To achieve what you desire it is not enough to set goals. Most people do nothing more than make a wish with their desires. They think of something that they want, never right it down or make a plan on how to achieve it, and it becomes a fleeting thought. The problem with a wish is that is has no substance. Even worse, when you have a thought and fail to act on it, after three days it becomes a memory, and that memory then becomes the catalyst for a new limiting belief. How many people are plagued with the thoughts of, “I never follow through,” “why set goals when I never achieve them,” “I will never accomplish anything.”

A wish becomes a dream when you identify why you want it. A dream is a powerful thing because it is personal and internal. People don’t often share their dreams because they really mean something to them and make them vulnerable. In other words they have substance. It is no longer a fleeting thought because it is tied into strong desires in your heart. A dream is something you long for, something you ponder, and something that has true significance in your life.

Yes, a dream is a powerful thing, but a dream only becomes a true goal when you develop a plan to achieve it. A dream put into action becomes a true goal because a true goal needs three things:

Vision, Mission, and Strategy

Vision Provides a Picture – answering What?
Mission Provides Purpose – answering Why?
Strategy Provides a Plan – answering How?

A true goal requires that you identify what you want, feel a deep sense of why you want it and then develop a plan as to how you will achieve it.

One of my mentors, Stephen Covey said that everything in this world is created twice. First we create it mentally and then we create it physically. The first thing we need is a vision of what we want. The word vision comes from the old Germanic word, vissen, which means I know what I see. When you have a vision you have a clear picture of what you want. You can literally see it in your minds eye.

A mission is a specific task which a person or group adopts as their main purpose. When your dream takes on a sense of mission, it has meaning and significance to you because you have a strong “Why” driving you. It is important to tie an emotional anchor into your goal because there are going to be tough days when you will ask yourself if it is worth it. If you don’t believe in it enough, or have a strong enough reason to keep going, you will never achieve your goal. Identify why it is you want to accomplish your goal. Dive into that why. Feel it. Make it real. What will you get when you realize your goal? How will you feel when you accomplish it? How will it make you better?

When you know what you want and why you want it, you need to develop a strategy on how to get it. A true goal is written as a paragraph. It is like travel plans; it has a destination, a map that shows the route to get there, and an estimated time of arrival.

Regardless of what your goal is there are four simple questions you need to ask yourself to simply and easily develop a plan to achieve your desire. They are:

Who has done it?
How did they do it?
What are the obstacles?
What are the solutions?

Question 1 – Who has done it?
The old saying goes – Success Leaves Clues. Whatever your goal is, there is someone who has done what you want to do. As you identify that person they become a mentor for you to not only show you how to do it but to also increase your belief that it is possible. If they could do it, you can do it.

Some mentors will be people you can get to know and have close, interactive relationships with, while others may just be accessible by observation and study. Either way, you want to identify someone who has accomplished your goal before.

Question 2 – How did they do it?
Once you identify who your mentor is, the more important part is identifying how they accomplished what you set out to do. What were the steps they took? What were the things that worked and the things that didn’t? How long did it take them? What did they have to sacrifice to accomplish the goal? Are you willing to make the same types of sacrifices?

When you spend the time to study this out, you will be able to clearly see what it is going to take to accomplish your goal.

Question 3 – What are the Obstacles?
Now that you have seen how this was done before, you need to identify the obstacles. More particularly here, you want to identify what the obstacles will be for you. Be honest with yourself and recognize what will be the stumbling blocks that you will need to overcome. Only spend enough time on this question to identify the obstacles then once you have them written down, move on to question 4. In other words spend 10% of your time on the obstacles and 90% on the solutions.

Question 4 – What are the solutions?
With a list of obstacles in hand, one by one decide on a solution for each. Be creative but realistic to develop a step-by-step plan that will allow you to overcome the setbacks and achieve your goal. Your plan may differ from your mentor’s path because some of your obstacles may be different than he/she faced, but his path will give you a template to follow.

These four steps are simple but if you spend the time to answer each you will have a clear strategy to achieve your goal. Try it. The process has worked for me time and time again. Now that your goal has vision, mission and strategy it is a true goal. Not a New Years Resolution that will be forgotten in a week, but a dream that will be reality in the near future. No more just setting goals – now you can achieve any dream.

Author's Bio: 

Ty Bennett is the founder of Leadership Inc, a speaking and training company dedicated to empowering individuals and organizations He is a gifted communicator who has a unique ability to make the complex simple and to teach and inspire.

As a speaker, author, and entrepreneur Ty has achieved major success at a young age. At age 21, Ty started a business with his brother Scott, which in a few short years they built into a multi-million dollar, international enterprise. This business has opened the door to do what he loves, work with people. His purpose is “To Live, Teach, and Empower Greatness.” As a sought-after speaker, Ty has spoken to tens of thousands of people around the world on the topics of Purpose, Leadership, and Belief.

Ty is the author of the audio program, The Power of Belief, and the soon to be released book, The Two Most Important Days of Your Life, His message is changing lives and reaching people around the world.

Ty lives in Utah with his wife Sarah, daughter Andie, and son Tanner.

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