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Published on February 19, 2020

How Setting Lofty Goals Can Lead You To Unbelievable Success

How Setting Lofty Goals Can Lead You To Unbelievable Success

With the power of imagination, there is nothing you set out to do in your life that you won’t be able to achieve. Setting lofty goals leverages your imaginative abilities and pushes you to accomplish something great.

Success begins in your mind, and if you are not limited in your thinking, you’ll always love setting big goals.

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” – William Arthur Ward [1]

Many are too scared to set big goals. Perhaps because they don’t want to be disappointed or they feel the bigger things are not meant for them.

In this article, I have highlighted how you can achieve unprecedented success in your life by setting lofty goals.

What Are Lofty Goals?

A lofty goal is a goal that reaches for something big, of a high standard, and often requires great or even overwhelming efforts to accomplish.

Lofty goals are beneficial as they can help you raise your standards and change your status. Lofty goals may sometimes sound beyond reach for the fainthearted, but to the brave, they are the kind of goals that help people to accelerate their success.

When you set lofty goals, your creative juices begin to pump, and your whole being is set in motion to generate ideas on how to accomplish your goals. Accomplishing these goals will give you a feeling of success and a better life than you have ever imagined.

Lofty goals have their own peculiarity. For example, while it is a general rule in goal setting to only set goals that are realistic, lofty goals do not necessarily obey this rule.

This is because lofty goals are based mainly on your imaginative power and your will to accomplish them. Once you can capture these goals in your imagination and have the courage to pursue them, you can achieve them.

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Here are some examples of lofty goals:

  • Lose 180 pounds in 10 months
  • Achieve financial freedom at 40
  • Publish an international bestseller
  • Climb Mount Everest
  • Break an Olympic record
  • Reunite with an ex-spouse
  • Achieve family harmony
  • Beat terminal disease
  • Travel to all the countries of the world before you turn 55
  • Buy the house of your dreams without debt
  • Feed two million homeless people before you die

Dare to Dream Big With Lofty Goals

You can attain unprecedented success in your life if you break out of your cocoon and begin to dream big. Making it a habit to set lofty goals will lead you to dream bigger and bigger.

Never be content with mediocre achievements; you can always reach for something higher, bigger, and better!

To dream big, practice keeping your latest achievements as the benchmarks for the next goals you are aiming to achieve. Move up from one level of success to the next.

3 Steps to Dreaming Big

Get Motivated

Spend time around people with bigger dreams – those who are also succeeding in their own dreams. By being around these kinds of people, your mindset will change and you will see the possibilities in dreaming big dreams too.

Make Dreaming Part of Your To-Do List

Create a specific time and place to dream. Take a pen and a writing pad.

Release yourself into the world of imagination and look broadly at your life: where you are currently, where you ought to be, and how far you really can go if there are no limitations.

Avoid Negative People

It goes without saying that you should also avoid people with a negative attitude. Your motivation can disappear quickly by just having a conversation with a negative person.

Once you have taken these three steps and have written down your dreams (hopefully they are big), begin to set lofty goals towards actualizing them.

10 Important Factors to Achieving Lofty Goals

For your lofty goals to become actualized, you have to really treat them as goals and not just mere wishful thinking. You must have a willingness to pursue them with everything you’ve got.

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Here are 10 factors that will give you a clearer picture of your lofty goals and also ensure that you can actualize them:

1. Connect Your Goals to a Bigger Purpose

In order to succeed, let your lofty goals fall in line with the bigger purpose of your life.

Your life should always be directed towards a broader purpose. When your goals connect with this bigger purpose, your approach to reaching these goals will make more sense to you.

2. Make Goals Your Top Priority

If you really want to accomplish your goals, they should become your top priority.

Once you have prioritized them, you will be able to give them the kind of attention they require. Failure to prioritize might lead to focusing more on the “easy” things while you keep procrastinating on actions related to your lofty goals.

What happens in the case of clashing interests, you may ask. There will always be conflicts of interest in life, but when you have made your goal a top priority, you will be able to give it the attention that it deserves.

3. Make Plans That Will Get You There

You have to figure out what it takes to achieve your lofty goals and then put a plan together to achieve them. Planning shows that you believe in your goals, and that you are creating a pathway towards achieving them.

Even if you do not currently have the required resources, you’ve got to plan as if you do. You will be surprised how doing this will allow you to gain fresh energy to pursue your goals.

Besides, you might also begin to see the required resources springing up from unknown places.

“When you want something, the whole universe conspires to make it happen.” – Paulo Coelho [2]

4. Make Goals Scalable and Reachable

In your planning, break down the bigger goals into milestones. Instead of working towards achieving the big goal, your mind will be aiming for one milestone at a time.

This makes your goals feel much more within reach and much less less overwhelming.

Accomplishing each milestone will give you the motivation to do more, and you will find that you have accomplished your big goal in no time.

5. Keep It Under Your Hat

Be careful who you tell about your lofty goals. Unless they are trusted accountability partners in achieving your goals, it is advisable not to tell anyone at all, especially when you’re just getting started.

People’s skepticism, pessimism, and discouragement can kill your dream even before it starts.

6. Acknowledge Fears and Confront Them

Accept the challenge of fear and come to terms with it.

Fears are the thoughts about possibilities of failure or the anxieties about not being sure how things are going to turn out. If possible, write down your fears one by one and look for alternative facts for each of them.

Read more about conquering fears: How to Overcome Your Fear and Achieve Greatness

7. Think Only in Terms of Success

Look for more reasons why you will succeed than why you might fail.

While it is useful to consider what can make your goals fail, it’s much better to focus on how you want them to succeed. This requires that you focus only on achieving the goal, and that you become “deaf and dumb” to other voices.

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8. Prepare for Opposition

People might tell you that your goals are not feasible. Others might even try to block you from succeeding.

You have to prepare for this ahead of time and be tactical with your goals to defeat opposition. Many successful people have had to prove the skeptics wrong.

You have to be able to silence your opposition and show them that your goal is truly worth pursuing.

9. Plan for Contingencies

There will be unavoidable obstacles along the path to achieving your goals. They do not necessarily mean to stop you, but they arise anyway.

In your planning, be sure to make room for contingencies. Most importantly, decide in advance never to give up on your lofty goals, no matter what challenges you come across.

10. Get Help if Necessary

Learn to ask for help when you need it. Someone out there might be willing to help or to offer a crucial idea that can propel you forwards toward your goal.

You may have seen the viral video depicting a scenario in which a huge tree fell across a major road, causing serious traffic gridlock. A very little boy approached the fallen tree and was trying to push it.

At first, people didn’t take him seriously. But when they saw that he was determined, they joined him in pushing the tree and the road became clear again for everyone. [3]

The lesson in this video is that one way or another, when you take the required actions, you will always find someone will support your dream.

Final Thoughts

Lofty goals are essential, and anyone who is determined to have a better life can accomplish them. Do not be content with small- or medium-level achievements.

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Make a habit of giving yourself a daunting goal to achieve every time, and you will see yourself stretch towards unprecedented success.

More About Reaching Your Dreams

Featured photo credit: Clark Tibbs via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Brainy Quotes: William Arthur Ward Quotes
[2] Paulo Coelho: My 25 Important Points
[3] YouTube: Lead India – The Tree

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on November 9, 2020

How to Become Goal Oriented and Achieve More in Life

How to Become Goal Oriented and Achieve More in Life

Why is it important to be goal-oriented? If you make goals without asking yourself what your true strengths and values are first, you could put yourself on the fast track to disappointment. On the other hand, if you don’t set any intentions at all, you could bounce through life like a pinball doing what others want without accomplishing what’s really important to you.

Fear not. Here are 8 powerful ways to be goal-oriented using the ENVISION method (Endgame – Nesting – Value – Inspiration – Superpowers – Intimates – Openness – Nourishment) that will help you create a successful, meaningful life:

1. Start With the End in Mind

To ensure that you make goals that matter, stand back and examine your life from a broader perspective. Think about the happy ending you would like to achieve, the “E” in ENVISION, and work backwards to determine how you’ll get there.

For example, if you’d like to generate goals for yourself over the next five years, write down where you’d like to be professionally and personally five years from now.

Where do you see yourself in relation to work? What’s your family life like? What type of friends and social support group do you have? What are your hobbies? 

Next, ask yourself where you would like to be one year from now relative to what you’d like to accomplish in five years. Write the answer out in enough detail so that it seems real to you. Then, ask yourself where you’d like to be three months from now. Be specific.

What about one month or one week? What one small action could you take this week to come closer to achieving your master plan?

This exercise is a fun and eye-opening way to line up your goals with the bigger picture of your life so that you won’t waste your precious time on passing fancies and other people’s agendas.

2. Create Nested Goals

The most efficient way to achieve your goals is to nest action items inside them, the first “N” in ENVISION. Goal-oriented people get specific about when, where, and how they’ll reach their objectives by breaking them down into sub-goals.

Make your aspirations challenging but not too hard. Each one should be measurable. Instead of writing “I’d like to write a book,” try setting an intention such as “I’d like to write two hours a day, four times a week” and mark space on your calendar for it.

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Make your aims positive and keep track of your progress. Instead of business goals like “I’d like to quit my stinking job,” think about what a desirable career would look like. Try “I’d like to develop educational toys with like-minded people in a virtual office,” and then send out your résumé to companies with matching job openings.

Come up with alternative pathways to your goals so that if one doesn’t work, you’ll already have plan B in place. It’s normal to fail and experience setbacks. This goal-oriented strategy will help you move forward on the pathway to your dreams no matter what happens.

You can learn more on creating effectively goals here:

3. Get Clear on Your Values

Before you start setting goals, it’s important to ask yourself what you really value, the “V” in ENVISION.

The number one regret of people on their deathbed is that they did not live their dreams. Don’t let that be you. To avoid living a life full of “shoulds” and obligations, make a wish list. Jot down what you really want, and put all the reasons you think you can’t have it aside.

These aspirations can range from the material (such as a new car) to the psychological (high self-worth), to the spiritual (inner peace), to pretty much anything you can think of. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy.

Giving yourself permission to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to getting it. Be sure your goals speak to your soul.

4. Make Time for Inspiration

As you put your goals together, think about how you can find downtime to become goal-driven and receive inspiration in your life, the first “I” in ENVISION.

Americans put in the longest work hours and get the shortest paid vacation time in the developed world. Those of us “lucky” enough to have jobs have added another day to our work week because we now check work emails and calls from home. It’s easy to see why it’s hard to stay motivated toward specific goals in the long-term. 

However, the second regret of the dying is that they wished they didn’t work so hard. Research shows that people who engage in creative hobbies and side projects are happier and flourish more in life because they can generate new ideas and express themselves uniquely.[1] Feeling energized and playful, they get more done in less time, become better problem solvers, and receive better evaluations at work.[2]

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5. Form Goals Around Your Superpowers

Research shows that people are more likely to succeed when they develop their natural strengths, the “S” in ENVISION, than work on their weaknesses.

You can find your superpowers by answering these questions.

Each of us has a unique purpose in life. Most of us don’t realize it, though, because we’ve been pressured to conform to someone else’s idea of who we should be. Fear of change and staying in our comfort zones stunts our growth. Stretch yourself and take a risk if you want to find out what makes your heart sing.

Make an action plan to create a life in which you express your superpowers on a regular basis, whether it be through your vocation, a meaningful side project, a worthy cause, mindful parenting, volunteer work, or whatever else sparks your interest. This goal-oriented strategy guarantees you’ll thrive at work and at home.

6. Make Time for Intimates

When setting your goals, be sure to carve out time for your intimates, the second “I” in ENVISION. Intimates refers to close friends or people you have close relationships with.

The fourth regret of the dying is that they were too busy to see their friends much.[3] Make it a point to connect with real friends, people you can turn to for sympathy when you need it, confide in about most things, and be your true self around.

A new Cigna study shows that nearly half of Americans feel alone or left out.[4] According to Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad at Brigham Young University, the detrimental effects of loneliness is the same as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.[5] She warns that:

“Loneliness and social isolation are linked to around a 30 percent increased risk of having a stroke or developing coronary artery disease.”[6]

Become goal-driven to avoid loneliness

    Being with your friends is not only good for your soul, but it is also essential for your health and well-being[7]. Put it in your goals.

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    7. Open up Emotionally

    When crafting your goal-oriented life, be sure to include ways you can open up about your feelings, the “O” in ENVISION. The third regret of the dying is that they wish they’d had the courage to express their true feelings instead of stuffing their emotions down to keep peace with others.

    To lead a fulfilling life, it’s important to prioritize talking and behaving honestly with others instead of hiding your true feelings. According to Dr. Leslie Becker-Phelps[8]:

    “Start with identifying your emotions (e.g. angry, hurt) and understanding what triggered you to feel this way.”

    She recommends you try to understand your feelings and practice self-compassion for having them. When you’re calmer, try to understand the person who upset you. This will help you respect and care about yourself and the other person.

    If there is someone you need to talk to or a situation you’d like to resolve, honor your feelings. Whether it be writing a letter, making a phone call, or visiting someone you haven’t seen in years, put it on your goal list.

    Be sure to meet in a safe environment if you’re confronting someone who has abused or harmed you. Tell the truth as you see it, and try to be kind.

    Sharing your genuine feelings may bring you closer together, and it may not. It doesn’t really matter how the other person responds. What matters is that you expressed your true self. Make emotional honesty a habit by adding it to your goals.

    8. Nurture Happiness

    To be more goal-oriented and succeed in life, nurture the people and activities that bring you joy, the final “N” in ENVISION.

    The fifth regret of people on their deathbed is that they wished they’d let themselves be happier. Instead, they stayed stuck in old patterns and pretended to be content when they weren’t.

    If you don’t like your job, make it a goal to look for a new position that aligns your paycheck with your purpose. If you are entrepreneurially-minded, think about turning your passion project into a business you love. If you have multiple passions, consider pursuing a slash career (e.g., copywriter/coder/career coach).

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    According to Forbes Magazine, many companies are beginning to see the value in hiring employees who have side gigs that differ from their main vocations. You’ll bring in multiple streams of income and experience more meaning and fulfillment in your life.[9]

    If you are unhappy with your marriage or romantic relationship, set a goal to do something about it. Do you need to go to counseling? Do you need to move on?

    If you’re on the fence about whether to keep a friend in your life, be goal-oriented about getting closure on the issue. Take care of yourself in the process by completing positive daily tasks, like taking yoga classes or getting a much-needed massage.

    Whatever you do, make it a goal to show compassion as often as you can because it will boost your happiness.[10] By helping others in need, you not only can decrease their suffering, but you can also make yourself happier than you could by directly pursuing activities to make you happy.

    Final Thoughts

    In summary, the ENVISION method shows you how to blend lessons from the five regrets of the dying with effective goal-setting techniques that center around your strengths to become goal-driven.

    It may seem like a lot of work at first glance, but, in truth, it should only take you about an hour to piece together a list of goals following these guidelines. Why not trade an hour of watching television or engaging in social media to do this instead? You can always get online and watch TV later to reward yourself for becoming more goal-oriented.

    You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain by exploring what would make your heart sing. It’s worth investing in yourself this way. You have the power to create a life that totally rocks by setting the intention to do so. As the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi wrote,

    “What you seek is seeking you.”

    More Tips on Achieving Goals

    Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

    Reference

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