2012 is now well under way. It is incredible to think that we are now into February!
Have you set your goals for this year?
Did you make “New Year Resolutions?
…and have you kept them – any of them?
Hey – I’m human too.
I realised that I really didn’t prepare for this year properly. I didn’t sit down and review last year’s goals and write this year’s goals. This becomes a problem, because -
If you don’t have goals to shoot for, you will allow your life to be directed by other people, or the wind…
Jim Rohn, the great personal development thinker of the 20th century, used to talk about the wind, and the set of the sail -
“It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go.”
I live in Sydney, on the East coast of Australia, and am privileged to have a beautiful view of the ocean from my balcony. On Boxing Day every year, there is one of the great “Ocean Yacht Races” from Sydney to Hobart. It crosses some of the most treacherous water in the world, and is always subject to dangerous and unpredictable weather. (so much so that a few years ago, 12 people died in the race).
Now, every year this race goes south from Sydney to Hobart in Tasmania.
It doesn’t matter what the weather is like, or which direction the wind is blowing, the race always travels south along the coast of Australia to Hobart.
We have friends around to a party on Boxing day, to watch the yachts sail past, and they always head south – we watch them…
But the prevailing winds fluctuate between North-East and South. Our southerly winds along the coast are tumultuous, and these are the dangerous winds which regularly destroy even the greatest maxi-yachts.
During the race (which generally takes up to five days) the winds regularly change between NE and S three or four times – but the yachts keep travelling south.
The skippers have their goal, and head steadfastly toward it.
No matter which way the wind is blowing, they set their sails to travel south.
…and that is the lesson Jim Rohn was trying to teach us. He wrote -
“In the process of living, the winds of circumstances blow on us all in an unending flow that touches each of our lives.…
What guides us to different destinations in life is determined by the way we have chosen to set our sail. The way that each of us thinks makes the major difference in where each of us arrive. The major difference is the set of the sail.”
The seasons will change – every winter will be followed by spring and new life.
Governments will change – you don’t like the current government? It will change.
The economy is bad – so what? More new millionaires are traditionally made in bad economies than in good – and the current bad economic times are no exception…
It is not the Government, or the season, or the economy which sets your future, it is the “set of your sails” – the decisions you make and the goals you set, and most important – The ACTION you TAKE…
Writing down your goals and then wishing and hoping will not get you anywhere – you need to take action.
Similarly, taking action without a plan will get you nowhere, or at least not where you expect or want to go. This is like sailing out and letting the wind blow you where it will. That won’t get the yachts to Hobart, and it won’t get you to your desired destination.
I could teach you about Goal Setting, but that is a huge subject. Possibly for an extended course later…
The simplified steps are these -
- Decide what you want
- When do you want it
- Plan the way to get it
- Do whatever is needed to achieve it – Take Action!
So, it’s not too late to set your goals for this year. Yes – it would have been better to plan it in December, but it is certainly not too late.
So set your goals for the end of this year – What do you want to have, who do you want to be and where do you want to be by the end of 2012? Be realistic, but push yourself.
If you are broke, in debt and can’t afford the rent on your cheap rental property, then it is unrealistic to think that you will be living in a six-million dollar mansion (that you own without debt) and earning a million dollars a year by the end of this year – that will take a few years.
But you can aim to be debt-free…
Then set your sails – work out the plan for how you will get there. What is needed by the end of each month, or each week to reach the final goal.
Then hold on against the changing winds. Make the many minor course changes which will be needed along the way, adjust the sails and the helm as needed. Take the ACTION required to stay on course.
…and have fun getting there…
You will sometimes fall short of your goal. But don’t be disheartened, because at least you got some of the way there and learned a lot along the way. You will also have become a better version of you in your effort to achieve your goals.
…and completing this year’s goal can be the first step in next year’s goals.
What’s more important – the plan or the action?
If you don’t have a plan, you will be tossed around at the whim of the wind and currents. If you don’t take action you will stay at the starting line and go nowhere.
At least with action you will go somewhere, but I suggest that neither is more important than the other.
Many make their New Year Resolutions, and have already been beaten by them in February. This is because of a lack of appropriate action.
So if you haven’t set your goals, it is time to do so.
If you have set your goals and think you have already failed – it is not too late! Start to take action now, and set your sights on the goals.
The important thing to remember when setting goals is -
…choose the good ones…
Till next time,