waubonsie Valley High School in Illinois. While watching the televised World Championships for track and field, she got inspired to tweet these words; “In 2016, I will be 22, graduated from a school I haven’t chosen yet and going to the Olympics”. Fast forward to exactly 5 years later, she got a pop-up on the timehop app reminding her of the tweet she had posted in 2011. She reflected on her current reality and in shock tweeted again; “It’s 2016, I graduate from the University of Texas in December. I’m going to the Olympics next week!” Isn’t it intriguing to know that exactly 5 years after Morolake said she would be at the Olympics, she made it? More interestingly, Morolake surpassed her goal. Along with other members of her team, she won the gold medal for the 400-meter relay at that 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A great feat for the 22-year old athlete.
Now, that is the power of goal setting.
Effective goal setting is a crucial factor for success. Morolake set a goal for herself and that propelled her to take decisive steps towards fulfilling it; it influenced her choice of University and friends as well as her daily routines. You see, goals help to put order in our lives. Tony Robbins captures the essence of goal setting when he said it is “the secret to a compelling future.” The goals we set motivate and push us towards the realization of our dreams. They set us on the path to creating our desired future. Do you have a dream? You want to become a bestselling author, a world-renowned singer/songwriter or a successful professional or entrepreneur? Goal setting will help you move from the stage of dreaming to actually pursuing the realization of that dream.
However, recent research shows that only 2% of the world population write down their goals. That’s very worrying when you consider the world’s population roughly estimated at 7.7 billion people. Friend, we might not have all the resources we want at our disposal but there’s something we all have equally and that is time. Whether, you like it or not; whether you are prepared or not, we all spend or invest time every day and we’ll never recover time spent. Zig Ziglar said, “if you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time”.
So, here are some tips to help you set compelling goals for your life and career.
- Determine the Big Picture
What is that big picture that captures the essence of your life? Be clear about it. Think of one sentence or paragraph that explains the kind of life you desire. It might take a while to clearly capture all your thoughts in one sentence but it’s worth the effort.
- Identify things you need to do to achieve that Big Picture
Dreams don’t work themselves, we make dreams work. Having identified the big picture, go further by drilling down to at least 3 things you need to achieve in order to create that big picture. Should you enroll for some professional programme, join a professional association or start out your private practice? It all depends on your “Big Picture” but you have to identify the things you need to do to live your dreams.
- Set SMART goals
SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. A goal that is Specific must answer the questions: Who is involved in this goal? What do I want to accomplish? Where is this goal to be achieved? When do I want to achieve it? And why do I want to achieve this goal? A goal is Measurable if it has clear criteria for measuring progress while it is Achievable when it is not impossible to attain. Goals must be Realistic too, taking into consideration your present realities and must be time-bound, that is there must be a start and finish date.
You see my friend, dreams without SMART goals are just wishes and if wishes were horses, beggars will ride.
Remember, you have One Life to Live, MAKE IT COUNT!