Don’t be ridiculous! How on earth do you ask me if I’ve got somethings up my sleeves for the New Year when I’m still very much in the old year? When the New Year comes, then I’ll be ready to think about it. And perhaps, I’ll have an idea what I might think of or do with it.
Once upon a time, that was my mentality; I just lived my life the way it came. More so, planning or goal-setting wasn’t my thing at all. But now, I’m way different…I mean very different. I’m more intentional about the things I do and how I do them. I’m more deliberate in my actions and purposeful in the steps that I take. And guess what? I’m seeing and recording far more results than ever before.
“When we plan, we give ourselves the opportunity to make happen the kind of life we want or dream about.”
Hold it! Why do you care that I have plans for 2018?
Well, firstly because I’m of the opinion that as we grow older or advance in age or numbers, we ought to be more cautious of how we spend our lives; what we do with it and who we spend it with. Time is a precious gift and a rare opportunity that God gave us all, and need I say, it ought not to be wasted.
Secondly because what you don’t plan for, project or envisage, you don’t get, secure or become. There can only be a better tomorrow if we plan today. This is not implying that every plan we make will be bang on. But that when we plan, we give ourselves the opportunity to make happen the kind of life we want or dream about. It’s all about positioning yourself to succeed in the New Year.
I once shared the story of how as a young boy, I would accompany my mother to the market to do her shopping. And whenever I point at some toy or gadget, she would say, it’s not in my budget. Today in reality, what you don’t budget (plan or set goals to achieve) is highly unlikely you’ll accomplish it.
“It’s all about positioning yourself
to succeed in the New Year.”
It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”
Let’s set the records straight.
The subject of planning or goal-setting isn’t new at all. Eighty years on after it was first introduced by the British Philosopher, Cecil Alec Mace, the concept of goal-setting is still very much relevant and applicable to individuals and organisations. It is a pre-requisite for success and the first step to turning dreams into reality.
I did a quick google search on goal-setting and discovered a number of references to a Harvard Business study that opined that 83 percent of the US population do not have goals. Another article referred to a situation where 300 small business owners where surveyed at an Annual Staples National Small Business and more than 80 percent said they don’t keep track of their business goals.
If these references are true, then the numbers call for a closer look at what makes them that high. Alongside what it takes to be part of the 17 percent that do have goals or even the 20 percent that keep track of their business goals.
So, for a start, what is goal-setting?
According to Wikipedia, goal-setting is the development of an action plan designed to motivate and guide a person or group toward a goal – an objective or a target.
According to Brian Tracy,
“Goals enable you to do the work you want to do, to live where you want to live, to be with the people you enjoy, and to become the kind of person you want to become…whatever your dream or desire, all you need to do is to set a goal, make a plan, and then work the plan until you succeed in it.”
Therefore, it is safe to say that goals or plans are not ends in themselves but a means to an end.
Why don’t people set goals?
It’s mind-boggling to think of it. But all the same, here are some reasons why I think people don’t set goals; Indifference, Ignorance, Phobia and the Past.
#1. I N D I F F E R E N C E
To be indifferent is to be less concerned about a thing. It is showing a lack of interest or desire for something. Some people don’t make plans or set goals simply because they don’t just care or bother. They are completely fine living their lives the way it comes with a mindset that draws from an Italian slogan – Que, Sera Sera – meaning whatever will be will be.
In my view, this sort of position leaves one in a reactive mode rather than being proactive. A place where one is constantly reacting to things/situations and ultimately become a victim of circumstances.
#2. I G N O R A N C E
There are many shades of ignorance; from a lack of knowledge, unskillfulness, inexperience, cluelessness, unfamiliarity, mindlessness to unintelligence. Whatever the shade, it depicts a lack of information. I couldn’t agree more with Ben Hardy, the motivation psychologist, he wrote, “If you don’t believe in setting goals, it’s because you don’t know how to do it.” Blunt? Believe me, that’s the truth.
The remedy for this kind of mind state is gaining knowledge on how to set goals, make plans and stick to them.
#3. P H O B I A
Phobia is fear or extreme aversion to something. It includes but not limited to the fear of the future, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of people not believing in the goals you set, fear of rejection to mention but a few. Fear attacks the mind; it immobilises dreams and shuts down creativity. It cripples the will, deactivates the desire, and paralyses the gut to pursue the life of you want.
The first step to dealing with phobia is to identify and recognise what those fears are. Then, prepare a plan of action on how to resolve them and consciously follow the plan you’ve created. You can decide today to obey or disobey the fears clogging the wheels of your mind, it’s up to you!
#4. T H E P A S T
To some people, their past experience is their biggest hurdle and this would usually be the unsuccessful or unpleasant experiences. It is usually connected with phobia in that it erects a barrier in the mind and creates an atmosphere for fear to thrive. From the fear of failing, fear of losing, fear of venturing to even the fear of success.
On the other hand, it could also apply to those who at one point or another have been told they cannot amount to anything in life. Be it parents, friends, family members, co-workers, etc. And because these are people they are close to; trust, look to or hold in high regard, they end up believing the lies they were sold.
In summary, my advice is this; dare to dream! Dream again and again. Dare the odds and take on the risks. You may never know, what or whom you’ll become.