"Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan." - Tom Landry (NFL Hall of Fame Football Coach)
We all have dreams and goals in life, whether they are "big" or "small", these aspirations are very meaningful on an mental and emotional level to us as individuals. Some of these goals are derived from past experiences, other goals are based on proving the nay-sayers wrong. Whatever the original motivation is for these goals and dreams that we have, we have been told by society that there are ways to gain what we want. Yet those outside forces are very judgmental of us because we are climbing towards the mountain top instead of falling into the crowd.
Today's society wants immediate results; it has been forgotten how important hard work and the value of having a plan is in achieving goals and dreams. The Roman Colosseum was not built in a few weeks, neither was the Golden Gate Bridge or the Pyramids. No great achievement was gained from a short term mind set. Nothing that is worth having is attained without patience and hard work. But the question is "how do we do it?" Let's review the three important steps to attaining any goals or dreams, no matter how "big" or "small". For context, we will make an analogy with a car going on a road trip.
Step 1: Start the car/Start the journey
You will never reach your goals and dreams without starting the journey towards those aspirations. You must be committed to taking the steps forward, because staying in one place is not progress. To achieve progress, you must make the commitment emotionally and mentally to move towards those goals.
Ask yourself, what great accomplishment was every attained without there being a commitment made to go after it? Today's popular culture calls it "hustling", the old guard calls it "hard work"; whatever you want to call it, you can't get something without going after it. Whatever burns inside of you, what causes you to wake up and go to sleep with in the back of your mind, you have to work hard to make it happen. No race was ever finished without taking the steps to get to the finish line.
Step 2: Review the Map to get from Point A to Point B/Have a Game Plan
When you go on a long road trip, you look up how far it is to get to your destination and directions to get there. You will never reach your destination unless you have an idea how to get there. Even on long trips, we figure out a pit stop or place to take a break that is possibly halfway to our destination, to either get food, have a bathroom break or just as a mental marker to say "I am halfway there!"
The same applies with the journey to achieving your goals. You need to know how to get there, have a plan on what to do to succeed at gaining your dream and even have short term goals that are different stages in the journey to the ultimate, long term goal. Thomas Edison was asked about how many times he failed in his efforts to invent the light bulb; he responded "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." You will not always succeed with the first game plan, you may not get the ultimate result at first, but the longer you strive after the ultimate goal, the more small successes you will achieve and you will figure out what works for you!
Step 3: Car needs Fuel in the Gas Tank/You need Fuel to get to your Goals
Media and society have bombarded us with miseducation about what we need to succeed in life. We see all types of diets and programs for people to "lose weight", but many of these are not founded on long term results; instead they are predicated on short term gratification. We all want achievements that are tangible as we progress towards the ultimate goal, but if we are not properly fueling the journey we will not reach that destination.
In the health and fitness world, an individual cannot make weight loss or athletic gains without the proper amount of Macro Nutrients (Protein, Fats, and Carbohydrates). These nutrients are integral in having the fuel the body needs to not just attain desired results, but also not to regress and have negative results to one's health both physical and mental. Too many times people fuel their bodies with either the wrong nutrients or not enough, leaving them malnourished hanging below the baseline for healthy living, because they have been misinformed.
When you want to attain a dream or goal, you have to have a positive input into the vehicle that is going to get you where you want to go. If you fuel your mind or body with negativity, that negativity will hold you back, like a poison. But when you make sure what you fuel yourself is positive, you will get positive results, short and long term. The adage "You are what you eat" is actually in the ballpark of reason. We can change it to "You will produce what you absorb". If you want to achieve greatness, you want to make progress; you want to live your dreams then you MUST make sure that you are fueling your mind, body, environment and life with the right elements.
So there you go, you can be successful by getting the journey started, having a plan with short term goals along the way to reach your ultimate goals, and finally you need to the right fuel to get there.
Lastly, you need to be honest with yourself. Remember there is a difference between being a realist and a pessimist. A Pessimist is a person who sees or anticipates the worst, in other words, is negative consciously and subconsciously in their every life and actions. A Realist is a person who tends to view or represent things as they are, in other words, someone who is objective consciously and subconsciously in their everyday life and actions. When you are objective, you are more likely to be balanced with your life and goals. You can aim big, have large scale dreams, but you also need to know where you are coming from and what the amount of time and work it will take to get there.
You must as well have a willingness to re-evaluate your goals and destination as you go along your journey. Also, as you make progress, when you remember where you started, it puts into context how far you have come and how your ultimate goals are even more attainable.
"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude." - Thomas Jefferson (3rd President of the United States)