I used to have many goals. Back then, coming up with just another goal was easy. I had a long list of things I wanted to do – especially things I wanted to write about. But I feel ashamed to let you know that more often than not, I failed at achieving those goals.
My failure at achieving goals was remarkable.
At one time, I saw an essay contest that I was qualified to participate in. I wrote it down as one of my long list of to-dos (invariably, a goal). But, long story short: I never got around writing the essay. I felt bad, first with myself and then with the universe (I’ll tell you why in a bit).
Not long, I started questioning myself about the unhealthy trend I was experiencing. Why did I have all these goals if I wasn’t going to ever hit them? What exactly was my hindrance? How could I circumvent it (or better still resolve it)?
The obvious struck me. I had created all my goals without figuring out I needed certain resources to achieve them. I lacked the required resources. In that moment, I blamed the universe for my lack of resources.
I had writing goals, and later on, goals to start a blog, but I lacked a laptop. I was so fixated on my lack that I became blinded to what I already had – a will. And you know the truth in the saying: “where there is a will, there’s a way.”
How about you? Do you feel stuck and that your goals are weighing you down like a lump of clay crushing an ant? I’ve been there. I know the feeling.
It could also be that setting the goal proves to be an undoable task for you. That’s fine, don’t sweat. You’ll soon figure out just how best you can set your goals. In the process you’ll also learn how to use your will to discover what you can do if you’re lacking the resource to achieve your goals – especially as a writer.
Many a time, people come up with brilliant ideas on what they want to do. They go on talking about it to whoever cares to listen to them. But that’s about all they do. Talk. Truth is, such ideas soon fade as fast as they came. Napoleon Hill said: “Goals are dreams (ideas) with deadlines.” NB: the word idea in parenthesis is my modification – just me being tweaky.
My point is when you have a goal, it is sheer wisdom to set a deadline for it. This act is called planning. Planning lets you see the possibilities in your goals. It helps you reinforce your belief in them. When you have a pressing thought you wish to write about, either as a book or an article; or you have writing contest you wish to make an entry for, planning it out takes you one step towards making it a reality.
So what’s the best way to plan?
Outline. That’s the answer. As a writer, I was already used to outlining my writings before stringing them up into complete works. I didn’t realize how effective this could also be in practical life situations.
Outlining breaks the big and daunting goal into sizeable and conquerable bits. It simplifies your task, helping you focus on what’s most important and urgent. In setting goals, you may mix up the steps, not knowing which should precede the other. But with outlines, your work is cut out for you. Never forget, beside each step in your outline, you should affix a timeline.
Another benefit that I’ve come to experience using outlines in setting goals is that it gives you the opportunity to measure your progress. In essence, you understand what milestones need to be achieved. So you set out achieving you goals, milestone by milestone while at each milestone assessing your progress and readjusting strategies.
Now, you understand how to set your goals but what if you lack the resources?
Get to work
Ideas are nothing if you don’t act on them. One of the ways you can set your will in motion and proceed to conquer your limitations is to realize that resources in life are distributed. Chances are someone next to you has what you need.
What do you do when someone has what you need? The right thing to do is to ask them for it. You may probably have to make sacrifices but then … you are sure to get what you need. Succinctly, I am saying, you should borrow.
When I had essays to write and my laptop (yeah, I’ll tell how I got one) was malfunctioning, I’d readily ask whoever was the closest person to me if I could borrow their laptop for a while. It wasn’t easy, I didn’t like to beg. At first, I felt less esteem in begging. But I realized, in life, sometimes we have to stoop low to conquer.
What are your goals, and do you lack the resources? Look around you and borrow.
You may need to borrow another country. What do I mean? When Jon Morrow was struggling at the initial stage of his blogging life, he had to leave America and migrate to Mexico where life was a bit affordable. When his blogging peaked and bloomed, he travelled back to America and now lives big.
Another idea to get you afoot despite your lack of resources, is to start where you are. When I didn’t have a laptop to write, my will told me I could always write on paper. I would tear out the middle sheets of my secondary school long notes and write my essays on them. This helped me practice and hone my writing skill.
Fortunately, when I had the opportunity to participate in a contest, I aced it. The reward was a laptop and cash.
So what if I didn’t start with the long-note sheets to practice? You guessed right.
Bamidele Onibalusi, a young Nigerian freelancer started off with the cyber cafés in his neighbourhood even with the abysmal network they offered. Before turning 18 years, he was already making 5 figures from freelancing.
What are you waiting for? Just start.
When you eventually start, don’t leave before the harvest is due. In the process of trying, you’d acquire the resource that you hitherto lacked, like I did. So don’t up and leave before then. Stay consistent. Grow in it. Become the expert in the area you’ve set your goals. Become an authority.
Now, let’s do some sharing:
What are the ways you’ve been able to hit your goals even when you lacked the resources? Kindly use the comment box.