It’s great to get a mental picture of what you want to do, be or have and it’s even better to have good intentions about making it happen. However, what normally happens after determining what you want to do, be or have? If you’re like most people, the desire or intention gets placed on the back burner and we go on with life. It’s totally different and takes much more effort to clarify your goals and develop solid action steps for moving forward, and then to take action to make things happen.

In January, many of us make a concerted effort to develop New Year’s resolutions. We tend to begin the year with a list of goals focused on things that we want to accomplish by years-end. Examples might be: losing weight, saving a certain amount of money, improving relationships, getting a new job, etc. The problem arises when we “set it and forget it” without an intense focus and self-directed action. Many times we have targets without a clear plan or understanding of how to make things happen. To say it another way, we have really good intentions and that’s about it. However, we can all do much better than merely having good intentions.

The Danger of Self-imposed Barriers

Self-imposed barriers usually prevent us from taking action. These barriers can appear in many forms. They may present themselves in the form of competing priorities or a schedule that is unrealistic. It could also be a focus more on accomplishing things for others rather than focusing on your own needs or desires. This is especially true for people, who have a service-oriented mentality. One huge barrier to setting and achieving goals is our inability to manage or invest our time. Another is not being clear on purpose. When we’re clear on purpose, it is easier to maintain focus on what’s most important to us despite the barriers or distractions we may face. When you’re clear on your purpose, it’s also much easier to make sacrifices and carve out time to take action on your goals, because you have internal motivation that tends to move you forward.

“When you spend a day, you have one less day to spend. Make sure you spend each day wisely.” –Jim Rohn

It’s Important to Have a Plan

To move beyond good intentions, you need a plan. It doesn’t have to be overly formal. However, it is helpful to have it in writing. Reflect on your purpose and become clear about what you want to do, be or have. Set SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-bound) goals and follow this by establishing clear action steps with target dates for each. It may also be helpful to ask someone to hold you accountable. You should reflect on the advantages of achieving the goal and the losses to be avoided. Getting started can be awkward and discouraging. Remember the first time you tried riding a bike or playing an instrument? At first, it was uncomfortable and challenging, but if you were persistent and consistent, you ultimately became more proficient at the task. Ultimately, you became knowledgeable and comfortable and learned to do the activity without even thinking about it.

We can do better than just having good intentions. It takes time and commitment to achieve your goals. It also takes purposeful and self-directed action. If you plan, carve out time, take action and stick to it, the goal will transition from wishful thinking to achieved. The great thing about the process is that you’ll grow as you move forward on the journey of change. As you do this, it’s important that you get help if you find that you need it. At Right Path Enterprises, we can help. We encourage you to take action and find a way to enjoy your journey of transformation. It takes commitment and consistent effort to move from a dream to reality.

#enjoythejourney #lifeplanning #strengthenthecore