Set It and It Will Come

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will lead you there.”
“People don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan.”

“Those who don’t set goals will eventually work for those who do.”

“If you don’t know where you’re going, God can’t lead you.”

And the list of quotes goes on and on. The importance of setting goals has been talked about and written about so much that it almost seems useless to cover it again. However, at last report, surveys show that less than 10% of the American population set goals. That’s the “entire” American population!

I would hate to see what the numbers would be for college and university students. But based on my experience, I would venture to say that it’s less than 10%.

What’s mind boggling about the entire concept, is the fact that goal setting has been linked to success in the business world, success in relationships, success in our physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial well-being, but most students still don’t seem to take it very seriously. But why?

In an informal survey I conducted among college students, almost 100% said that goal setting was important to success in the “real world,” but more than 90% said that they don’t set them because of the following reasons (no particular order of frequency):

1. Most are unclear on what they want.

Most students either don’t know what they want, want too much, or are unsure of why they want it.

“What if I don’t achieve all of them?” So what? At least you have a 50% chance if you try. What are your chances if you don’t set any goals? that’s right, 0%. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have a 50/50 chance at winning the lotto than 0% chance.

2. Most were told they should set goals, but were never shown how to do it.

Since I don’t like using ignorance as an excuse, here are some simple steps you can take, right now, not only in setting goals, but achieving them. Good luck.

Step 1 — Ask yourself, “If I could not fail, what would I want to accomplish in college BEFORE I graduate?”

(List the 5 most important) Be specific; set deadlines for each; make them just out of reach, but not out of sight; and make them measurable.

Ex. My (actual) freshman goals:

To graduate with at least a 3.5 GPA at the end of four years.

To join at least three student organizations by the time of graduation.

To receive at least two job offers in my major before I graduate.

To buy my first home immediately upon graduation and before I start my first job.

To save $2,000 in cash by the time I graduate.

* Note: I achieved 4 out of 5 (didn’t reach #5). Write me for details on any one of them. Remember, you have a 50/50 chance of achieving each one you set.

Step 2 — What will you gain by achieving these goals?

What pleasure and benefits will you gain? Write as many as you can.

Step 3 — What would you miss out on if you didn’t achieve them?

What pain would it cost you if you didn’t reach them? This is part of your motivation to succeed. Nobody likes to experience pain (exception: a few nut cases).

Step 4 — What could possibly keep you from achieving your goals?

When you can anticipate your obstacles, they become detours instead of road blocks. Only “weird” people run into holes they already knew about.

Step 5 — Ask yourself, “Who can help me achieve these goals?”

This core group is critical to your success. Everybody needs somebody. My mama always said, “He who is self-made has a fool for a creator.”

Step 6 — What kind of person would you have to become in order to achieve these goals?

What kind of character traits, skills, attitude, and beliefs must you develop and have in order to make these goals a reality? Be that type of person. This is a very critical step.

Step 7 — What actions/steps could I take today toward my goals?

You know what you have to do, so just do it (apologies to Nike)! Crawl before you walk by doing something small. My goal of wanting to buy a home upon graduation started with a “CALL” to a Realtor when I was 17 and ended with “SIGNING” a purchase contract when I was 20! That initial step didn’t require Einstein-type intelligence.

Step 8 — Put your five goals on a 3X5 card and read them DAILY.

Whatever you see, do, talk and think about the most expands and manifests itself in your life. You become your thoughts. Be careful.

Step 9 — Share your goals with someone you can trust.

The key word here is “trust.” You need someone to hold you accountable. My girlfriend (now wife) was my accountability partner for my goals.

Step 10 — Pray!

If you need help, ask others to pray with and for you (see our campus ministry). The law may have taken prayer out of the schools, but most students say they wouldn’t be in school today if it weren’t for prayer.

Achieving your goals is not as important as moving in the direction of your goals. Understand that it’s not what you get, but who you become that’s most important (more confidence, higher self esteem, more faithful, energized, etc.). Look forward to more information on this topic from RealWorld University.

We’ll be bringing you information, ideas, and strategies from some of the world’s leading experts and authorities in this field and many others. We believe that experience may be a good teacher, but other people’s experience is a better teacher. Our motto at RWU is, “The key to wisdom is knowing where to look for the answers.”

Thanks for dropping by RealWorld University, and remember to live purposefully. God bless!

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