goalsGoals are such a big part of my life that I sometimes forget everyone else isn’t coming from the same place as me. I think everyone else knows about goals, sets goals and experiences the amazing benefits that come from them. I even go so far as to believe that the word goal has a positive connotation to everyone else, like it does for me. But based on the conversations going on in the first day of the goals workshop forum, I realize this just isn’t the case. There is a lot of mystery around goals and even some fear.

Goals aren’t something to fear. In fact, the act of setting goals, even before you achieve them, is very, very empowering. Goals give your life purpose and meaning and getting started with goals is easier than you think. Here are some simple ways to remove the mystery and fear from the goal setting process.

Now is the Right Time

You don’t have to start a diet on a Monday, and you don’t have to set goals on January 1st. Today is the perfect day to get started with goals. Yep, you can start on a Tuesday at the end of January—even if you’ve never in your life written down a goal before now! (I’ll tell you how to get started in just a minute.)

The truth is, there is never a perfect time to create change in your life…there’s always going to be something else vying for your attention. But setting goals is especially empowering when you are facing a life transition such as job change, or you’re heading toward a big birthday, or you’re feeling somewhat stuck or uninspired. Goals will energize and inspire you, putting you back in the driver’s seat of your life.

It Starts with Exploring What You Want

Setting goals comes down to deciding what you want. And while this looks easy on paper, for many of us it doesn’t come naturally. I spent years (really good years) living my life by accident. I worked in jobs I didn’t enjoy, doing tasks I found tedious and boring. I moved away from home to a state where I didn’t know a soul, not because I wanted to, or because it was my life dream, but because I thought I was supposed to.

All of this changed when I started thinking about what I want out of life. It was easy to recognize what I didn’t want…that dull and boring job, but what would really make me happy?

That’s the question to ask yourself, too. Pull out a piece of paper and write at the top “I want…” and then, let yourself dream. Don’t worry about if your goals are too big, too small, too precise, too loosely defined, or too anything else. Just let your mind flow and dream about a life you will love.

You Deserve What You Want!

In my holiday workshop, I shared this concept: The best gift you can give your loved ones is your own joy and happiness. I believe this to be true, not just during the holiday season, but all year long.

Once you decide what you want, know that you deserve to have it! When you are living your life on purpose and spending your time on things you love, you are enriching the lives of others through your joy and happiness. You deserve to live a life you love.

Failure Is Not an Option

How can I be so sure? Because I define failure differently than most people do. I honestly don’t think it exists. I prefer to look at the misses along the way as learning experiences and steps in the direction of success.

Whether you’re a big basketball fan or not, you have likely heard of Michael Jordan. You probably consider him to be anything but a failure. Right? Well consider this:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” — Michael Jordan.

It is through all of our missed shots in life that we learn, grow and ultimately create success. We only risk failure when we don’t take the shot.

Action Makes It Happen

As with any change we create in our life, action is the key. You simply have to *do* something different to *create* something different. But the action stage for goals doesn’t have to be complicated. Once you have defined what you want, pick a first goal. Next, identify a single action that will move you in the direction of your goal. Then, do it! Repeat the process of identifying an action and doing it, over and over and over again, until your goal is achieved!

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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

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