Usually, just right after the New Year’s celebration, many of us start looking at the resolutions we made and, if you’re like many people, yours probably resemble more of a grocery list: You want to exercise more, make more money, have a savings, learn a skill (let’s say playing the guitar), get a better job (so you can make more money) and find a lover (if you haven’t found one yet, or the one you have isn’t as “loving”).
A typical scenario might be like this: You’ll look at this laundry list of New Year’s resolutions and you would pick a goal, let’s say one of your goals is to be proficient at the guitar. Then, what you may do is you would buy a book on how to play a guitar, maybe buy a how-to DVD and start practicing at home. If you’re slightly more diligent, you would even start taking some classes. But what about your other goals, such as making more money? I mean, that minimum wage job really isn’t going to help, unless your definition of making more money is that fifty cent raise coming your way… in about six months (pending your employee performance review, of course).
So you start looking for another job to supplement the job you have. Let’s say you found that other job. If you’re already working full-time at the job you have, at best, you would probably be working part-time at this new job.
Well, the good news is now you’re achieving one of your goals to make more money. The bad news? Now that most of your time is spent working your one and a half jobs, you have no time to practice your guitar, so you end up quitting your guitar lessons. Hey, at least with all the running around you’re doing between your two jobs, you’re getting your exercise, but now your life is miserable because you have no life!
So you start looking for other ways to make money. You start looking at work at home opportunities and let’s say you found an opportunity. But now, you have to quit one of your jobs (probably the part time job) so you can focus on building your new home business, which isn’t generating money yet to cover your expenses and even if it was, you still have two jobs and no time to play your guitar, and we’re not even going to cover the other goals you’ve set for yourself.
The above scenario may sound humorous and far-fetched to some, but too often, we find ourselves setting more goals for ourselves than we are able to achieve. Now, understand that I’m not saying you shouldn’t have multiple goals, but rather, to start prioritizing them.
How do you do that? Start by picking no more than one goal you feel you can best achieve right now (later on I’ll actually give you an exception to this rule). If you find there is more than one goal you are able to achieve right now, pick the one that would have the most positive impact on your life. It could be financially, emotionally, spiritually, whatever goal would have the most positive impact on your life right now if you achieved it. Once you’ve picked a goal, focus on that one goal as if it’s the only goal you have.
That’s right. Forget all the other goals and focus on achieving that one goal, and then use the momentum from that one goal achieve the other goals on your list. Going back to the scenario above, let’s look at our goals. We have: exercising more, making more money, having a savings, learning the guitar, finding a better job and finding a lover (or a new one, if that’s the case).
So now, which of these, if you were to focus on right now, would impact your life the most? The answer, of course, varies from individual to individual. However, if these were my goals, making money would have more of an impact on my life. Even though working that extra job (or that home business on the side) isn’t as personally fulfilling as learning the guitar, that extra job or home business would give me the money I need to start a savings. I would also try to cut down on other things to save money (which is essentially the same as making money), such as walking to work (if possible) and bringing my lunch to work instead of eating out.
This would also fulfill my other goal of exercising more and staying fit and perhaps the only time I’d advise focusing on more than one goal, since in this case, the two goals are working in harmony with one another. This would essentially be like killing two birds with one stone. In this case, it’s three birds. Now that you’ve built a comfortable savings account (and hopefully, by now you’ve gotten that raise), it’s time to focus on the next goal. Perhaps learning the guitar. Once I become proficient at the guitar, I could start teaching lessons for money. Then I could perhaps afford to work less in the job I have. I would then look at the other goals on my list and use the same approach.
Unless the goals you have are in harmony (working towards the same objective), it is best to focus on one goal at a time and move to the next. This would give you the greatest chance of achieving your goals. Remember: it’s not how many goals you set for yourself, but rather, how many goals you achieve.