Where Are You Going to Be in Five Years?

It was Brian Tracy, author of Eat That Frog, who once said that: “Goals are the fire in the furnace of achievement.” And he couldn’t be more correct. If you have nothing to aim for then what’s the point of anything? Do not just get rich, stay rich. It’s what most people want from life. But the world doesn’t just stop when you become rich, it keeps moving, and you with it. Your goals need to be changing at all times to keep up with the fast moving world we live in today. If you can’t set your own goals where will you be five years from now?

Five Years Later

Now, imagine yourself 5 years into the future, what did you need to do in your life to get that kind of abundance?

You might be thinking you can’t imagine yourself with any abundance five years from now, but be truthful and you will realise that you can. Delve into your wildest dreams and look at the person you want to be. If you see somebody with a flash car, a large house, and a yacht bobbing up and down on the calming blue waters of Lake Balaton, then go and get it. You don’t have to be a slave to the corporate system to make those dreams a reality.

Next, take a look at a mnemonic you have most likely come across at least once during your life; SMART. Paul J. Meyer outlines exactly what each letter of this word means in his book Attitude is Everything. Take note that there are some variations, but they largely mean the same thing.

1. Specific

Tell yourself exactly what you want. Don’t dither, and don’t change your mind based on what other people think. Those who succeed outside the mould set up by modern society are breaking with tradition and belief. If you asked what a rich and successful person wanted five years ago then they will tell you people thought they were mad.

You are not mad for wanting more from life. You are just different. Society tells us to celebrate our differences, so why are you avoiding it?

Even if your goals sound like they entail a complete transformation of your life then don’t shy away from them. And don’t just think about them, write them down. For some added motivation, follow one of the common revision motivators that students are taught in school. Get a picture of your dream car or dream house and stick it on the wall where you can see it. Whenever you are feeling down or as if you can’t do it, you will always look towards your picture and realise exactly what you are working towards.

2. Measurable

Motivation is a key indicator of whether somebody will achieve their goals. Without motivation they are without success. We’ve just outlined a method by which you can keep yourself motivated, but you have to keep yourself motivated through the goal itself. When making up a goal you have to make sure it’s something where progress can be measured.

For example, if a student says they want to read five 500-page textbooks in six months they can measure their progress quite easily. Simply take the figure representing the pages (2500) and measure it against how many pages have been read so far. Easy!

Ok, doing the same thing with goals isn’t as easy, but it can be done. As long as there’s some rough indicator of how well you are doing you are going to know exactly how far along you are in your progress.

3. Attainable

Any goal must be attainable or you are just spinning your wheels needlessly. They must be high enough to challenge you whilst not being too hard as to be impossible. If somebody wanted to earn $50,000 in five years it’s a good goal if the person is only on a $30,000 salary with a wife and kids. On the other hand, attempting to become an astronaut with no education and no training in five years isn’t attainable and is a waste of time.

Attainable goals are the sign of highly conscientious individuals who succeed academically and professionally. Take a 2012 study presented in the African Journal of Business by SK. Lo, CL. Teng, and YL. Lin into the impact of online gaming on its players.

Entitled Online Gaming Personality and Weekday Gaming Tendency it states that online gaming is similar to real life in that there are simple objectives and attainable goals. They went on to say that: “highly conscientiousness individuals are likely to use online games continuously in order to achieve attainable goals. Highly conscientious individuals systematically plan their time academically or professionally to achieve success”

The link is clear. Attainable goals translate directly to success.

The benefit of attainable goals is motivation is maintained on a regular basis. Setting an attainable goal is one thing, but gaming companies keep players interested by implementing reachable objectives. Use this thinking in your life when you plan your goals. Add objectives or milestones so you can measure exactly how far you have come in the long term and in the short term.

4. Relevant

Relevancy is imperative to setting goals. You could set a goal right now to close this book and take a shower. You would obviously succeed and it would fulfil most of the criteria of good goal-setting, apart from the relevancy aspect. If you take a shower you have accomplished your goal, but who really cares? It changes nothing in your life, apart from maybe smelling a little nicer, but the world goes on.

Proper goals should be relevant and should change something. They should knock down obstacles, overcome adversity, and transform your life in ways you could previously only dream about.

5. Timely

Set a time for when you are to complete your goal. It might seem pointless because you already know what you want, but there’s more to it than that. If you are planning a goal and you want to complete it ‘sometime in the next few years’ it’s going to be overtaken by any other events which may occur in daily life.

Make sure any goals have a set time. Always keep in mind there has to be an end. Maintain focus and the chances of you achieving your goals increase exponentially.

Goal Warnings

We all have a variety of goals in our lives. And we would all like to accomplish them as soon as possible, but there is a danger to writing down your goals. Having a large number of goals can lead to goals contradicting each other. Gene Donohue for Top Achievement, the self-improvement, and personal development community, outlines the potential damage caused by having contradictory goals: “This is called non-integrated thinking and will sabotage all of the hard work you put into your goals.”

Here’s an example of a contradictory goal, so you can get a feel for what not to do: “Tom wants to save money for a $30,000 car he has had his eye on. He wants to do this in two years. Tom also has a goal of donating $40,000 to his favorite local charity. Again, he wants to do this in two years.”

The problem is obvious and plain for all to see. How can Tom save money for his car in two years when he’s looking to donate even more money to his favorite local charity? These goals are fighting with each other, and if he tries to rectify the problem by tackling both goals at the same time there’s a good chance he won’t meet any of his targets.

Do you think the only way of living is the way we get taught in school? If you are like 99% of the planet’s human population then you will think this way. You will be taught to get a job, join a company, and then prepare your retirement fund. The crucial difference between where you want to be and what you are now is ordinary people work for money, rich people have m**oney work for them. When setting your goals you need to stop thinking inside the box.

Too many people will set goals within the lives they live now in an effort to find a compromise. If you want to live the life you desire then the life you live now has to go. There can be no compromise. Avoid getting caught in the trap taught to you in school, be different and throw out the life everybody else leads. When setting goals to change your life you need to make sure those goals are not hampered by what you have now.

Will you fail? There’s always a chance of that. Then again, what’s the point of life if you are not willing to squeeze as much out of it as possible? Goals that run contradictory to normal life are the goals which will ultimately change your life for the better.

Summing up Goal-Setting

Before you move on, let’s sum everything up about this chapter.

Set up your goals in the following way. If your goals can’t meet each of these criteria then they are not the goals for you.

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Relevant
Timely

Running against any of your existing goals is only going to sabotage your own efforts. There are too many people from the outside trying to overtake you in life. Don’t make their jobs easier by damaging yourself. All of your concentrated efforts should be running in one direction. Forward.

Think outside the box. Don’t assume you have to follow what everybody else does. People who do this are sabotaging themselves by stunting where they can go. It’s almost like creating a glass ceiling.

Being afraid of failure can only lead to failure. The reason why so many people in society pull out of a charity run, skydive, or hiking trip is through fear of failure. They are scared of looking foolish and they are scared of not attaining their goals. We’ve already gone through the necessity of creating goals you can realistically achieve, but most people will only tackle goals they know they are going to achieve.

You still might fail to achieve your aim, but it doesn’t mean anything. There’s always a way out and you can always pull yourself up like Rocky and keep on swinging. Take these lessons onto the next chapter and add them to your road to success!

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