The Road to Self Improvement Starts Here

Self Improvement, Goal Setting

self-improvementIn life and in business, you have to be very clear about what you want to achieve. If you do not know what your goal or target is, then your actions will be ineffectual and you will just drift aimlessly without a purpose. Therefore, the first thing you need to do when starting out on the road to Self Improvement is to set yourself clear goals and then devise a strategy or plan to get you there.

The way to do this is first to think what success means to you. Now, the word success means different things to different people. For some it will have meaning in terms relating to business or financial matters, whilst to others success may be defined in terms of Human relationships or health and fitness or a combination of these things. The question is what does success mean to you?

The Importance of a GPS in Your Business and Life

When you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve in life, your life goal, then you are in a position to think about how to get it. How do you achieve the success that you have defined as your target?  You do this with the help of a Life GPS.

Most people will be familiar with the acronym, GPS, which stands for Global Positioning System, a technology used by aircraft pilots and motorists to navigate their way to a specific destination. In the article Navigating Your Way to Success with the Life GPS, I introduce the idea of the Life GPS and describe how each of us can use it to get our bearings and effectively chart a path to success.

The life GPS defines success in the following terms:

Success = G + P + S

Where G stands for Goals, P means Purpose and S stands for Strategy.

Taking each element in turn:

Goals – you must have clear goals for your business and in life, just as the GPS in an aircraft or your car has to have a target destination.  Now, goal setting is a subject that has been around for many years in the personal development industry and there is a ton of published information on the subject.

However, the important thing I want to stress here in that we should spend only about five percent of the time we spend setting goals on the actual definition of the goals or on being specific about our goals. For instance, if you have an income goal, then you should be specific about how much that income is and the date you want to achieve it. However, once you have defined your target, then you should put this to one side and move onto your Purpose.

Purpose – as much as you need solid goals, you need an equally strong purpose. Having a clear purpose is so important that seventy percent of the time and energy you spend on defining your goals must be spent on the purpose. That is because lack of purpose is the biggest reason why most people procrastinate. It is also the reason why a lot of people experience a disappointing emptiness when they actually achieve the goal they have spent a lot of time and energy pursuing.

Think of your purpose as your big Why and ask yourself why you want it so much. What is your underlying reason for coveting it and what will your life be like once you have achieved it?

Strategy– the remaining twenty five percent of your goal setting time should be spent on the strategy. The strategy is your plan of execution for the achievement of your goal. I cover strategy in more detail in the article 6 Steps to Success in Business and Life.

Get Clear on Your Starting Point

Now, in order to successfully navigate to a set destination, a normal GPS needs to work out its starting point, as well as knowing its target coordinates. Some of us will remember earlier GPS models that had to go through an initialization phase during which they took some time to work out their starting position before presenting a map of the local area on the screen of the GPS, with the rout to be followed clearly marked out on the map. If you tried to set off on your journey before the GPS had completed its initialization phase, then the device would be completely confused even when it was clear what its target was.

It is exactly the same with the Life GPS. When setting out on the road to Self Improvement, not only do you have to be clear about your target, but you have to be crystal clear about your starting point. You have to know your starting place in order to devise a strategy to move you forward. For example, if your goal is to, say, run a marathon and you currently spend most of your time sat on the couch watching television, then your strategy will be different to someone who is more active and already spends a lot of time running and playing sport. Or to give a more extreme example, suppose you decide you want to become a Millionaire but you only have $100 in the bank. Then your strategy will be very different to someone who has, say, $250,000 in their bank account.

The Four Resources You Need to Accomplish ANY Mission.

Now, besides knowing exactly what you want to achieve and being clear about your starting point, there are four resources that you will need to accomplish your mission. In fact these four resources are what you would require to complete any mission in life.

Time – the first resource that you need is time. The amount of time you need will be determined by the nature and size of your mission.

Money – the second resource you will need to some degree is money. Lack of money can be an excuse. The thing to do if money is a constraint is to look at your priorities.

Assets – the word assets can mean a lot of things, but in this context assets are the equipment you will need to accomplish your goals. For example, if you are building a business from home, then you will probably need a laptop computer and other pieces of equipment like a phone line and internet service and so on. A bricks and mortar business, on the other hand, may need stock, a place to trade and may even need a delivery truck to transport goods back and forth. The level of assets you require will be determined by the complexity of your business or mission. Generally, the more complicated the mission, the more assets you will need.

People – hands down, this is the most important of the four resources. This is because if you find yourself short of the other resources, you can still get things done as long as you have the right people in place.

What is more, people are the biggest asset you have for finding the other resources that you need for your mission. For example, if you have a project that needs financing, you could be totally broke, but if you know the right people, you could get the funds to finance your project and get you any equipment you need.

Therefore, the moral here is to spend more time working on your network and connecting with the right kind of people, so that you can get all the time, money and equipment you need to accomplish your goals. Put your time and energy into building relationships and fostering a community of people that are going to be around you. This is the most important take away from this post, if nothing else.

I conclude this blog post with a quote from JT DeBolt, a former US Navy Pilot turned Business and Life Accomplishment Coach, which I hope will serve you well in business and life in general.

“You have EVERYTHING you need to accomplish ANYTHING you want…”  JT DeBolt.

The key words in JT DeBolt quotation are EVERYTHING and ANYTHING

You have EVERYTHING you need…right now. You have the time, money, assets and people you need. They are all there in your life…you just need to find them.

…to accomplish ANYTHING you want. Are you pursuing your passionate dream to its limit? Is your GPS targeting a vision of your dream that is the highest possible, which is what you deserve, or is it limited by your belief in yourself and your ability to achieve it.

You deserve the lifestyle you want. The question is…what are you going to do to get it?

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