Come on. We all want something. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, you are starting the New Year hoping for or wanting something. (Even after all those Christmas gifts we got a week ago). Don’t be embarrassed. Own it! It can seem like something really small and unimportant, or it can seem overwhelming, hilariously ridiculous or unreachable.
Who cares? You want it.
It’s okay to be honest with yourself and admit that you have a desire no matter how crazy, impossible, or unachievable you think it may be.
But instead of thinking about how dumb or unachievable your goal is, let me tell you how to reach it!
“You are never going to get what you want
chase after it.”
So, if you want it, you have to do four things. If you do these 4 things in the steps laid out below, you may be very surprised to find that getting what you want is not as impossible as you may have originally thought.
First, focus on what you want. Ask yourself what you really want, why you want it, and what you will do to get it. Then write it all down somewhere you look frequently.
What do I want?
Figure out what you want and when you want it, then write it down in one sentence. Your sentence might look something like this:
“I want to _______________________ (fill in the blank with your goal)
by ___________________ (a certain date).
If you are a kid, it might look like this…
I want to be a starter on my basketball team before the end of the 2019 season.
I want to be on the Honor Roll by May 2019.
I want 400 Pokemon cards by February 14, 2019. (Hmmmm…)
A teenager might say something like this…
I want to be valedictorian of my high school in four years.
I want to get a 32 on my ACT.
I want to be a millionaire by the time I am 30 years old.
As an adult?
I want to run a 5k by April 29, 2019.
I want to lose 15 pounds by Thanksgiving of 2019.
I want to finish my Master’s Degree in 2 1/2 years.
I want to understand the entire concept of The Holy Bible by December 31, 2019.
Why do I want it?
Obviously, you want to make sure what you want is worth the effort, because chasing after something can be risky and take a lot of hard work. So make sure what you want is worth it.
Sometimes you don’t realize how worth it something is until after you start chasing after it.
Sometimes it’s just the opposite.
You may start chasing after something only to find out it was a complete waste of time.
Often you will never know until you begin to chase it. It may be far more rewarding than you anticipated or far more disappointing. That’s the mystery of it.
Right now, don’t focus on the mystery. Don’t focus on what you don’t know at this point or what you might find out along the way. Focus on your inner desire. Focus on the thing that is driving you.
‘Why do I want this so much?’
Explain it the best you can in your own words and expand your original sentence.
Fill in the blanks:
“I want to ___________________ (your first sentence),
so that __________________(why you want it).”
Back to our previous example of losing weight, your sentence might say, “I want to lose 15 pounds by Thanksgiving so that I can fit into the cute outfit sitting in my closet, have more energy, and live a longer, healthier life.”
Focus on Immediate Rewards and Long-Term Rewards
When you are defining the “Why” of what you want, be sure to think of the immediate rewards of getting what you want as well as the long-term rewards.
If you get what you want, what will it mean for you a month from the time you achieve your goal?
How about a year?
Thinking of the long-term benefits of what you want may help you decide whether or not it is worth your time and effort. Especially if the reward lasts beyond your lifetime. Yes, I know. Mind boggling. There are chases that have eternal consequences.
That is the best kind of chase.
I am getting off track…
Back to the main point.
After you have written down what you want, when you want it and why you want it, the next step is to to write down what you will do to get what you want.
What will I Do?
Again, write it down. If you want to, you can fill in these blanks:
1. I will _________________ (action)
________________ (how often)
reach my goal.
Ask yourself, “How can I really do this?” How can I really lose 15 pounds? What do I have to do to actually be able to run a 5k? How can I make it as a starter on my basketball team? What do I have to do to get on the honor roll? What will it take for me to really understand this ancient piece of literature?
You might have to do a little research and think about this.
Talk to and watch people who have achieved what you want. How did they get there? What do they do?
Try to list at least five things.
If you are trying to lose weight, your list might look like this:
- I will count my calories and eat between 1,200-1,800 nutrient-dense calories 5x a week.
- I will walk for 30 minutes 6x a week.
- I will drink 6 or more bottles of water each day.
- I will record my weight 1x per week.
- I will tell a friend what my goals are and meet once a month for accountability.
Try to include things you can do monthly, weekly, and daily to help you get what you want. Again, you may have to do a little research to help you figure out how much you need to do in order to reach your goal by the “due date.” But don’t over-complicate the process. Just because you don’t know every single little detail of how something is going to work out doesn’t mean you can’t start chasing after it.
Now you know exactly what you want, why you want it and what you have to do to get it. Now you have to fight to make it happen.
Your fight happens in three main areas of your life: your time, your resources and your own inner attention and effort.
If you want to get what you want, you need to fight for these things every single day.
Fight for time.
Ask yourself “When will I do it?”
If you are going to get what you want, you need to devote time to chasing it. When are you going to set aside time each day to do those things you listed in the “What will I do” section? Write down when you will do it. Don’t just say “every day.” Say “at such-and-such a time every single day.”
While you are at it, designate a place where you are going to do those things at the specific time you have chosen.
“From ________________ I am going to ______________ in (or at) _________________.”
For example, If your goal is to understand the entire concept of the Bible in one year, you might write, “From 6-6:30am I am going to study my Bible in my yellow chair.”
Fight for resources.
Ask yourself, “What do I need and how will I get it?”
Now think about what you will need to do the things that are on your list? A scale? A journal? A basketball? Spandex? A Bible? A Tutor? Private lessons? A cup of coffee?
Yes, a cup of coffee may be very necessary.
Write down the things that you need to accomplish your “I will do” list and make sure they are available when and where you need them. If you plan to read your Bible at 6am, but you don’t even own a Bible, you aren’t going to be able to do what you said you needed to do every day to reach your goal. Write a list of what you need, and then gather those resources and supplies so they are ready and available when you have scheduled time to use them.
Here is an example of what your list might look if like if you are trying to lose weight:
What I need to accomplish my daily, weekly, and monthly goals:
1. Calorie counting app (like Fitness Pal)
2. Healthy foods (fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, etc.)
4. Accountability partner
5. Notebook and pen
6. Water bottle
Look at each item on your list and get yourself ready to do something! Now figure out what you have, and where and when you will need them. Then figure out how you are going to get them.
Is this something you already have? If it is something you already have, get it out and put it where you will need it.
Is this something you can borrow? Maybe you don’t have it, but you might be able to borrow it or find it for free? Start looking, researching, and asking!
Is this something that will cost money? If it costs money, put it in your budget. Make a place for the items you need to accomplish your list of “What do I need to do.” in your budget. In fact, FIGHT to get it in your budget, even if it means not spending your money on those random Amazon and iTunes purchases you mindlessly make.
Random purchases are not helping you reach your goal.
The things you need to reach your goal are more important than your random purchases.
You have to fight to use your money on the things you care about and the things you want more than the things that will not really help you meet your goals.
If you get a little weak on this and feel like throwing in the towel, look back at your “why.” Don’t forget how awesome it is going to be when you finally get what you want. Don’t forget the reward. It will make the temporary sacrifice worth it.
Fight for your attention & effort.
Ask yourself “How do I need to change?”
This is an inner fight that only you have the power and ability to engage in. It takes the discipline of your own mind and thoughts so that you can fully engage during the times you have set aside in your schedule to chase after your most important thing. It might mean that you set aside the attention and effort you are putting into your game apps or social media scrolling in order to put your attention and effort into your chase of
something more important
How do you need to change in order to get what you want?
Don’t let the fear of others cripple you.
This isn’t their chase. It is yours. It’s not their goals. These are your goals. These are the things that you want, not them. So yes, your friends might make fun of you. Your family might make you feel strange. Decide in advance that you are not going to let fear of them or what they think stand in your way.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to the wisdom of those older and wiser. But make sure they are truly wise and have your best interest in mind before you let them influence you in any way.
Don’t let the fear of failure scare you.
Failure is a vital part of success. Thomas Edison failed thousands of times before he finally succeeded. He’s not the only one. The list of failures turned famous heroes is endless.
Don’t be scared if you get it wrong. Don’t stop your chase just because it might not be perfect the first or even the 100th time.
Failure is going to be a part of it. That is ok.
Don’t let the fear of “not getting it” stop you.
Avoid saying or thinking things like …
“I just don’t get this.”
“I’m not good at this.”
“I’m never going to be able to do this.”
You will inevitably run into several things in your chase that will make you feel completely unqualified, ignorant, stupid, and unskilled. Let your determination to make a way push you through those fears. Replace those thoughts with…
“I’m going to figure this out.”
“I’m going to get better with practice.”
“If I keep working and trying, I can do this!”
Finally, in order to get what you want, you have to finish.
Before you can finish, you have to start. You have to start chasing after what you want.
Start right now by getting out a piece of paper and a pencil and writing down your “I want” “This is why” “I will” and “I need” sentences!
Maybe today you feel really motivated and inspired. There will be days that you will not feel motivated or inspired. You will feel like giving up.
Even if you quit once, keep going.
Go back to your list and start doing again. Get back in the chase.
Look for things you can fill your head with that will keep you positive, focused, motivated, inspired and encouraged.
A group of positive and encouraging friends, a blog, a motivational podcast or youtube channel… even your own thoughts can be used to keep you going! Speak encouraging and positive talk into your own ears and refuse to receive the negativity that keeps you from chasing after what you want.
Now you know what you want, when you want it, why you want it and what you will have to do to get it.
You know what you need to do those things and you know when you are going to do it.
Go, get it!