Are Your Life Goals Aimed High Enough?
“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” ~ Michelangelo
This time of year there’s a lot of talk about setting life goals and achieving life goals. But the most important conversation centers around this question – are you setting the right goals? Rather than settling for what’s comfortable and easily within your range, are you aiming high enough?
Archery is one of my favorite activities and I often think about how it’s a great metaphor for achieving your fullest potential in life. There are a number of life lessons you can learn from archery. Here are a few:
Lesson #1: Without a target, there’s no purpose.
What would you do if I handed my bow and arrow to you? Your first question no doubt would be, “What do I shoot at?” When you have a target to aim at, you gain a sense of purpose. It changes how you feel. You become excited about the challenge before you. The first time you hit the target is thrilling! Adding a target changes the way you view archery. It gives context and meaning to it.
The same applies with life goals. They change how you feel about life. They alter how you approach each day. Without them you’ll merely exist and meander through life without direction and without much accomplishment.
Lesson #2: Anchor yourself for success.
One of the first things you’ll learn about archery is how to position yourself and hold the bow and arrow. When you take your stance, you need to create an anchor point – the fixed position of the bowstring hand on your jaw or cheek while aiming the arrow. It gives you the strength and balance to shoot safely and effectively.
For life goals to be effective, it’s important to incorporate the practice of centering yourself, which helps you feel still and aware as you connect with your inner being. When you know who you are, then you know how to create life goals that get you to where you’re going.
Lesson #3: Aim high for the long-term
The first time you shoot an arrow you’ll pick a target that’s close to you. As your skill improves, you’ll want to move the target farther away to see what you can really do. Yet, as the distance increases, your arrow may fall far short of the mark. Why is that? You have to adjust your aim a little higher than the bulls-eye to compensate for the pull of gravity.
You want life goals that push your self-limiting boundaries. And to do that you’ll want to aim higher than you can ever imagine it possible to achieve. And when external forces make you miss your mark, you’ll need the flexibility to adjust and try again.
Lesson #4: Measure your progress
Of course, you don’t expect to hit the bulls-eye the first time you shoot the arrow. You’re happy just to nick the target. Then you’re thrilled to hit the outer ring. Each ring gives you something to measure your progress by.
Worthwhile life goals need to be specific and measurable. When you see where you were and how far you’ve come, it promotes self-confidence and builds momentum for further progress.
Lesson #5 Partner up for accountability
Being a member of an archery club makes you show up on time. It’s a lot more fun and motivational when you see how others are hitting the mark!
When you have an accountability partner for your life goals it holds you to a deadline. And you’ll be much more likely to push through the days when you don’t feel like it.
What are your life goals for 2017? My colleague, Nando Raynolds, and I love helping people become outstanding by teaching both the “what” and the “how” of extraordinary success. Come and check us out at our next free talk on January 12th on “Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet!” Click here to get the details.