Why should anyone have goals anyway, I sometimes hear people ask. Well, there are quite a few reasons, but to put it in a nutshell, goal setting really does help you to plan and when you have a plan you can do something about it and that is what helps make dreams become your reality – putting a plan into action. It is all in the doing! The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you must concentrate your efforts. You’ll also quickly spot the distractions that would otherwise lure you from your course.
- What exactly do you want? Define your Goal
Is your goal clearly defined with a specific plan of action? Is it important to you personally? Is it within your power to make happen? Is it something you have a reasonable chance of achieving?
Are you clear about what is important for you in your life? Do you make your choices based on this? Is your goal something YOU really want or is it something you think, or you’ve been told you should want?
You can only achieve your goals if you are totally clear on exactly what it is you want.
- How strong is your desire? Determine the Strength of Your Desire
Do your goals inspire and energize you?
On a scale of 1 -10, with 1 being very weak and 10 being “I’d do anything to achieve this goal”, how strong is your desire?
The greater your desire, the stronger your inner drive to action towards that goal.
- Have you written down your goals? Write It Down
Have you put your goal on paper and made it official? Did you know that only 3 % of people write down their goals, and of those 3%, 80% of them achieve their goals? Are you one of the 80%? Writing down your goal is your declaration that You Want It! Be specific. Place it where you will see it several times a day.
- Can You See & Feel Yourself Having What You Want? Define All the Ways You Will Benefit from Reaching Your Goal.
Can you visualize yourself having arrived at your goal? Where are you? How is your life different? What are you doing? How do you feel? Be specific. The more benefits you can envision, the more energized and inspired you will feel and the greater the pull that goal will have on you. See & feel yourself already there. Use the power of that vision to fuel your actions.
- Where are you now? Determine Your Starting Point
What is your starting point? Do you know where you are now, to plot the most advantageous & direct course to your destination? With a clear starting point, you can head in the right direction. Planning is much like mapping your route for a road trip. If you don’t know where you are, you can’t know how to get where you are going.
- What is Your Time Frame? Set Timelines & Deadlines
Have you committed to timelines and deadlines? Are you MAKING the time to MAKE the goal? Have you scheduled time to work on your goal and put that time into your diary? Have you prioritized and eliminated things that are of less, or no, value? By doing this, you commit to clearing the way to acting towards your goal.
- What obstacles might you face and how will you deal with them? Consider possible blocks/obstacles and ways of dealing with them.
What possible obstacles will you face? Have you prepared contingency plans to deal with those obstacles? How can you deal with them the most effectively? Forewarned is forearmed.
- What are Your Strengths and Resources? Identify Resources
What strengths & resources do you have that will help you move forward? Who are the people or organizations that will support you? Who is on your success team? How can you improve the skills you’ll need and build on the strengths you already have? Have you succeeded or failed at tasks that were like this before? What resources did you use that were helpful before? What can you do to maximize your chances of success this time? What can you do differently? What can you do to motivate yourself to reach your goal? Be your own best resource.
- What is Your Plan and What are the Steps? Make A Plan
“A Dream is just a Dream. A Goal is a Dream with a Plan and a Deadline”
Have you broken your goal down into small manageable steps that can be done daily? Have you identified and time-lined each task that needs to be done? Have you discerned your starting point? What do you need to do first? What structures do you have in place to keep track of your progress? Accomplishing a goal requires taking the steps. These steps, in turn, become habits. What daily habits do you need to create? Big successes start with little ones.
- Are you committed? Make A Commitment & Believe in Yourself
Are you committed or are you just trying? How many people do you know who have tried to do something and failed?
Say the following sentence to yourself: “I’m going to try to ______________”
Now say “I’m committed to _____________”
Which feels more solid and more likely to happen? To achieve any goal, you need to COMMIT yourself to achieving it. Have you really committed to doing everything that’s necessary to achieve that goal? Are you committed to putting in ALL the necessary time, energy, and money?
Look over your plan and the steps to achieve your goal. Do you believe that you can do it? Do you have any doubts? Are your expectations realistic?
Deal with your fears and expectations of yourself.
Bonus Step: Celebrate
How will you acknowledge the work that you have done and celebrate the completion of each of the steps along the way? How can you use that energy of success to keep you moving forward? Don’t wait until the end to celebrate.
Celebrating each small victory acknowledges your successes and keeps you motivated and focused.