No matter how much time we spend on setting a clear, achievable, and desirable goal, we cannot ignore the resources we will need to achieve that goal.
We define resources in two main categories. Tangible resources are... You guessed it! Resources you can touch and see. Money, tools, etc. Then we have the intangible resources. The fact that you cannot touch or see these resources in no way makes them any less important. Intangible resources are things like time or a specific skill you need to learn.
Top of the list for most people would be money! Not all goals need money, but when they do it forms a fairly significant part of achieving the goal and is the number one reason most people do not follow their dreams. There is unfortunately no magic formula to getting the money you need. I can hear some of you already saying "Yes but Mr. X on Facebook made $1 Million Dollars in a month launching his online formula!"
You may be right, but ask yourself "If he made millions in such a short space of time, why have you not seen him in Forbes or on MoneyWeb? And why on earth is he selling his magic formula for 9.99? Multi-Level Marketers (MLMs) get rich by selling an idea on how to get rich but it is NEVER the whole package. There is always that "one more thing" you need to make your millions. And yes some of the formulas work, after all, they probably got you to buy into it!
The reality is however that money is not easy to come by but very easy to lose. Your planning around your resources thus needs to be done critically and in detail. Consider every possible expense and input you require. I always feel safe with financial planning when I overestimate my expenses and under-estimate my potential earnings (this little trick will help motivate you when you save on expenses and end up earning more than you planned).
If the tangible resource is "human-capital", make sure that at their level of involvement in helping you achieve your goal they share your vision (you must have the buy-in). Human Capital or Human Recourses can make or break even the most well-established enterprise and can sink any dream, no matter how noble or awesome you think it is.
The simple fact that we cannot touch or feel our intangible resources can at times make them a bit harder to identify. Our intangible resources are the skills we need, the mental state we need to be in, or how others perceive us, their impression of us.
You might argue that someone's opinion of us, or a mental state is not a resource, but consider this...
One of my goals involves becoming a better salesperson. In the process of setting my goal, I identified "confidence" as a critical intangible resource. When testing my reasoning, I would ask "When/How would I have the required confidence?". The answer was simple... "When I am able to successfully sell more."
We call this a recursive loop. The same can happen with our tangible resources. I need X-amount of money. When will I have that money? When I achieve my goal...
Unlike a tangible resource, however, you can do something about some of the internal intangible resources. When we discussed the difference between a state and a goal we looked at how "confidence" in this example is a state and not a goal. That means you can decide today, right now to be more confident. There are a number of NLP exercises that can be used to get on the right path, but it all starts with your decision to be more confident.
Other intangible resources however are earned through hard work and diligence. Such as a good reputation or to be seen as a person with impeccable values.
Be clear when deciding which resources you need whether tangible or intangible and avoid the self-sabotage pitfalls of recursive loops, and letting what you need be the reason you do not set a clear goal.
The reason we go through these exercises is to ensure that we avoid setting goals we cannot achieve. So if it does not seem feasible, we go back a few steps and start again until your goal is ready to hit the road.
A Biblical View
When Nehemiah set out to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem he knew from the onset that he needed certain resources to achieve his goal.
Nehemiah 2:7-8 I also said to the king, “If it please the king, let me have letters addressed to the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River,2:7 Hebrew the province beyond the river; also in 2:9. instructing them to let me travel safely through their territories on my way to Judah. 8And please give me a letter addressed to Asaph, the manager of the king’s forest, instructing him to give me timber. I will need it to make beams for the gates of the Temple fortress, for the city walls, and for a house for myself.” And the king granted these requests, because the gracious hand of God was on me.
Before starting the actual rebuilding of the walls, the first goal for Nehemiah was to make it to Jerusalem in one piece. One of the first requests Nehemiah made to the king was for letters that would permit him to pass through the various provinces unhindered. Though the letters he needed were tangible, the actual resource (goodwill from the governors of the provinces) was an intangible resource. He was also provided with soldiers (tangible) to protect him on his journey.
Once in Jerusalem Nehemiah inspected the state of the walls and was able to set a clear goal and identify the resources he needed to start rebuilding. Stones, timber, tools, manpower, and guards were all tangible resources he needed. Specific skills (carpentry, bricklaying, metal forging), perseverance, discernment, and leadership skills were some of the intangible resources.
Considering Nehemiah's success in completing the rebuilding, we have to assume that he had a clear goal and clearly defined his resources.
In 1 Peter 4:10, the Apostle Peter writes "God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another."
I believe that when God gives us a dream, a purpose, we are already given many of our intangible resources. At least those that we are to provide with within.