In the last two chapters, you have learned the importance of defining your goals and prioritizing your goals. You have to know the goals you want to achieve before you can achieve them, and you have to prioritize your goals in order to know what actions you need to take to reach them while you have the time and ability to reach them. In this chapter, you will learn how setting specific goal deadlines can also aid you in achieving the most goals you can during your lifetime.
Many people will want to attain specific goals, but they won’t write them down. A key detriment to this is that, they can’t analyze what tasks it will take to reach those goals, nor can they reasonably estimate how long the long-term goal will take to be reached.
As was mentioned earlier in this book, writing down goals enables you to break down the goal into more manageable tasks (i.e. short-term goals) that you can more easily reach so that the overall goal (i.e. long-term goal) is more easily attainable. When you analyze a long-term goal in this way, you can see exactly the tasks you need to accomplish to reach that long-term goal. You can also determine exactly how long it will take to complete each of those short-term goals.
Determine how long you want to take to reach your long-term goal. For instance, if you want to lose 100 pounds, how long do you want to take before you achieve it? Now, you have to be realistic; you’re not going to do it in 1-2 months (and most physicians would consider it unhealthy to lose that much weight that quickly), and even doing it in 6 months may not be possible, as you will have to lose about 17 pounds each month. It’s not impossible, but may be quite challenging. However, if you choose to lose 100 pounds in 12 months or 1 year, you only need to lose about 9 pounds each month, or about 2-3 pounds a week, in order to achieve your long-term goal. This is certainly feasible for most people who put in a decent amount of effort toward losing 100 pounds in 12 months.
Similarly, a college degree is usually attained in 2-4 years, though there are accelerated programs to where you can finish your degree in 12-18 months. Again, you need to decide how long you want to take to reach your long-term goal; then, you will know how long you have to achieve the short-term goals on the way to achieving your long-term goal in the time you choose to do it in.
This is why setting specific goal deadlines is key. If you want to attain a long- term goal in a specific amount of time, then you know the time period you have to achieve all of the short-term goals needed to be obtained to attain the long- term goal in that time period. You can break down exactly how long you need to attain each short-term goal in order to obtain the long-term goal in the time period you specify. If you fall behind on attaining any of the short-term goals in the set time periods, you will not achieve your long-term goal in the time period you set.
This is why it’s important to write down long-term goals, break those goals down into short-term goals, then determine how long you have to attain the short-term goals based on how long you wish to take to achieve the long-term goal. It’s similar to knowing what destination you are going to in an automobile; you can’t reach the destination within a specific time period if you don’t know where you’re going. If you want to reach that destination in a specific time period, you have to know exactly how much distance is between there and your present location, see how long the exact route is to reach that destination, then calculate how fast you need to be traveling to cover that much area in the time period you specify.
Similarly, you have to know the long-term goal and the time period you want to accomplish it in, then break down that long-term goal into short-term goals and divide up the time amongst those short-term goals so that you can achieve the long-term goal in the time you specified. This is how you will accomplish the most goals in your lifetime.
In the next chapter, you will learn about how to deal with, overcome, and eliminate distractions, as well as learn how to track your progress so that you become better at overcoming distractions and achieving more of your goals.