Everyone knows someone who starts a sentence with “I wish…” I wish I had a better job … I wish I made more money … I wish I could lose 20 pounds … I wish I could go on vacation … I wish I had a bigger home … I wish I had a new car … I wish …. I wish … I wish …
There’s nothing wrong with wishing. What is wrong is when road blocks are created from all the talk (or thoughts) and no action.
Wishing only leads to frustration, sabotaging your dreams, your goals. It needs more.
To transition from wishing to success, you need some necessary ingredients. Wishing for a better job or more pay can be construed as the first step, but only if you add factors that will get you to the desired goal.
You Can’t Be Vague
Goals aren’t attainable unless they are specific.
Start with how you verbalize, write or phrase your goal. If you say or think, “I want a better job,” it’s not enough. A better job, doing what? Within the same field, industry? In the city you currently work in? What?
It’s easy to grumble about what you do—very few can say they love their job 100 percent of the time. But if you want something better, you success will depend on knowing what is better—be it in the same field/industry or in another. Being specific will move you in that direction.
Move it from your mind to paper… or your computer. Print it out and post it in a place that you routinely see. Writing it out may just be the nudge you need to keep your on track.
Goals Need To Be Measured
When you say you want better pay, how much better? Does that mean a higher hourly or greater salary? Does it mean additional benefits—more vacation, training or education reimbursements? Does it mean a more flexible schedule to work within? More money has variables to it; you need to be specific as to what exactly you want.
Getting more money may not be all it first appears. You may have to work more hours than you originally thought, eliminating the after work baseball team that was one of the highlights of your week; the flexibility you had may be no longer; or the cost of your medical benefits may be doubled. You need to assess what you had before and what you are consider going to.
If your work in marketing or sales, it’s common to say, “I’m going to increase our market share or increase my sales next year.” It’s more effective to say, “I want to increase our market share by 15 percent,” or “I want to up my sales next year by 30 percent.”
Goal setting requires checkpoints, or mini goals. That way, you know that you are making progress. It’s also important to understand that they will be plateaus at some time—you may feel stuck.
In obtaining mastery of any type, there will be times that you skyrocket toward your goal; times you may stagnant and times that you may actually experience a decline before you begin to accelerate again.
You Have To Take Action
Will Rogers said, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there,” and Abraham Lincoln wrote, “People are just about as happy as they want to be.” You can’t move toward any goal without movement on your part. Action speaks; talking about it rarely pushes you forward.
Goals Need To Be Practical, Pertinent and Positive
Let’s say that you dream of winning the Gold medal in the Olympics in swimming and you are close to 40 years old. Today, at best, you are a mediocre swimmer and not in prime physical shape.
You could embark upon a stringent training program encompassing hours daily, become a good swimmer and tone your body up. With all the time spent learning how to swim, your work has taken a far second.
Your goal isn’t practical—Olympian swimmers are not in their 40s and need to be in prime conditioning.
Goals should be a stretch, reachable with work on your part, but not a slam dunk or an impossible dream. Impractical and irrelevant undertakings are self-sabotaging. They act as de-motivating factors creating major distractions to true goals that will move your forward.
Instead of saying my goal is to complete a degree or lose some weight,
try reframing it. Try: my goal is to learn more about the workings of my computer (an outcome of the degree in computer science you are working on) or wearing the new dress by the wedding (that will look smashing with a 10 pound reduction). Being more positive supports your game plan.
Goals Should Have Dates Attached To Them
If you don’t set a timeframe to reach your goal, there is no pressure to complete it. If there isn’t a push, then it probably won’t happen. If goals are big, having mini-goals that enable you to mark them off your list (be it mental or on paper) shows movement toward completion.
If you find that you aren’t hitting your goals, then a reassessment needs to be done. Is the goal practical, attainable, does it need more time, can it be measured, is it too vague? Or is it merely a wish?