One Day at a Time, One Step at a Time: Accomplishing Your Goals

We all have a vision.  Our goals in life begin as soon as we open our eyes.  They mature over time, becoming more complex, and requiring more of our attention to accomplish.  From the infant goal of “touch this” to the adult’s goal of “take care of my family”, how do we accomplish our goals and manifest our visions?

Countless articles are posted on the internet about accomplishing goals-1,060,000,000 results for my Google search.  Yet, with so much information and advice, there are still people who are in debt, make choices contrary to their best interest, and who abandon their goals.  When I talk to people about goal setting, I offer three things 1) It will take time 2) Work at it little by little each day and 3) If you stay at it, you’ll eventually reach your goal.  Now, realistically, if your goal is to fly to the moon- which a very long time ago was a saying that meant you are crazy- there is a good chance that you are not going to accomplish your goal.  There are over seven billion people in the world and only twenty-four have gone to the moon.  The odds “are not in your favor”.

Few people accomplish their goals because we act on each other.  Our society has evolved into a I-have-no-time for my personal-goal society for the masses.  By the time most of us have time to set goals and go after them, we are too old to care.  Simply put, life happens.  Once we open our eyes, we reach out, grab ahold of something and hold on for the ride.  I remember when my first child was born.  My goals were to set up the college fund, buy a starter house for my children to have the option of living in after college, and save for retirement.  Well, life happened.  Daycare expenses, living expenses, The Great Recession of 2008, medical bills, life’s scandal’s, and the internal struggle to stay focused on my goals all happened. 

Fast forward to present day having twenty-twenty hindsight.  My issue was I focused on the big picture and not the step-by-step.  The college fund should have been a hell-to-hot water, anything a month contribution, to keep the practice going.  Purchasing the home for my children, whenever I wanted something that I didn’t need, I should have pushed the thought to the back of my mind.  I didn’t need a motorcycle. Retirement, well, I am doing well in that area.  My face is not the face of a person having plenty of money.  My face is the face of a man that has worked hard to maintain a middle-class status for my family, but I easily could have made better decisions that would have made maintaining a middle-class status much easier.  Here is the nasty word “frugal”.  This is a word I learned the meaning of in my late twenties.  The word frugal will save your life if you practice it.

I started off this blog by saying that the reason people don’t accomplish their goals is because we indirectly and directly act as a society on each other.  I must have this for my family.  This is what you do if you are a good parent.  Advertisement is making me buy things that I don’t need.  I don’t want to fall into the “failure” status according to American standards.  I need more money.  These messages that you hear daily must be tuned out.  Focus on your goal.   Live frugally.  You are better able to focus on your goals if you narrow your focus.  Many of the things that you let distract you are unimportant.  When you come out of it, having done the unimportant thing, you remember your goal and say to yourself I could have used the money, time, effort to accomplish my goal.  When you ignore societies messages and many requests to do trivial things you minimize the number of internal responses that you have to react to.  Here is the place you are trying to get to.  Imagine that you are on a deserted beach.  The wind is blowing.  You hear the waves.  Your mind is clear as you take in the horizon.  This is the place where you want to be when you make your decisions.  You want to be in a place without distractions so that you can focus on your goals.  The calm place is a stark difference from walking on a busy downtown New York sidewalk.   When you hear the sounds of society, remember the deserted beach.  Tune out the sounds of influence and focus on your goals. Do something each day toward your goal.  Save one-thousand dollars, save a penny, just save something.  Walk eight miles, walk around your neighborhood, just walk.  My father, a very wise man, once told me that you can stop spending before you spend your last dime the same way you can stop spending after you spent your last dime.  He also told me that you can accomplish anything you want to accomplish if you are willing to commit to your goals and work consistently each day at obtaining them.  When I reach the beach, I reflect on my life in the calm, I make decisions that help me to obtain my goals. For example, I sold the motorcycle just because I determined that it was an obstacle to my goals. There is a minority of people that consistently accomplish their goals.  They tune out the distractions.  They focus on their goals and remain focused.  They have a plan that they follow and work on daily. And finally, those that achieve their goals do not mind being the misfits that embrace society but will put it in its place when it is necessary to do so.  You can do it. A good book that may help you is Dave Ramsey’s . Please share this post if you feel that it is worthy

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