Brian Tracy came up with a lovely little phrase to encapsulate what often gets in the way of people achieving their dreams. He said that, at least mentally, they often decide to take a vacation to a place he likes to call Someday Isle. When you come to think of it, it is the very essence of the difference between having a pipe-dream and a real goal.
When people have pipe-dreams, they have no real intention of working on them to make them come true. When they speak of them, it is really to just enjoy the idea of trying on something, mentally. So the language they use is not imbibed with intention. This is not the same for people who have definite goals.
Consider the following:
- Someday I’ll create that product
- Someday I’ll learn that skill
- Someday I’ll run for president
- Someday I’ll be a millionaire
- Someday I’ll play professional football
- Someday I’ll build that house
Are they pipe-dreams or goals? Of course, they are pipe-dreams. If they were goals, they would not be couched in those terms. They could all be made into goals and, of course, they have all been goals for some people. But those people did not, generally, use that kind of language. Instead, they would have expressed their ideas more directly:
- I will create that product by end of 1st Quarter this year
- I will learn that skill by end of this year
- I will run for president in three years time
- I will be a millionaire within 5 years
- I will play professional football within 3 years
- I will build that house by the end of next year
Goals are personal: they are characterised by the use of the personal pronoun. They are concrete and they have deadlines. The language of “Someday I’ll” (Someday Isle) shows a complete lack of intent, an indication that the person speaking will never achieve the thing he is talking about.
All successful people set goals. They set performance goals and outcome goals. The performance goals are set in order to support their desired outcome goals.
- I will run a marathon before the end of next year – is an outcome goal
- I will run 7 miles per day, six days per week – is a performance goal, in support of that outcome
Would you like to know what to do to move into the top 3% of achievers? Set a list of 10 goals. Write them all down. Make them positive (something you will achieve) and personal. Pick the top three you want to work on. Figure out what performance goals you need to set to achieve these outcomes and then get to work.
Does that sound easy? It is easy: easy to understand, not necessarily easy to accomplish. But that is the very same process that all top achievers have used to reach their current levels of success. The question is now: will you actually set yourself some proper goals or are you content with enjoying those pipe-dreams?