Torres column: Goals help you get where you want to go
One of the things I think is fun is checking things off my list. I have a list of goals that I check every day, and I have another list of goals that I check every week.
The daily goals are usually systems that I have created that help me achieve the long-term goals, which are the ones I check weekly.
Having the list not only helps me save time, but it also helps me be less stressed and determine if I am moving forward on the right track. If I don’t follow my list of daily goals, I notice that I start getting busy with things that don’t matter and end up getting stressed because I have not achieved anything.
You know the days when you have not done much, but you have a feeling of accomplishment? That’s because you focus on your daily goals and know that you have progressed. However, other days you feel like you did a lot yet have a sense of frustration by the end of the day because you didn’t follow your goals and wasted your time on trivial things.
This is how many of us live our lives. I used to do this. You can turn 28 years old (or 35 or 50) and have the frustrating feeling that you’ve done nothing because you don’t have goals and just go with the flow.
When I turned 28, I meditated about my life and noticed that I had nothing. Well, I had a couple of thousand dollars in debt, but that was it. It was because I had no direction or goals to follow.
I examined my past life, and everything I had done was nothing more than throwing my life and time in the trash. Now after seven years I feel different. I have created more than ever in my life. I have a business that my co-workers run, I published one book and am ready to publish a second one. I paid all my debt. I have an apartment and am ready to buy another one.
I know all this is not much, and I can lose it at any time, because life is never safe. But what I am proud of is that I have become a person who can create, and this is the power of goal setting.
When you know what you want and set goals, you start working towards them. This is like exercising or building a brick wall. In the beginning you may not see much of a difference. But if you continue working towards your goals, you start seeing results as time passes.
You can set financial goals, spiritual goals, relationship goals, business goals, health goals, charity goals, material goals, hobby goals and personal goals. I set goals in my spiritual, family, health, professional and financial area.
Here is a great example: If your goal is to own a house, maybe you can start by saving a down payment for an apartment, buy the apartment, save more money while you pay off the loan, sell the apartment and buy a house. You can set how much money you need and how long and what you need to do to save it, how long it will take you to pay off the apartment and how to save extra to pay for your new house. This may take you a few years, but if you have your goal in your head, you can do extra stuff every day to reach your goal compared to going with the flow and not achieving anything.
The same thing happens with weight loss: If you have the goal of losing 50 pounds, you know you need to lose at least 4 pounds a month to get to your yearly goal. If you keep your goal in mind, you will be working on your eating and exercise and choose the right behaviors every day. It may take you even less time. Four pounds a month may not seem like a lot, but over a year it adds up.
Goal setting gives you the opportunity to aim for something. Can you imagine playing basketball or soccer without a basket or goal? What about driving without a destination? This is how many people live their lives, without sense. Goal setting gives you the opportunity to keep track and not waste your energy trying to aim at something that doesn’t really exist.
All successful people use goal setting. Many write their goals down, and others only think about their goal every day, but they have set a target. I think writing them down is more effective so you can refer to them when you are getting discouraged. But for many, especially the driven ones, it’s not necessary to write them down. But once again, what is important is that you have a target or goal.
Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs and author of the books “Lose Weight Permanently” and “Finding Genuine Happiness.” His column appears on the second Monday of the month.
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