How To Achieve Anything Using Your Life’s Golden Ticket
I want to talk to you today about how to achieve anything you want and go anywhere in life, using your golden ticket.
Every year, we’re all given a golden ticket called “time”; everyone has the same 24 hours, but only smart people maximize that time and use their golden ticket wisely, to accomplish the goals and dreams they have in their heart.
So let’s look at 3 amazing strategies for achieving any goal you want this year.
Since this process is similar to traveling from one place to another or moving from where you are to where you’d rather be by achieving some goal, I’m going to use a travel theme for this session.
Here are those three things, using our travel theme, that we are going to focus on doing to achieve your goals faster, easier, and better this year;
- 1. Pick Your Dream Destination
- 2. Set Your Internal Happiness GPS
- 3. Decide On Your Personal Route
Let’s start by talking about picking your dream destination.
If you have ever read the Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, which was a novel written by Charles Dodgson in 1865, or if you’ve ever watched any of the many movie remakes of this classical story, an interesting scene unfolds when Alice comes to a junction in the road that leads in different directions, she asks the Cheshire Cat,
“Cheshire-Cat…would you please tell me which way I ought to go from here?”
The Cat replies, “That depends a good deal on where you want to go to,”
Alice shakes her head and says, “I don’t much care where I’m going”,
The Cat smiles and responds, “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go”.
And that’s exactly how most people live their lives – without any clear sense of destination; and because they haven’t decided on where they want to go, they often end exactly where they really don’t want to be – and that is just a stupid way to live.
So, you have to first decide on your goal achievement destination…
As we talk about achieving your goals, one of the most common roadblocks I’ve found that many people have, is something called a “knowledge gap” – which simply means that they often don’t really know where to begin; so, I want to begin by walking you through something called the top 7 major goal categories that are important to life, happiness, and a deep sense of achievement and success.
Now, as you go through this list, I want you to understand that these are not goals, these are goal categories; they represent the big picture, the 10,000 feet view of the areas most of us want to achieve some important goal in.
So, here are the 7 top goal categories; I want you to write these down;
- Marriage & Family Harmony (Relationships)
- Proper Mindset & Balance (Emotional/Mental Wellness)
- Develop Empathy & Gentleness (Personal Expression)
- Commitment To Improved Physical Health (Physical Health)
- Career Passion & Personal Satisfaction (Work Fulfillment)
- Service & Social Responsibility (Contribution)
- Stress-Busting Leisure Time (Quiet Rejuvenation)
- Financial Stability (Money/Wealth)
- Continuing Education/Learning Skills Development (Growth)
- Expanding & Growing Faith (Spirituality)
As you look at this list you’ve written, I want you to see if anything connects with you; is there anything that you feel most drawn to right now? Now, remember, you can use this listing to jumpstart your ideas about what you would like to focus on this year, so let your imagination flow freely.
Now, using a scale of 1 – 10 (10 being most satisfied), I want you to grade how satisfied you are in these top 7 life areas we just talked about.
Next, I want you, as you look at your list, and write down 3 goal categories that, right now, you think you want to focus on improving in your life and raising your satisfaction scores; now, ONLY pick the three that you’re most interested in right now; this we will call your BIG 3 categories.
So here is what we did so far; we looked at the BIG 7, the seven most notable goal categories that many people want to achieve something in during the year, and you narrowed that down to your BIG 3, which are the areas that you are interested in setting new goals in, right now at this place in your life, so you can improve your satisfaction.
So we have picked our dream destination.
The next step is to set your internal happiness GPS (goal prioritizing system), which will surface your own unique reasons why; or why you would have chosen those BIG 3 goal categories, over any other overall goal destination.
Now, setting your happiness GPS is important to the process of achieving your goals because there are often a number of competing choices that you can take, and each path will lead somewhere else, therefore, you need to be clear on your reason why you want to do this, otherwise, you will give up easily when things get challenging on your path; so, you need to give or add a sense of meaning to your goals, or you will walk away from them as soon as the emotional excitement starts to dissipate.
A story is told that in November 1975, 75 convicts started digging a secret tunnel designed to bring them up at the other side of the wall of Saltillo Prison, in northern Mexico. On April 18, 1976, guided by pure genius, they tunneled up into the nearby courtroom in which many of them had been sentenced. The surprised judges returned all 75 to jail.
Here is the point…
What is the use of going after something, if it is not going to increase your happiness in some way, or add value to your life; why subject yourself to the discipline of focusing on achieving something, if, at the end of the process, you are no happier or better off than you were before, or there is no real benefit or value-added to your life. Be smart and only go after what really helps you achieve happiness – but make sure you have a decent plan first.
So, before you set any goal in your life, you should first set your happiness GPS (goal prioritizing system) or your guiding compass.
To do this, we only need to do three (3) simple things:
- Determine Your Values
- Define Your Outcome
- Detect Your Story;
Taking these three (3) simple steps will help you better connect with a strong “reason why” – behind achieving your goals.
- Step 3: Determine Your Values (Start With Your Reason Why)
- what do you really value at this stage of your life? this is important because your values serve as are your guiding compass
- Here is a short-list of 12 values people have in their lives;
- You can feel free to add other values or things you consider important to your own list; but, as you look at this list, are there any values that stand out to you?
- Okay, now I want you to take a minute and write down those values because these are clues which reveal how you feel about life and what you feel is an important way to live.
- Now that you have a more visual depiction of what you value, let’s move to the next phase…
- Step 2: Define Your Outcome: If there was one goal you really wanted to achieve within the next 30 days, what would that be?
I want you to go back to your BIG 3 goal categories, and I want you to just pick one category and think about something you would want to achieve in that category within the next 30 days.
As soon as you’ve got that idea in your mind, I want you to write that down quickly. Don’t edit or think deeply, just write down something that will make you a little bit happier if you achieved it.
Let’s go onto the final step.
- Step 1: Detect Your Story: An often easy and overlooked way to help you understand what is important to you right now and why it is important, is your own story.
Let me give you a case-study:
Tom is a 38 year old father of two kids; He and his wife have an 11 year old son Bobby and a two year old girl Brandi. One afternoon, Tom wasn’t feeling well, and after much coaxing from Barbara, he finally agreed to see the family physician Dr. Wheeler.
After running a few tests, Dr. Wheeler sat across from Tom and silently begins writing on his notepad. After a few moments of silence, Tom uncomfortably shifts from left to right on the inspection table and quietly asks, “Doc, what’s the problem?”.
Dr. Wheeler, a senior physician in his 70’s peers over the rim of his wide glasses and says, Tom, this is the third time I’ve given you my professional advice to improve your lifestyle habits, to exercise and eat healthier, but it seems you’re still ignoring my advice, so, let me ask you a simple question.
Are you ok with another man walking Brandi down the aisle at her wedding in your place?
Stunned, Tom sharply responded “no doc”. Well, if you don’t reset your life and health, I’m not confident that you’ll be around to give your daughter’s hand to the man who would have stolen her heart. Needless to say, Tom followed Dr. Wheeler’s instructions, changed his lifestyle and his health significantly improved.
Whenever his buddies saw Tom working out at the gym or choosing healthier food options in the cafeteria, they’d laugh and make fun of him because they felt that if given a few weeks, Tom would probably be right back to his old self; but after months of new healthy lifestyle changes, they too became convinced that Tom had really changed as he valued good health and family at a level they’d never seen him care before.
The point is this …Tom’s shifted values, had a powerful personal story behind them.
So, let me ask you this – what is your story behind your values? …Because as we’ve discussed, your story of why, will often serve as your motivation to keep going when things get challenging.
So let’s look at the final step in this powerful process which is deciding on your personal route for achieving your goals; because as you know, we’re all different so one size never fits us all.
Firstly, we must realize that everyone is different and the reason people often fail is simply that they often try to use cookie-cutter types strategies, without modifying them to fit their unique lifestyles and life situations.
We often struggle to stay committed to achieving our goals because they sometimes clash with the process of how we live our lives from day to day; You can often fix this conflict by simply scheduling your goals as apart of your daily routine.
So, to show you how to schedule your goals as a part of your existing lifestyle to create a personal route or path to achieving them, let me walk you through an example using my personal daily schedule so you can see how I do things and you understand that I’m actually personally doing exactly what I’m sharing with you: so I’m a student as well.
First, let’s start with a few big areas that are important to me; let’s look at 5 of my goal categories; In no particular order, they are Spirituality/Faith, Finances/Wealth/Money, Physical Health, Personal Growth, Family; now, this doesn’t exclude the other areas of life, but I’m using this for the simplicity of the exercise.
Here is a sample of what my daily routine looks like.
6:30 a.m. – 7:15 a.m. prayer/meditation (spirituality)
7:15 a.m. – 7:30 a.m. reading (growth)
7:30 a.m. – 7:45 a.m. walking on the treadmill (health)
7:45 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. breakfast/get ready for work
8:30 a.m. – head to the office
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. work
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. lunch (relax in the park/read)
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. work
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. work on side-business (finances)
6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. spend time with family (dinner/movie/games)
9:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. read/plan important tasks for next day (growth/planning)
10:00 p.m. – bedtime
The point I really want you to see is that I have purposefully built my goals into my lifestyle and I plan my daily routine in a way that works for me; this allows me to enjoy a good quality of life; and isn’t that what we all want – a good quality of life right?
You don’t really have to make massive drastic changes to see results with your goals; many times, just having a clear plan, and making tiny adjustments, can give you all you want.
So, here’s a question you’re probably already thinking about – “Conrad, what happens to your schedule when something throws it off?”
Simple, I make the adjustments because most times, the interruptions in my schedule are only temporary; so you can make any adjustments because after all – it is YOUR schedule isn’t it?
I don’t stress over it because of two simple understandings:
- Life happens – things come up unexpectedly that you have to deal with; you can’t foresee if/when your kid/spouse suddenly gets sick; so you live in the present moment and deal with whatever comes because you have to power to manage how you respond to life;
- My schedule is only a tool to keep me focused; and I use it as a tool to help me, not to control my existence and happiness; so there are times when I may take a short break and ignore a few parts of the schedule for an entire week while on vacation with my family.
I know I;m disciplined enough to begin again and stick with it because I know my destination, I know what I value as important, and there is a story that connects with each of my goals as to why I want to achieve them; therefore, I have enough motivation to get back on track when I fall off the wagon.
So here is what we did together today; we discussed the Top 7 Goal Categories; then you narrowed them down to your BIG 3 categories of focus. We talked about setting your happiness GPS and connecting with your values, your outcomes, and your story to help you determine your reason why; and we talked about how to look at the process of deciding your personal route to your goals, by tapping into the power of your daily routine and lifestyle, and making minor tweaks to achieve anything you want in life.