We all want to forge ahead in life. But how many of you fear falling short of your own or even other people’s expectations? I know I do. Nearly everyone struggles to bring their aspirations to life because of fear or a lack of motivation, or even just not knowing what they want from life in general.

At least you can work around it. Defining your goals is the first step to starting an exciting new journey. It’s about getting specific, applying those specifics, and then dedicating yourself to the process that will lead to becoming the best version of yourself.

Goal Setting Matters

After years of research on how the brain works, scientists know now that for us to figure out how to get what we want, we need to figure out what we want from life. Once you lock in your desires by setting goals, your mind and the universe conspire to make it happen.

Experts on the science of successfully setting and achieving our goals know that the brain actually seeks out goals. Whatever goal you program into your subconscious, the brain starts looking for relevant information, resources, and opportunities to achieve the desire you’ve identified.

It may sound impossible right now if you’re feeling stuck in a rut. But how often have you seen people actually get what they want? Quite suddenly. Maybe you’ve put it down to good karma, and maybe it is. Usually, though, it’s from an opportunity or source that already existed in their life or network of influences. They’d just never before instructed their brain to seek it out.

To effectively engage the powers of your subconscious and truly get the most out of your life, your goals need to be specific and measurable.

Choose goals that create journeys

Rather than setting life goals specifically, think about setting a life direction. What would create meaningful, fun, and compelling journeys for you?

Try asking yourself:
  • How do I really want to spend my time?
  • What do I want to learn in life?
  • What daily activities get me excited?
  • Who do I want to hang around with?
Now, set the goal. Choose one that is sure to create a journey.

Now, let me throw this spanner in the works. The specific goal you set might be kind of arbitrary at this very point in your life. It’s mostly about setting a direction, so the actual pursuit brings you what you want from life. With the right journey, it won’t particularly matter how you reach the goal.

On the other hand, being smart about your goals can help you reach rather specific outcomes.

Be S.M.A.R.T about your goals

S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-Sensitive, and this is what researchers suggest your goals need to be.
  • Specific – goals aren’t meant to be vague. Incomplete goals pave the way for incomplete futures. Think about that.
  • Measurable – set measurable goals. Don’t be cared to get very specific to help you figure out what you want from your life.
  • Attainable – don’t set yourself up for failure by setting your goals so high that there’s just no way of achieving them.
  • Realistic – a goal has to be something you can make real. Some goals just aren’t realistic. You need to be able to say that yes, your goal is completely realistic, that you can definitely achieve it. You may even have to plan out how you’ll achieve it. Even the biggest goals need to be real.
  • Time – put a timeframe on your goal. A great goal has an end, a time by which you want to accomplish it. This will help you work diligently to meet your deadline but, in the end, you’ll achieve something you want from life.
It’s always okay to change direction

If you ever feel like you need to change direction, simply change your goals. It’s not really about where you end up, especially if you’re creating journeys, it’s more about living life your way and for the best outcome for you. Life’s too precious to settle for anything mediocre.

“Life’s journey of finding ourselves, finding our power, and living for yourself” – Hargitay

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