Goal setting is a fantastic skill to develop—knowing how to design your own future. A life best lived is a life by design. Not by accident, and not by just walking through the day careening from wall to wall and managing to survive. That’s OK. But if you can start giving your life dimensions and design and color and objectives and purpose, the results can be absolutely staggering.
Goal setting gives you the chance to experience the power of your imagination. Think about it. Imagination builds cities. Imagination conquers disease. Imagination develops careers. Imagination sets up relationships. Imagination is where all tangible values and intangible values begin. So what you’ve got to learn to do is use this powerful resource.
Tapping into this resource of imagination for goal setting involves thinking about your future, thinking about tomorrow or the rest of the day, thinking about the rest of the year or five years or 10. You can use your imagination to start prospecting for the future, for what could be possible for you.
But before you can do that, you need to know the five primary things that affect all of us, our lives and our goals:
1. The Environment
It doesn’t hurt to make a simple contribution to the environment. Pick up a piece of trash and throw it in the receptacle. If everybody did that, what a better world it would be. A little contribution costs nothing. If everybody contributed, what a difference it would make!
Events affect us—some small, some big, some personal, some national, some global. Think of any big event of local, national or global significance. Those kinds of events affect us all. There are small events and daily events and family events and community events. We’re all affected by events.
We’re affected by whatever we know or don’t know. Here’s a good phrase to jot down: Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is tragedy. Ignorance is devastation. Ignorance creates lack. Ignorance creates disease. Ignorance will shorten your life and leave you with the husks, nothing to account for. No, ignorance is not bliss.
We’re affected by results. Whether it’s financial results or personal results or social results, we’re all affected by results. Disciplines undone in the future give us poor results. Disciplines managed well give us good results.
5. Our Dreams
We’re affected by our dreams, our vision of the future.