When I was a young and innocent I attended a cheesy, guru-ish personal development seminar where I was taught about the power of goals. Up until then, I had just bumbled through life satisfying my wants and needs. I had never really got strategic about setting goals for the future.
Sitting in this seminar, watching this guru talk about the law of attraction and the power of goal setting… blew me away. I have never experienced anything like it. This guy was promising the secret to creating the future and it could be any future I desired!
I don’t mind admitting that I was entranced. I could see all these glorious, desirable goals, glimmering in my future. I got totally carried away and decided to pursue one.
I set myself the goal of having ten thousand dollars in my bank account, in six months time.
Keep in mind, I was very young and didn’t consider myself an entrepreneur at all. I was “just a therapist” and I sure had my own problems. As far as I could tell, ten thousand dollars would solve them all.
The guru told me I didn’t need to know how I would achieve my goal. He said that merely setting it would cause the universe to bring it to me. I’ll bet you’ve heard, or read, this kind of thing before.
Following his instructions, I visualised myself on the specific day of October 16th. I imagined reading the numbers “$10,000” on my online bank balance. I was “manifesting” the specific evidence that my goal had been achieved. I focused on it like crazy!
Want to know the crazy thing? I achieved it. Six months rolled around and on that day, not only did I have ten thousand dollars, I had another twenty six for good measure. My bank balance read $36,000.
True story. I had thirty six thousand in cash, sitting in the bank.
Thinking back, I’m filled with regret.
The next day, I had less than thirty six. The next day even less. In six months time, I had a couple of thousand I was holding onto. Sure, I had a wealth of amazing experiences and some hilarious photos to prove it, but the money had dwindled fast. In a year, I was in debt.
Young and naive, I had made a false and costly assumption:
Money = Financial Freedom. WRONG!
Money equals a party. Financial freedom has nothing to do with your bank balance.
I had set myself a sexy goal and worked my butt off to make it happen. Yes, I got “lucky” too, although I believe we create our own luck. I achieved my goal and then it left me. My goal did the cosmic equivalent of going for cigarettes. I was left bitter, disappointed and heart broken.
Since that happened, I’ve focused myself and all my clients on creating the habit of financial freedom. It isn’t a sexy goal. It’s no fun, it’s hard work and there is no golden moment of ultimate achievement. You can’t put a date on it.
Habits might have none of the excitement of goals, but they’re better. Habits are always there for you, unlike the fly-by-night, badass goals you dream of. They’re sustainable, which means they stay with you day after day.
A habit builds momentum and power
Make a habit of writing 1000 words per day. In six months you’ll be a significantly superior writer. Sitting down to write won’t be the motivational struggle it used to be. The same goes for fitness, finances and any area you’d care to build a positive habit.
As an entrepreneur, make a habit of earning far more than you spend. The habit, unlike a static goal, is scalable. It will ensure that even if you’re racing Ferraris or subsiding on a $20k budget, nothing will spin out of control.
A goal creates achievement, celebration and good vibes on the day it is ticked off. A well tended habit creates consistent, incremental and exponential success over a lifetime.
What habits would you like to create?