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By Chartered Accountant & Financial Mentor Wendy Merrigan

· Top Stories,Inform-Investigate

"At first, they will ask WHY you are doing it, but, before long, they will ask HOW you did it!"



After hosting the Goal Focused workshops earlier this year, one person I spoke to a few months later mentioned not knowing what their goal is.

How big to aim or what their priorities really were. They needed more time to think through it. We had a long coffee and chat one day months later but it struck me lately, when I talk to people about their goals, the lack of clarity around what they're aiming for is one of the biggest challenges faced. There has been many facts about written goals; only a small amount of people writing down what they actually want to achieve.

Looking at the image above; how do you hit a target you can't see clearly?

(You might hit it, but it'll be easier to see and hit if you define it well and make a plan of action.)

Without getting into the issues I have around the schooling system and how I feel it didn't set me up well for my working career, one part of learning we missed out on and could be taught is about decision-making. How to make decisions and stick to them. How to aim high and what it takes to achieve goals. Does learning to memorize any book by acronyms help kids? Not the best thing to admit, but it's how I got through a lot of subjects in the Leaving Cert and through college, but no, I don't believe it was the best use of my memory or my mind.

Learning about decision-making and goal setting, however, are areas that could help so many people in choosing their career path and what exactly they want to achieve in their working lives.

Chartered accountant and financial mentor Wendy Merrigan writes for Self Starter Magazine. Focus on your goals.

MAKING A DECISION is the CLEAR FIRST STEP in achieving any goal you set for yourself.

Why start out in business without defining where you want to take your business? Often we hear the reference of a ship without a rudder, floating along aimlessly and following the tides instead of deciding the destination in advance.

This step can obviously feel hard to people. Being clear and concise about what we want and what we aim to achieve can feel daunting. The Irish culture of not wanting to seem above our station also plays a big part I personally believe. Who do we think we are to dream?

Far from that she was raised.... etc.

You can let this hold you back, or you can choose to ignore it and aim for what you really want. The choice is yours.

The one thing I would advise is find your circle of trust and chose who you share your goals with very carefully. At times our families and friends can have the most negative affects on our dreams, without meaning to of course. Nonetheless, keep your dreams and goals to yourself until you have identified your own personal mission, if you're serious about changing your life or want to change something about yourself. You may have experienced this before (whether it was a change in career or changing your body shape) you may have experienced some negative feedback from people you feel know you well.

This can be so destructive. We always have a choice though.

Do you want to stay where you are and let the destructive comments of others define your life or do you want to define your own life and live it on your terms?

Forming new habits and achieving goals require new behaviours. If you behave as you always have, then you will receive what you always have.

Albert Einstein was completely correct in the definition of madness, yet, so many people wake up this Monday, head to work and do everything they did last week while WANTING or HOPING for something different as a result.

Wanting and hoping clearly won't get you there. Taking proactive steps to achieve your goals daily, weekly and monthly, on the other hand, will.

Knowing the target you want to hit is the first step. I often focus on the type of business the person wants, what income level they wish to achieve or how much value they want the business to be worth on valuation at a certain date in the future, what investment portfolio that want to have or what financial freedom looks like to them.

NEXT is to visualize yourself achieving the goals you set and feel the emotions of achieving that goal.

How we act on a daily basis will determine how quickly we get there.

Do you believe you can achieve any goal you set for yourself? Again, this will determine your success or failure. Henry Ford didn't let anyone tell him he couldn't achieve his goal. His famous quote of 'Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right', is often used. Inspirational quotes are fantastic for those they help but do we really understand the meaning of this quote? If so, would we ever think anything negative?? Would we have negative thoughts about our dreams, our plans to make these dreams goals and the action plan to get there? Or would we stay focused and on track every day? I believe we'd talk and think about things very differently. Perhaps we'd say less and keep focused on the actions we take and on paying attention to where our mind goes more often.

So for today, I'd love any reader to make a decision.

Decide what goal they want to achieve and start this process if they haven't before.

Practice makes perfect and changing habits can take time. They say 21 days (whoever 'they' are).

In 21 days would you like the same results as you have now or would you like to be on your journey to achieving what you want to achieve?

If so, take that first step and make that decision about your business, your life and your future.

For more information or to talk to Wendy email

Chartered accountant and financial mentor Wendy Merrigan writes for Self Starter Magazine. Focus on your goals.
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