The Importance of Goals & Accountability

My inspiration for today’s blog post is from the one and only Anthony Robbins, and his book ‘Awaken The Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Life‘. I’m halfway through reading this book, and have spent several hours today (at the books direction) sitting at my laptop writing an extensive list of personal goals for my life; a process I have thoroughly enjoyed, has been very enlightening, and that I’ve already got a lot of value from – not to mention how exciting it is to see all these amazing and wonderful things in front of me that I’ve now planned and committed to do and/or achieve over the next 20 years! I highly recommend the process, whether you do it alongside Tony’s books, or through some other method.

Tony Robbins, for those of you who may not have heard of him (as I hadn’t 12 months ago), is the World’s number one personal development strategist. His material is nothing short of inspiring, and he’s changed the lives of millions of people through his work and his companies since a young age; including feeding millions of people who have nothing every single year. He’s worked with CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies, three US Presidents, several famous actors/actresses and musicians, members of several royal families and probably everyone in between. Just type his name in to your Google search box and you will have delivered unto you a plethora of Tony’s material from books, podcasts, YouTube videos and his latest Netflix documentary ‘I’m Not Your Guru‘. In this material he delivers a wealth of information on strategies for how we can become better versions of ourselves, from individuals to businesses (though it could be said that the quality of a business depends greatly on the quality of the individuals leading it). He is, in my opinion, a truly great and inspirational man – check him out, he’s well worth investing some of your time into.

Goals can be thought of like signposts, ultimately leading to your dreams.

Just like the signposts on the roads, they point you in the right direction to help you get to your desired location. In life, this is the role goals play for us. The goals are our signposts, and the achievement/realisation of our dreams the destination (though there’s a separate piece here based around the concept that it’s about the quality of the journey rather than the destination, but we’ll save that for another blog as it’s something I’d like to get into extensively. For now, let’s just run with the analogy).

Ever get in your car and drive not knowing where you’re going? Seems a bit pointless doesn’t it, and you’re certainly not going to get anywhere quickly, efficiently or effectively if you don’t know where you want to be. This is why having clear and concise goals, written down, is so important for us to succeed in life. We must know what we’re aiming for in order to be able to channel our energy effectively towards it’s realisation. As soon as you have a written goal (writing it down is the first step towards it’s realisation and actually making it real by pulling it out of your head and into the physical World), incremental process goals then materialise, and the path to attainment is possible. For example, if one of my goals were to ‘own a big house in the countryside‘, I would then know that in order to have any hope of achieving that goal I would need to earn enough money to pay for it, which in turn helps me define the criteria for what job I should dedicate my time to, and it would tell me that there’s no point in looking at town houses or properties in urban areas (these being the process goals).

Having goals helps to direct your life in a clear and focused way in order to best help you achieve that which you truly desire for yourself and the people who are part of your World.

Tony suggests writing a separate list of goals for several different elements of your life, detailed as follows:

  1. Personal Development Goals
  2. Career/Business/Economic Goals
  3. Toys/Adventure Goals
  4. Contribution Goals

When writing out your goals, it’s important to think without limitation; the question of whether or not you think it’s possible to reach any given goal or whether you have the resources, connections or money shouldn’t even enter your head. You must think big, and once you think you’re thinking big, think even bigger. Go 10x and then 10x again! This is so important – aim for the Moon and if you miss you’ll fall back to Earth; aim for the stars and if you miss at least you’ll hit the Moon. No goal is too ambitious or extravagant – everything should be considered both possible, and within your reach.

Once you’ve written out your list of goals for each section, take a few minutes to go back through the list and assign a number to each goal. This number should correlate to the number of years in which you want to achieve each goal; so if you want to achieve a given goal within 3 years, then put a number 3 by it. This is important as if you don’t set a time frame in which to achieve each goal, procrastination sets in and there’s a real danger that’ll never complete any of them because you’ll always think you have tomorrow to fall back on – until it’s too late, and you kick yourself in ass for not doing something sooner. No one wants to live with regret, so set yourself a time limit for achievement.

Now, pick the one year goal that is most important to you right now, and take a few more minutes to write a short paragraph about all the reasons why the realisation of this particular goal is so important to you. How will it affect your life when this goal has been achieved? How would it feel? How would you feel if you imagined fast forwarding your life 30 years to when you’re sitting in your rocking chair looking back on your life knowing that you realised that goal? How would it feel if you looked back on your life from that viewpoint and saw that you could have but didn’t make the effort? Write it all down, and make it as evocative and powerful as possible. If what you write doesn’t get you fired up enough to get out there and start making it happen, then either write more evocatively, find better reasons to achieve it or pick a better goal.

Just working through this process is powerful, and will leave you both surprised with what you come up with, and reeling with the possibilities that now lie in front of you!

Next up, accountability.

The power of accountability is nothing short of colossal.

Having someone who you can trust to hold you accountable for your actions (or lack thereof) is a hugely motivating factor to get of your arse and make things happen. Once you’ve found someone, the rest is pretty easy. The only thing you have to do, is tell them in no uncertain terms whatever it is that you’ve decided to do, when you’re going to do it by, and how. Even saying the words and putting it out there into the World will make you more motivated to actually following through, as subconsciously you know that the people you’ve told are expecting you to deliver on your word. The last thing we want is for people to think that we’re dishonest or lazy and so this alone is a massive motivator!

Tell a friend, or even better tell all your friends, what your new goals are for your life, and discuss your progress with them regularly. They will help keep you on the right track, and will likely provide helpful reassurance, guidance and advice along the way. Just knowing that the people you’re nearest and dearest too are expecting you to deliver because you’ve told them you will is going to help power you through times of doubt when you feel like giving up; remember, it’s often times like this that success is just around the corner.

I hope you’ve found this helpful, thanks for reading.


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