If I could only give one piece of advice before I died, it would be to set goals. This is the single greatest idea to having a fruitful and successful life. If we don't set goals, we perform daily acts of randomness and have no deliberate action to better ourselves or our surroundings. Setting goals also allows us to critically reflect on where we've been and where we want to go. Of course, exploring life as it comes may allow us to end up at the same destination but being deliberate about our approach may allow us to cut the time in half. I've found goal setting to be successful in any facet in life: work, health, friends and family, religion, and any other general self-improvement.
But what if I don't know what I want to do?
Not a problem at all. There are still general skills that we can work on before we develop a career, fitness achievements, or any other type of high overarching goals. We can work on communication (create discussions on message boards), writing (write letters to friends), speaking (try out for a play), and many other general traits to prepare us for any life decision. Being deliberate now allows us to be proactive rather than reactive for our future.
As I mentioned in my earlier blog, I like to set mini goals every year for my birthday to work on broad characteristics. I also like to set Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG) to help give myself direction for the future.
Give us an Example!!!
I learned the power of setting goals my senior year of college when I determined that I wanted to intern for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) in Colorado Springs, CO. I quickly sought out job openings and applied for any position I could. Believe it or not, one week later I heard nothing. Two weeks - nothing, one month - nothing (Brogan starts sweating), 2 months - nothing (Brogan holds back tears) but here is where the power of goal setting comes in. I ultimately failed to find an internship by applying online but I committed to interning for the USOC so I damn well was gonna find an opportunity. I started researching what other people did via blogs, I further refined my resume, but I believe the biggest item that led to my ultimate success was reaching out and making connections. I started researching roles on linkedIn and found current employees with careers I'd be interested in. I ended up reaching out to Peter Vint as a sports science researcher and explained to him why I was interested and explained how I could help. Over the next few weeks, we had discussions and ultimately he created a new internship for me to work there that summer. Goal - Completed.
Had I never made the commitment, I may never have worked at USOC nor would I have learned the power of reaching out and simply asking questions. Setting goals is empowering!!!
Be bold! Set BHAGs! Find ways to improve yourself and then find how you can be deliberate on achieving that goal. If we wonder through life aimlessly, we may never reach our full potential or accomplish as much as we, later in life, wished we had.
Be creative! Do things that make you uncomfortable! Push your boundaries! Set a career objective to work for NASA and then start catering your career path as to how to accomplish that goal. Commit to a marathon and gradually build up your training over a year. Become financially independent and begin finding a side hustle. Learn to be more caring and do something nice for your friends once a month. The possibilities are endless, all you have to do is commit to a goal!