I have talked a lot on this site about goal setting, but there is a difference in setting your goals and setting them effectively. Anyone can set a goal, but doing it effectively means that it will actually get done. There are so many things that you can do to better your life, but if you don’t know how to go about it you are stuck.
The following guidelines will help you to set effective goals and help you manage your time in an efficient manner that will cause those goals to become reality.
State each goal as a positive statement
Express your goals in a positive way. That is a key component to setting goals that you can attain.
How often have you been excited to accomplish a goal that didn’t even sound good when you brought it up? If you are not comfortable or happy with the goals that you have set, the likelihood of you succeeding is pretty low.
If you want to express your goals in a positive way, you simply have to first think of a goal that puts a smile on your face when you imagine it completed. Why would you want to set a goal that made you frown, cringe or cry?
When you are beginning to set your goals, it helps when you are talking about them to others in a manner that states your actions as positives because it will have others seeing it as a positive as well.
That will garner you a great deal more support. In the end, don’t we all need a little support when we are trying to do something positive in our lives?
Set a precise goal that includes starting dates, times and amounts so that you can properly measure your achievement.
If you do this, you will know exactly when you have achieved the goal, and can take complete satisfaction from having achieved it.
Being precise in setting your goals is no more than setting them with exact details. It is easier this way because then you can follow a step-by-step format. That’s all there is to it.
When you have several goals, you must give each a specific priority.
This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones and follow each in succession. Setting priorities will force you into the step-by-step format above.
By doing the most important first and moving to the least important in succession, you are enabling each task to be easier than the last. It causes the accomplishment of each task to get easier and easier which will encourage you to complete your goal.
Write goals down
I know I have said this before, but this crystallizes your goals and gives them more force.
In writing your goals down, you are better able to keep up with your scheduled tasks for each accomplishment. It also helps you to remember each task that needs to be done and allows you to check them off as they are accomplished.
Basically, you can better keep track of what you are doing so as not to repeat yourself unnecessarily.
Keep operational goals small
Keep the low-level goals you are working towards small and easy to achieve. If a goal is too large, then it can seem that you are not making progress towards it.
Keeping goals small and incremental allows you more opportunities for reward. Derive today’s goals from larger ones. It is a great way to accomplish your goals.
Set performance goals, not outcome goals
You should take care to set goals over which you have as much control as possible. There is nothing more dispiriting than failing to achieve a personal goal for reasons that are beyond your control.
These could be bad business environments, poor judging, bad weather, injury, or just plain bad luck. If you base your goals on personal your performance, then you can keep control over the achievement of your goals and get satisfaction from achieving them.
Set realistic goals
It is important to set goals that you can achieve.
All sorts of people (parents, media, and society) can set unrealistic goals for you which is almost a guarantee of failure. They will often do this in ignorance of your own desires and ambitions or flat out disinterest.
Alternatively you may be naïve in setting very high goals. You might not appreciate either the obstacles in the way, or understand quite how many skills you must master to achieve a particular level of performance.
By being realistic you are increasing your chances of success.
Do not set goals too low
Just as it is important not to set goals unrealistically high; do not set them too low. People tend to do this where they are afraid of failure or where they simply don’t want to do anything.
You should set goals so that they are slightly out of your immediate grasp, but not so far that there is no hope of achieving them. No one will put serious effort into achieving a goal that they believe is unattainable.
However, remember that your belief that a goal is unrealistic may be incorrect. It has been said people overestimate what they can accomplish in a short period of time, and underestimate what they can accomplish in a long period of time.
Achieving your Goals
When you have achieved a goal, you have to take the time to enjoy the satisfaction of having done so. Absorb the implications of the goal achievement, and observe the progress you have made towards other goals.
If the goal was a significant one, you should reward yourself appropriately. Think of it like this, why would you choose to ignore any accomplishments that you have made?
In doing that, you are downplaying your accomplishment which will convince you that it wasn’t that important in the first place.
With the experience of having achieved each goal, you should next review the rest of your goal plans and see them in the following manner:
- If you achieved the goal too easily, make your next goals harder
- If the goal took a disheartening length of time to achieve, make the next goals a little easier
- If you learned something that would lead you to change other goals, do so
- If while achieving the goal you noticed a certain lacking in your skills, decide which goals to set in order to fix this
You should keep in mind that failure to meet goals does not matter as long as you learn from it. Feed lessons learned back into your goal-setting program.
You must also remember that your goals will change as you mature. Adjust them regularly to reflect this growth in your personality. If goals no longer hold any attraction for you let them go.
Goal setting is your servant, not your master. It should bring you real pleasure, satisfaction and a sense of achievement.
If it stops, there is no longer a point. Let’s look at an example.
The best example of goal setting that you can have is to try setting your own goals. Set aside two hours to think through your lifetime goals in each of the categories. Then work back through the 25-year plan, 5-year plan, 1-year plan, 6- month plan, and a 1-month plan.
Finally draw up a To Do List of jobs to do tomorrow to move towards your goals. When you do, you will soon realize that you will be on your way to using your goal setting on a routine basis.