Jason Camper on goals: “About 15 years ago, I sat in a room with about 20 other aspiring entrepreneurs in a session led by someone who had created financial freedom from scratch. I was young, broke and didn’t have a lot of confidence at the time to be writing down audacious goals and dreams.
We were told to close our eyes and think about 10 to 20 things we wanted to accomplish in the next 12 months and then the next five years. How did we want our lives to look? He told us not to try to control our thoughts – instead, just go with what came to mind, because those were our natural emotional wants.
After that session, we wrote down those thoughts on the left inside front cover of a journal that was provided to us. Today, I’ve accomplished everything I wrote down in that journal except two things, and those two things I easily have the means to do when I’m ready.
If someone was to tell me that day that I would achieve those goals and dreams I wrote down, I would have started bawling uncontrollably, as my state that day was not one of strength, and the things I wrote down were audacious. Was it the goals I wrote down? Was it sheer luck? Was it hard work? Was it prayers answered? I honestly believe it was all of those things, but what’s key is that I wrote down the direction I wanted to head in life.” — Jason Camper, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Le-Vel
What are your goals? If someone were to ask you that question right now, would you have an answer? We can see the power of goal setting from Jason’s story and the stories of so many others. If you haven’t gone to work on your goals, now is the time.
The Purpose of Goal Setting
Why do we need goals, anyway? They give us something to focus on, for starters. Otherwise, it’s easy to get lost in the blur of life’s daily grind. We all need a sense of purpose, both in the short and long term. And, when we have purpose, we’re happier. Why? Goal setting empowers us to take control of our lives. We become stronger, more confident versions of ourselves.
As Jason puts it, “The reason why goals and dreams are so important is that they provide purpose and direction in your life. Imagine going to an airport with no ticket and no idea where you wanted to go. You would wonder around aimlessly.”
Goals also motivate, inspire and propel us forward. They challenge us. They shouldn’t be easy to attain. If they are, we’re probably falling short of our true potential. When we have to stretch beyond our normal boundaries, that’s when greatness become possible. So how do you begin to set goals of your own?
How to Set Goals
First, you have to ask yourself what you want. Some of us haven’t asked that question in years. Remove the “buts,” and put pen to paper. What would you do if there were no boundaries? What brings you joy? What doesn’t feel like work? Like the guided goal setting in Jason’s story, try not to control your thoughts. Think about what is possible in this world. Come up with a mix of both short and long-term goals for your life, like the 10 to 20 things to accomplish in the next 12 months and then the next five years that Jason did.
Next, you’ll want to prioritize those goals. What’s most important to you? List your top 3-5 goals and work on them in that order.
Break your goals into achievable steps. Focusing on the finish line when you’re at the starting line is overwhelming. For example, if your goal is to pay off your mortgage in five years’ time, you’ve got to break the journey into smaller milestones that support your long-term vision. Maybe you establish a budget first. Then you work toward paying off your car note. After that, you take money you normally spent on your car note and add it to your monthly mortgage payment. That approach moves you closer to your goal – and on a faster timetable.
Hold yourself accountable. This is where self-discipline is vital. Some people find that telling others about their goals helps them stick to their plans. Others write them down and post them somewhere central in their homes. You may also wish to recruit a friend who shares your goal, and take the journey together. Maybe you want to run a marathon, but you’re not an experienced runner. Find yourself a training partner, and set a goal of running a half marathon first.
Enjoy the journey. Celebrate each milestone, reflect on what you’ve learned, and add new goals as you cross things off of your list. In a year’s time, you will be amazed at what you have accomplished.
So why not start right now? There’s no time like the present to set your destination. It’s time to grab a pen, find your vision and start living a happier, healthier, more purposeful life. Get excited about your goals! As Jason says, “Become emotional about what you want to accomplish in life, and let your written goals and dreams lead the way.”