by Dr. Melanie Ross Mills | Contributor
Authentic life transformation cannot happen without clarity of vision. As Empowerment Coach, Tiffany Hendra, states, “It is vital to get a clear vision for who you want to be, what you want to do, and what you want to have.” She explains that without vision we will remain stagnant and ultimately unfulfilled. Ms. Hendra is spot on! We all need goals, and it takes vision to get there.
Goals help us assume responsibility and take the steps needed in order to achieve our desired outcome. A plan guides us along the way as we determine whether or not we are staying the course to get us where we want to go.
The real-life change occurs as our vision dictates and defines the steps we need to take, our motivations, and our abilities needed to reach our goals. However, there’s something we might overlook if we are too focused on the outcome … the beauty in the process.
Goal setting offers so much more than “hitting the mark” or “experiencing success.” It is in the steps that we change, grow, stretch, and see what we are really made of as we push ourselves beyond our comfort zones. We see that a life that invests in the process over the outcome is a life with clarity of vision.
What’s your personal goal statement?
Clearly define your motives, heart, desires, dreams as to why you would like to reach this certain goal.
Heart Probing Questions: Why do I desire this goal? Why does my plan matter to me? Why am I willing to make difficult choices in order to obtain my goal?
Your “personal goal statement” will be your motivating factor, your anchor. Your statement must be enough motivation for you to be faithful in completing the tasks at hand in order to reach your goal.
What could get in your way?
Identify what could hold you back. Look at examples in the past that held you back from taking risks, pursuing goals or that have caused you to pause or feel paralyzed. Self-examine hurts, fears, habits, unhealthy patterns, lies you believe about yourself, lack of support, relationship challenges, and any other areas that could potentially stifle you from moving forward with your plan.
Where do you need to “get real” with yourself?
Revisit your personal goal statement and potential hindrances that could get in your way. Eliminate the emotion and take an honest, objective viewpoint. Now it is time to get real.
Heart Probing Questions: Do I have a long-term goal or a short-term goal? How realistic are my expectations for myself? Can I overcome the hindrances that I identified? If not, what do I need to do in order to get there? Will this require my forgiving myself for shortcomings, letting go of guilt, bitterness, anger, resentment? Are there loose ends I need to take care of before I can move forward? How will I measure my accomplishments? Daily? Weekly? Yearly?
It’s time to visualize the process.
Set yourself up for success! Prepare from beginning to end to the best of your ability. Take time to meditate, envision, visualize. Listen to music, read books that are in keeping with your goal, talk to those who have gone before you in this area. Take it all in and let it sit for a minute. Tiffany Hendra suggests creating “vision boards” to help you stay on track with your goals. Make sure you can see yourself on the other side of your goal.
Heart Probing Questions: What does my future look like once I have completed my goal? Who is with me? What am I doing on a daily basis? What impact has this change had on myself and others? Who is celebrating with me? Who might be distracting or unsupportive?
Save the date!
Define your time frame. Revisit your personal goal statement. Look at your lifestyle, demands, responsibilities. Record your date that you will reach your goal and create “mile-markers” along the way.
Bring in the support system.
Most of us cannot accomplish goals without rallying the troops for support. We need others to help us stay accountable, encourage our efforts, and not tempt us to stray. You will need
a few buddies to check in and remind you that you are doing a great job (especially when you are ready to throw in the towel).
Embrace the process and soar.
You are ready to take one step at a time, as you embrace the growth process. You will be stretched as you make small and large sacrifices. You will begin each day with a fresh set of eyes as you mindfully tackle each day’s challenges. The small decisions will add up to larger results. Each choice will matter as you seek to live in keeping with your goals. (Don’t forget to set aside time to connect with your support system regularly.)
Guard your YAY! days.
Do not wait until your goal is reached to celebrate. Take time to “yay” each and every day. Rejoice always! Celebrate your small and large victories. Look at the beauty in the process. Acknowledge the efforts you are making in your life. Be grateful for the heart, abilities, opportunities, discipline, support, and love that you have in your life. Say YAY to the power to enjoy the process of reaching your goals.
Once you have reached your goal, you might be surprised at how reaching your goal matters less and witnessing life change matters more. The meaning behind your actions means more to you than the actual results.
Now that is real-life change!
Editor’s Note: Dr. Melanie Ross Mills is a Life Strategist and Relationship Expert, as well as a licensed therapist. Her motivational work includes the Life Bonds podcast and Life Bonds books. For more information, you can reach Dr. Mills at www.melanierossmills.com.