How To Make Pretty Much Anything Happen
The Good News and the Bad News
As they say, first, the good news. Dreaming, goal planning and even getting genuinely excited about the manifestation of your goal is easy. And now for the ‘not so good news;’ translating those dreams into realities is more difficult and sometimes for the masses an elusive task. To tell you anything else would be to both dishonor you and disempower the possibility of your goal achievements.
The worst news is that the constant activity of creating exciting goals, and then not executing their materialization over and over again becomes a real dream killer, and causes people to give up on the things that you could actually be at cause for. The end of the road in that scenario leads to frustration, settling for the scraps and living lives of quiet desperation.
In my opinion, and I believe that this is paramount to even achieving your goals, is that the perpetuation of goal achievement over and over and over again actually strengthens your belief system toward goal success and the result is that you become a goal achievement machine. Things once considered by you to be impossible, you find yourself now planning to execute to the finest details. Now that is a life worthy of you!
Conversely, those who make a habit of failing at their goals begin to give up, bit by bit, until the dreaming, planning and effort toward the desires of your mind and heart becomes a thing of the past leaving that individual drifting as a ship without a rudder and becoming tossed to and fro by any and every external force until the end result is turning into a hopeless victim, plain and simple. You’ve met them. They then become the toxic dream killers for others as well.
So first you need to turn those dreams into plans, because it is plans, not dreams that you can effectively pursue and capture. The pursuit of your goals gets the deck stacked in your favor automatically, because it is now something real that you can see with your mind’s eye. And people will only pursue that which they believe they have a chance at. In fact, with more clarity around a specific goal, you’ll travel faster, have more passion and energy and all manner of assistance will befall you.
Create Your Goal as a ‘What by When’
In other words, you must learn and in fact become comfortable with expressing your goal in terms of specific events or behaviors which are measureable. For a dream to become a goal, it has to be specifically defined in terms of operations, meaning what precisely will be done, by when specifically, and exactly how can it be determined when you arrive there.
When a goal is broken down into steps that you can write down, and writing it down you should, it can be managed and pursued much more directly and definitively. For example, the goal of “I want to be happy," is neither an event nor a behavior. And, it cannot be measured. When you set out to identify a goal, define what you want in clear and specific terms that borders on a contract. In fact, you should consider it a contract with yourself, for yourself.
Become great and in fact an fanatic and scientific about expressing your goal in terms that can be measured. How else will you be able to determine your level of progress, or even know when you have successfully arrived where you wanted to be? For instance, if your goal is to make more money, delineate exactly how much money you aspire to make.
During some speaking engagements to thousands of people, I would sometimes ask, “So what is it you want to achieve from this seminar?” Without fail, someone in the front row would yell out their response, “To make MORE money!” At which time, I would come off the stage, walk up to them and throw a one dollar bill in their lap, and upon turning to walk back to the stage say, “There you go, you now have more money, you can go home now.” Of course the intention was not that they leave, or to insult them, but to make this point about specificity. The audience loved it, and it certainly saved me about two hours of lecture time to drive home such an important part of the formula of getting what you want out of life.
I myself once had a goal that I wanted to earn $100,000 a year. A six-figure income has for years been a benchmark of accomplishment, wouldn’t you agree? Check, I did it. Then, the accomplishment of that goal fed my enthusiasm and I made a plan to earn $25,000 per month. Check! Then, I decided to up the ante and earn $50,000 per month. Now that’s crazy, right, at least by most standards? Not only did I accomplish that goal, but within the time frame I allowed for its accomplishment, I actually earned a little over $65,000 within one month.
Now don’t be impressed by that – but be excited yourself about this: The accomplishment of exceeding $50k in one month was EASIER than the original goal of earning $100k a year! I swear to the authenticity of this. How could that be? It’s because I had strengthened my belief system to the point that the amount was no longer the issue. And more importantly, I taught myself the protocols of how to achieve just about anything in life.
The Importance of a Timeline
You must also assign a timeline to your goal even if you make adjustments for circumstances along the way. One of the great differences between a dream and a goal is a timeline. Once you have determined precisely, specifically and measurably that which you desire, you must decide on an exact time frame for having completed it. The deadline you've created fosters a sense of urgency or purpose, which in turn will serve as an important motivator, and help prevent inertia or procrastination.
So this is what I mean by a “what by when.” Your goal should be so clearly written and thus articulated that a stranger from another county, with only moderate skills in your language can determine with 100% accuracy if you did in fact achieve your exact objective as you said.
You say, “I will quit smoking by 11:59 PM EDT December 31, 2015.” You can see then, that the only qualification needed in assessing your goal attainment, is for me or someone else (or yourself of course) to ask at 11:59:01 on December 31, 2015, “have you totally and definitively quite smoking?”
Your answer becomes either yes or no. You either accomplished it or not. Now there is no intended good or bad or a case to make you wrong here. It simply becomes a question of whether or not you did what you said with both the ‘what’ and the ‘by when’ being measurable.
Quitting smoking, losing 10 pounds, purchasing a new automobile, paying off your credit cards, the accumulation of an exact amount of savings, and writing a book are all great examples of very easily measurable ‘what by when’s.’
Other goals can tend to be more elusive, which is why you must work at them until they too are measureable. If the achievement of a goal cannot be determined in this way, it is merely a wish, a lark, or hope. And you know the old adage, “Hope is what a man on a sinking ship has.”
Results Turn Into Bigger Results
So work with your dream, turn it into a goal, and then distill it down to the pure essence of measurability and accountability. This is the only way to succeed and to begin to build your portfolio of successful goal obtainments which will strengthen your belief system. Before you know it, you’ll increase the level of difficulty of your objectives and begin to really chase the things in life that you love.
So then quitting smoking, losing 10 pounds and the like soon become goals like going into business for yourself, going on a trip to Europe with your spouse/significant other, paying your entire mortgage off 10 years early, retiring at 50 instead of 65, traveling to less fortunate countries to build schools, or raising the money to provide food, water and healthcare to 50 or 100 or more people, whether abroad, or right in your own city.
Unlike dreams, which allow you to fantasize about events over which you have no control, goals have to do with aspects of your existence that you control and can therefore manipulate. In identifying your goal, strive for what you can create, not for what you can't.
Pursuing a goal seriously requires that you realistically assess the obstacles and resources involved, and that you create a strategy for navigating that reality. Willpower is unreliable, fickle fuel because it is based on your emotions. Your environment, your schedule and your accountability must be programmed in such a way that all three support you — long after an emotional high is gone. Life is full of temptations and opportunities to fail. Those temptations and opportunities compete with your more constructive and task-oriented behavior. Without programming, you will find it much harder to stay the course.
Major life changes don't just happen; they are achieved one step at a time. Steady progress, through well-chosen, realistic, interval steps, produces results in the end. Know what those steps are before you set out and attaining your goal will be more manageable.
Without such accountability, people are apt to con themselves. If you know precisely what you want, when you want it — and there are real consequences for not doing the assigned work — you are much more likely to continue in your pursuit of your goal.
Find someone in your circle of family or friends to whom you can be accountable. Make periodic reports on your progress. We all respond better if we know that somebody is checking up on us and that there are consequences for our failure to perform.
So what exactly are YOU planning to achieve by when?
Mark Skovron became a leader in Corporate America where he held various positions in sales, sales management and training, and Senior Vice President for a subsidiary of a Fortune 500 Company.
Actively involved in personal training and developmental technologies for decades, Mark is one the world's leading authorities on success and personal achievement. Having taught hundreds of thousands of people, Mark is one of the most sought after speakers and mentors today.
Mark has been the founder of many very successful companies including Maximum Achievement Group, MaxGroup Business Solutions and is the Co-Author of best-selling books including, The Change (Ingram, March, 2015) and The Free Agent Revolution being released in the fall of 2015.