Taking time out of your day to improve yourself is more important than you think

Setting goals both long-term and short-term is vital when it comes to staying motivated every day

More stories from John Mattison



Mattison starts his mornings by writing in his journal and evaluating what needs to take priority in order to reach his short-term and long-term goals.

We’ve all heard it before: You are your own biggest advocate. Sure, you try and represent yourself in the best way possible. But are you taking the steps to improve yourself on a daily basis? Have you ever thought about what you really want?

Last summer I worked at an outdoor landscaping and groundskeeping job where my days consisted of pulling weeds, watering plants and washing the outside of houses, the whole nine yards. Being outside for eight hours straight got me thinking of what I can do to maximize my time every day.

Instead of just listening to music on my phone, I would spend hours listening to either podcasts or YouTube videos geared toward personal development and goal setting. I soon developed a love for a number of motivational speakers and authors including Les Brown, Brian Tracy and Jim Rohn.

I took away a lot of knowledge and information from reading and listening to these individuals. One idea that stands out the most and has had the largest effect on my life is the ability to set goals.

Being a former athlete, I have been a member of teams where goals were set at the beginning of the season. Thus, I had a general idea of what it is like to set goals. However, after listening to Jim Rohn’s advice on how to set goals, I have changed my mindset every day for the better.

I believe physically writing down my goals, both short-term and long-term, has benefitted my life. Waking up each morning and looking at my goals, allows me to go about my day with those goals in the back of my mind. This keeps me motivated and focused throughout the entire day. Living without goals is simply reacting to the challenges life throws you.

Being conscious of these goals makes it much easier to get past any short-term obstacles I am faced with. In one of his many blogs Jim Rohn said you must make your goals “S.M.A.R.T.”

S.M.A.R.T. means specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-sensitive.

— Specific: You’re setting goals for yourself. There’s no need to be vague about what you truly want.

— Measurable: When setting goals, write down exactly what you are striving for, whether that be in dollar amounts or job specific; make sure you have in mind exactly what you want.

— Attainable: This one speaks for itself. Reach high for your goals but understand what you are capable of.

— Realistic: Your goals have to be something you can make “real” in your life. I’m not saying you shouldn’t set big goals, I’m simply suggesting your goals must be realistic.

Time: All your goals need a timeframe. This comes into play with both your short-term and long-term goals. The timeframe is used to motivate you to work hard so you won’t get behind on your dreams.

I’m not telling you this because I am extremely successful. I’m only a college student. I am simply informing you on the valuable lessons I have recently learned and the steps I am taking to ensure I am doing everything in my power to maximize my time in order to achieve the goals I have set for myself.