Planning to Live Your Life Your Way
Goal setting is an effective process to plan your future and inspire you to turn your visions for the future into reality. When you know exactly what you want to accomplish, you then have an idea on where to focus your attention. Goal setting also allows you to be able to identify obstacles and plan ahead so that you are not thrown off track. By setting “SMART” goals, you can pride in any achievements you make and clearly see progression when it may have seemed unclear. Setting goals will also provide a sense of self-confidence because you will begin to see your strengths and abilities while accomplishing your goals.
“Setting goals is the first step into turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins
How to Set a Goal
First, think about what you want to accomplish, and then dedicate time for execution. Set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) goals that inspire you. Write down your goals to help you start to visualize your strategy. Finally, write down steps on how you can achieve each goal and cross them off your list as you complete each one for a sense of accomplishment.
Step 1: Setting Personal and Lifetime Goals
Consider the big picture; think about personal goals and lifetime goals that you would like to achieve in the next 10 years. Create a plan and break the goals down into smaller targets that you can hit to reach your goals. Use the following categories or some of your own to begin brainstorming goals:
As you are going through this activity, make sure the goals you are setting are goals that you want to achieve. Remain true to yourself; avoid influences from your parents, friends, and others.
Step 2: Setting Smaller Goals
Once you identify your “big picture”, you can set smaller goals, such as, six-month goals, one-year goals, five-year goals, which will help you reach your lifetime goals. Remember to review your goals on a daily/weekly basis to keep your process on track. You may need to modify your plan as you lifestyle and experiences change.
A useful way of creating powerful goals is to use the mnemonic SMART to establish goals. SMART stands for Specific (Significant), Measurable (Meaningful), Attainable (Action-Oriented), Relevant (Rewarding), and Time-bound (Trackable). Your goals must be precise and well defined; they must have dates and accurate amounts; they must be possible to achieve, but not too easy; they must be appropriate for the lifelong plan you set; and they must have exact deadlines.
Additional Tips for Setting Your Goals
- State each goal as a positive statement
- Set priorities
- Focus on small steps that lead to the big picture
- Set performance goals, not outcome goals
Once you have achieved a goal, take some time to be proud of yourself. Think about what it means to have achieved the goal and reflect on the progress you are making towards your other goals. Rewards, if appropriate, are a great way to celebrate achieving a goal. While observing your progress consider the following:
- Was my goal too easy to achieve? If so, consider making your next goals more challenging.
- Did my goal take a long time to achieve? If so, consider making the goal a little easier.
- Did I learn anything that may change my other goals? If so, change them.
“Your goals are the road maps that guide you and show you what is possible for your life” – Les Brown