As important as goal setting is, goals alone do not ensure that you will achieve the success you desire. A written goal is not some kind of magic talisman whereby whatever you set your heart on manifests in your life out of thin air. That being the case, what is it that makes the difference between a person who achieves their goals and a person who doesn't? The answer can be summarised in a single word: lifestyle. The only difference between those who achieve their goals and those who don't is the way they live each day. Destiny does not determine your lifestyle. Your lifestyle determines your destiny!
The vast majority of people who aspire to success in life aspire to a particular kind of result. They see successful people on TV, at the movies or in their neighbourhoods and they think, "I want that." They look at the wealth, the fame, the physique, the career success, the fulfilling relationships and all the other "results" of success, but they don't look at the kind of lifestyle which led to that success. If they did, they would realise that these successful results can all be had, but not apart from the successful lifestyle which precedes them.
Get this point clear in your mind right now:
You can have any kind of success you desire if you are willing to adopt the kind of lifestyle which precedes that success.
I meet many people who, on discovering that I am a writer as well as a life coach, tell me that they too have always wanted to write. "I have a great idea for a book," they say. "And I'd love to have my name in print... and receive those royalty cheques. It must be absolutely wonderful!"
If you put my life in those terms, then I have to agree. It would be absolutely wonderful to spend my life getting ideas, having my name put in print and collecting royalty cheques.
Unfortunately for the dreamers, there is a lifestyle which precedes all of those results. For example, at five o'clock this morning when everyone else was cosily tucked up in bed, I was in the shower. At five fifteen I was eating a bowl of breakfast cereal. And at five thirty I was sitting at my desk, putting words on paper. And because I have clients to coach today (and most days) I'll be here for a while yet.
I don't want this to sound as though I dislike my work. The fact is that I love writing and coaching. I actually enjoy getting out of bed early in the morning and spending almost all of my day helping people to achieve their dreams. The point I am trying to make is that if you want success as a writer, you have to live the lifestyle of a writer. That means writing, day in and day out.
The same applies to any other form of success. If you want to achieve the goal of being fit and healthy, you need to adopt the kind of lifestyle which places importance on regular exercise and eating habits. If you want to achieve the goal of having strong family relationships, you need to adopt the kind of lifestyle which places importance on regular family gatherings and good communication skills.
Once again, let me put it this way:
Destiny does not determine your lifestyle.
Your lifestyle determines your destiny.
Now compare this strategy with the ones contained in the vast majority of self-help titles and you will find their fatal flaw: Most self-help systems claim that the lifestyle is the goal, the end result of having achieved success. Wrong! The adoption of a properly planned lifestyle is the route to achieving success in the first place. If you still need convincing then consider this: How do you think most currently mega-successful people lived before they achieved the success they now enjoy?
Did Bruce Willis spend five hours every evening watching soap operas or the latest action movies on video? Was Anthony Robbins a regular at his local bar, content to happily watch the evenings pass by with just a few drinking pals and beers close by to keep him awake? Did Meg Ryan spend all day watching daytime television and eating cheese puffs? Was Nicole Kidman content to work in a dead-end job for little money? Did Stephen King spend every spare afternoon at the race track or bumming around with a group of loser friends?
Of course, the answer to all of these questions is no. But aren't these exactly the kind of things that unsuccessful people do all the time? And aren't these the kind of things that unsuccessful people actually defend when challenged about their lifestyles? Yes!
And that's the only real difference between the people who achieve their goals and those that don't - the things that they do day after day, week after week and month after month.
I realise that all of this sounds incredibly simple, but the fact is that personal success is simple. It may not be easy, but it certainly isn't complicated.
About The Author
Ian Bruce, aka The Rational Coach, helps people from all over the globe to improve their lives and achieve their goals both elegantly and swiftly. Visit him today at www.rational-coaching.com