Goal- the end toward which effort is directed
A thought without a goal is just a dream. This past week, I submitted my application to a program at my College. I am trying to stay optomistic about my prospects but anything can happen right. I am one of those people that for my entire life, I have stated what I wanted to happen, but I never set goals. As I have gotten older, I have learned the importance of goals. Whether it be in my weight loss, in school, or in my every day life, I now set goals. Sometimes I get derailed, sometimes, I lose track, but I always rotate back around to my initial goal and if it doesn’t work, I always take time to redraft it and see if I can come up with a better goal or intermediate goal to get where I am going.
So why did I choose the word goal today? We are a nation of individuals that want that American Dream. Whether it be the old American Dream of owning a car, house with a white picket fence, and having 2.5 children, or the new American dream of just having enough money to retire without worry, we want it. What I have discovered in my work with families, we as individuals do not set goals. We say that we want this, we pray out about, we release it to the universe, but at the end of the day a thought or statement without a goal is just a dream. We can dream big and set the bar really high, but we have to stop and take the time to take action and make sure that we are on track to get where we want to be. If we don’t, we are asleep, dreaming, hoping, praying that what we are looking for will happen. It is like the person that says every week that they will win the lottery, they will win the lottery, but never go and buy a ticket.
We as parents, we must teach our children the importance of goals. We must teach them how to make reasonable short term and long term goals. This is missing in America. We are a nation of people that have children that feel that instant gratification is what they are entitled to. It’s not. I am a firm believer that you teach your child that if you want that electronic that cost $90, come up with a plan as to how you are going to get the money. Next come up with a budget of how you are going to save for that item. This is a part of teaching our children critical thinking skills so that they are not 30 years old trying to figure out what they are supposed to be doing to get where they want to go in terms of buying a house, a car, or just leasing that apartment in the up and coming part of town.
Goals are essential to survival and whether we think about it or not, our daily to do list is a small group of short term goals. How do you feel when you don’t get your to do list accomplished, terrible right. But you have to look at that list at some point in time and say, “There is no way that I can get to this today”. We don’t do this. We try to plug away and get it done. At some point, we have to acknowledge that our goals are not going to be accomplished in the present state and we have to go back and redraft right? Right. That guy that lost his job of so many years, he may decide to go back to school and retool and become an electrician. That mom that wants her kids to go to college without having to go in debt with student loans has no clue how to get them there, but a wise banker is going to help her see the goal that is needed and help set up accounts so that her child can attend school without borrowing.
We all have goals, we all have them tucked neatly away, some of us are more ambitious than others when it comes to completing our goals, but we get there. Set a goal, start out small and know that Rome wasn’t built in a day, your goal may be written in a day, but it is going to take time to accomplish it. Congrats though, you have taken the first step by just setting up your goal. Now put it somewhere where you can see it every day and let it serve as a tangible reminder of where you are, where you are going, and where you want to be.