What are goals?

Before you can start setting goals for yourself, it's helpful to first understand what goals are.

So, what are goals?

Simply, goals are anything in the future that you actively work towards today.

They are your ideals, dreams, and desires. They are the things that give you hope and excitement. The things that make you smile when you imagine what your life would be like having achieved them.

Some goals are small, some are huge, some can be done in days, and others take years.

They could be material items: You want to buy a house in 10 months

Or they could be achievements: You want to have a 4.0 GPA by the end of the semester

Goals come in all shapes and sizes but every goal shares 3 things in common:

  1. They are set out in the future
  2. They require a plan to reach them
  3. They need you to put in the work today

The work

I'll touch on those first 2 points later on in the course, but before we can proceed I need to discuss something that's very important. It has to do with that last point.

The work.

Now, you're in this course for a reason. You're driven, you're smart, and more than likely very determined. But it still needs to be said because I've seen the same thing happen time and time again.

Each goal will require you to put in the work, to take action.

Let me throw a hypothetical your way:

Clint (sorry to all the Clint's out there) is ready to change his life. He's excited, like a rocket about to launch. He goes through the goal setting process. He envisions a better and brighter future for himself and starts getting even more excited.

He's just so dang excited! He needs to share his excitement with the world. So he takes a little break from goal setting to go spread the news.

He runs across town telling people "Did you hear?! I'm going to do amazing things!" He goes house to house, email to email, call to call, he'll FaceTime whoever is willing to answer.

Clint starts spending all his time bragging about a future that he hasn't started working on yet. But it feels so good to tell others that he just can't stop.

He knows he'll get back to the goal setting process eventually, but for now he wants to celebrate. He's going to do amazing things!

Sorry Clint

So what happened? Well, our good friend Clint got so wrapped up in the excitement that he forgot to put in the work. He didn't make time to plan out his next steps and neglected the effort that his big future required of him.

He celebrated before having achieved anything and ended up wasting his drive and determination.

Clint never made any progress and continued to do the same things he had always done. His grand future never came into existence. Better luck next time, Clint (again, I'm very sorry to all Clint's. It's just a hypothetical).

So what am I saying? That you shouldn't celebrate?

No, not at all!

Your journey of achieving ever bigger and better goals should be littered with celebration and excitement. But you should know why and when to celebrate.

You shouldn't be out celebrating a future that may happen. That's just a waste of time. When it comes to celebrating, you want to be out there congratulating yourself over the things you have done.

Whether that means you reached a milestone, achieved your goal, or even failed at something hard (more on overcoming adversity later), you want to celebrate the work you did and what you got out of it.

Don't celebrate hypotheticals. Celebrate yourself when you put in the effort and see a result come from it - positive or negative.

Put in the work today so that you can celebrate tomorrow.

And now that you understand what goals are and how critical the work is, it's time to discuss why goals are important.