(photo: Krysta Larson)

When you get lost, lose sight of your goals, and wander around without purpose, no one is likely to come to your rescue. Whether you succeed or fail, it is entirely within your power to change.

Goals – especially an exciting new one – can be that quick fix inspiration to get us to jump up and take action. Have you ever had a new goal and were totally excited about getting started on it? Well, that level of excitement and energy is one of the best ways to get yourself going each and every day, not just once or twice a year.

Yes, that occasional level of motivation can be replicated, but it takes commitment and effort to do it. The trick is to set a daily goal that will push you out of bed every morning. If you’re still in bed and sleeping away the day, you have the knowledge but no motivation, you are being a “lazy genius.”

Time to rethink your goals. Can you imagine a soccer game with no goals, a ladder with no end, or how about a freeway with no off ramps? Many think that goals are only long term, stretching into the future, such as, “I’m going to be a millionaire by the time I’m sixty.” For someone twenty-five, the mindset becomes “I have plenty of time.” A better goal would be: I will make $1,000 today toward my goal of being a millionaire by the time I’m sixty.” Knowing when your eyes pop open that you’ve gotta get up, go out, and make a grand by the end of the day is a much better motivational spur than that “someday” mind set.

If you have no goals, believe me, someone else does, and you can be sure they’ll be living the life you want instead of you.

If not you, who?

When we set a goal (even a small goal used as an action step), it’s a kind of magical process that pulls dreams from the fantasy world of our imagination and turns them into reality. A goal makes “someday” or “perhaps” or “I wish” into “now” and “I can” and “I will. If you set a goal or turn a dream (something not yet existing in your life) into a plan, you start a process that begins working right away to make it real. It’s called the law of attraction. The law states that what you think about becomes a magnet that attracts those things into your life. Goals give us direction, and function as a map so we know where we are headed; it becomes much easier to know what we should do to get there. Goals keep us on track toward fulfilling our purpose in life. If you don’t know where you are headed, you might wander around, get lost, or end up somewhere you don’t want to be (like getting off the freeway and finding yourself in a bad neighborhood).

The following true story is a great example of this.

It was a typical day on my two-month live-in Martial Arts program; at least it started that way. Then I got the phone call that every instructor dreads: “Rick, we lost Carlos.”

One of my assistant instructors had taken a group of students on a hike to the lake for a day of training. Naturally I wasn’t happy about hearing that the instructor had lost one of my students. It isn’t easy to lose a student, especially an adult. But in reflection the students are fully responsible (including knowing where they are going) for their own actions and for us to lose them they have to first lose themselves (their bearings).

The group had left the camp and headed straight for the lake. It turns out that Carlos fell behind after leaving the camp. The group ahead of him stopped off at a restaurant on the way to the lake. Carlos didn’t see them go into the building and so he passed them by. This caused him concern, as he didn’t see anyone ahead of him anymore and thought he had just fallen even further behind, so he picked up his pace in an effort to catch up. When the group returned, we still hadn’t heard from Carlos and thought we would give him some time to call or show up. We contacted his family and asked if they had heard from him – nothing.

We eventually contemplated that he might have thought the group was headed to Yosemite National Park and headed in that direction, but that was an hour of winding forest roads by car; it would have taken days. It just seemed extremely unrealistic for him to have thought we were headed to Yosemite – apparently not.

I sent out a search party and had them ask people along the road to the National Park if they had seen a guy walking with a blue sleeping bag under his arm (his signature carrying style). Once we got confirmation that a person was indeed seen that met our description, we contacted the rangers to look for him in the park and had a Ninja rescue team sent to Yosemite. With the help of some Rangers, we eventually found him. He had indeed thought the group went to Yosemite and after a two day hike to get there, he spent the rest of his days in the valley of the park going in circles looking for the rest of the group.

I think that many of us end up doing this with our lives. We take these very long trips and then have to stop, look around, and wonder if we might be lost or looking for something that isn’t there.

We can take a lesson from our loyal canine friends. If there isn’t a rabbit to chase, a dog may turn to chasing its tail.

Winjitsu Work Out

Make a master list of your long term goals. Now make a secondary list of the short term DAILY goals that you can use to motivate yourself to keep moving toward achieving those long term goals. It takes both short and long term planning to reach your destination.

It is also very important to keep YOUR goals in SIGHT.

About the Author RICK TEW

I will do the splits for you too. I provide edutainment events that help you to be a Ninja in what you do. I offer Martial Arts Therapy Retreats on Samui Island in Thailand. My unique Winjitsu Mind-Body system of coaching inspires you to BE more fulfilled and to DO more to KickStart your ideas.

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