Sunday, October 7, 2012

Making Goals Work For You

I have always made goals! I'm the one with numerous New Year resolutions written in my day planner, constantly running towards the goal I have set for myself. Over the years I have learned some important things about setting and reaching goals. I hope a few of these ideas will help you reach your dreams.

1). Determine in your mind is this a goal or a wish? A wish is just something you think about, but do not put any effort behind. I wish I could lose 20lbs, but realistically this will not happen unless I make plans to succeed. You have to make a plan and work the plan to achieve your goal.

2) Write it down! This is one of the most important parts of making goals. The Bible says " Write the vision and make it clear". A goal is well defined, it is realistic and its attainable. You could easily write down, I want  to make more money every month. Okay, well lets look at that. How much money do you want to make? Did you break it down into weeks or days? Do you need $100 a month or $5000 a month? What steps are you willing to take to make this happen? Write it down and determine what do you need to achieve this goal.  Saving $100 a month is easily attainable by cutting back on expenses, larger goals may need complete lifestyle changes. You may need to further your education, move to a smaller home, do without little luxuries we all seem to buy because we deserve them. Make sure you are very detailed in your description of what you want.

3) How determined are you? I had to further my education after my divorce in order to make a better living for my family. This was very hard for me to accomplish, because I still had to work full time, take care of children, a home, a yard, housework and then to add class time and study time to the mix was just about more than I could handle. I knew I had to want this so bad that I could see it, smell it, and taste it. I kept a board in my room with photos of what I wanted in life, pictures of a diploma, a larger paycheck, a newer car. All of this was on a poster board and it was the first thing I saw when I woke up in the morning and the last thing I saw when I closed my eyes. I had to achieve this or live the rest of my life barely making ends meet. If one unexpected thing happened such as a care repair it could send me into financial ruin!

4)Take small steps to make it happen. The year before I was accepted into the nursing program, I knew that I would have to attend class 4 days a week. This meant that I could only work 3 days a week. I would make less money and that would have to stretch to cover everything. There wasn't any other choice but to make this sacrifice. I couldn't borrow the money so I had to figure out a way to live an entire year on less. I woke up one Saturday and decided to take an inventory of everything I used on a regular basis. I started in the bathroom writing down what was essentially a master list of items such as toothpaste, toilet tissue, makeup etc. I spent half a day going through cabinets and racking my brain to come up with anything else I might need.
 The next thing I did was to figure out how much I would need. Every time I opened an item, I wrote the date on it with a sharpie. How long with normal use did a box of detergent last or a jar of mustard? Once I knew how long it took me to use it up, then I calculated the number of those items needed. I found out that I used a large box of detergent every 5 weeks. I decided to buy enough for 15 months, giving myself an extra month or two after graduation to find a job and get a paycheck.
 Before long I was scouring sales, clipping coupons,searching end caps for clearance items. It really became a game to find as many things as I could to check off my list. One morning I was in Walmart when I discovered mouthwash on clearance for 25 cents a bottle. I bought a years worth and stored it under my sink, then checked that off my list. By the time I started the final year, I had completed all of my storage items, filled a deep freeze with food and had enough toilet tissue to last into the new century( I have a deep seated fear of running out of the stuff)!
 Had I not taken the steps to store up for the year ahead, I would not have made it without great difficulty. I had even bought stamps, birthday candles, school supplies, and Christmas all a year ahead of time.

5) Take time to review your goals and your steps. Are you making progress? Have your priorities changed? We have to stay on course and remind ourselves daily of what the long term effect will be. I did finish school and get a job just about the time my last box of washing powder was running out. However, I may never run out of deodorant for the next 10 years! Without keeping my eye fixed straight ahead, I would not have stayed the course. I read inspirational material, I prayed, I did everything I could possibly do to make it happen and God did the rest.

There are many other things we should do regularly, make short term goals, mid range goals and of course long term goals. When you reach them you will find that you have an almost euphoric sense of happiness. It gives you greater determination to keep on reaching for your larger dreams.

I hope you can use these ideas in your own life, they really work if you have the determination to follow through to the end. I recently went back and looked over my planner and realized that I have reached nearly all of my goals. Its time to make some more and get to working on them!
 Have a great week!


Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

Oh yes, I am a goal girl myself. If I don't set goals, then my plans seem to just dwindle away in time. I love to hear that you have reached your goals!


PS: way to go to be accepted into a nursing program. That is not an easy task nor are the courses!

Audrey said...

This was a very inspirational post and gave me lots to think about! Thank you for your thoughts.

Christine said...

Lori, You are Inspiring me Today...Thanx!
I wish you all the Success in All your Goals..!!!