The best way to set priorities for yourself is to start big, making a list of 100 things you want from your life. Does that seem like a lot? In reality, once we have written down all the places we want to visit, as well as the incredible successes that we hope to achieve, and finally, every little daily satisfaction we would like to enjoy, 100 points probably won’t be enough to cover it all. Once you have made your list, you move on to selecting 10 important challenges, setting a time frame in which you intend to complete each one. At that point, you need to reduce your list to three main objectives, which need to become your new obsession, because keeping what you aim to achieve in the forefront of your mind makes it easier to deal with the challenges you are likely to face on the way to achieving them.
Every single one of your goals can be achieved if you are willing to stick to the following five-step plan:
- state your aim out loud (to yourself or to the universe): meaning state your objective clearly;
- believe that it has been heard and begin to behave as though you have already accomplished it;
- establish a detailed plan of action, divided into small steps, that will lead you to your end goal;
- don’t stop until you have reached your goal.
So how exactly do we set out our action plan to reach our goals? The best way to turn a dream into reality is to make sure that it is SMART, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Accessible, Relevant and Timely. Let’s take a closer look at the meaning and the role of each of these objectives.
Being Specific about the objectives that we are aiming to achieve means having a deep understanding of what we hope to obtain, and it also allows us to find greater motivation, which in turn, turns, as if by magic, into a greater chance of success. So it is good to start by asking yourself what you want, and why you want it, trying to be as honest as you possibly can. Then you have to understand what you need to stop doing and what you need to start doing to put yourself on the right path. Finally, it is important to have an awareness of the inevitable obstacles that you are going to face, so that you don’t get caught unprepared when problems arise.
Having a Measurable goal means knowing when it is time to crack open the champagne, meaning that you need to be able to measure your progress honestly and objectively.
It is right for us to think that we can achieve anything our hearts desire, but it is also right, or at least intelligent, to make sure that we have the time, the talent and the money we need before beginning our journey. We need to be reasonably certain that we are capable of achieving our goal, and ready to sacrifice everything we need to, until our dream becomes Accessible and Relevant.
Finally, we need to be Timely in getting to work, and avoid wasting time: we have to set a timetable and stick to it, (without worrying too much, because unforeseen events happen all the time), and doing so will be the difference between success and failure.