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Effective Goal Setting Made Easy
The next time somebody tells you that setting goals is really a lot of hype, tell him this: if life is a journey, how will you get there if you don’t have an itinerary?
Break down a single goal into little pieces
Regardless of your goal’s size, you should have a plan of attack. Ask yourself:
What do I know about this?
What information do I have?
What information do I need? Where can I get it?
What skills do I need to master?
What other resources should I use?
Is this the best way to do it, or is there some other way?
If you start looking at a goal as something that can be approached from many sides, you will not be too intimidated by it. Plus, you will also keep a more realistic frame of mind, knowing what you are capable of and in what area you’ll need help with.
So you’ve heard this before. Big deal. Well, it is. Time wastage is one of the greatest crimes in history. If Henry Ford put off studying and tinkering with machines for another time, someone else would have improved on automobiles and he wouldn’t have gone down in history as a pioneer.
If you’re used to procrastination, being bullheaded about a goal can seem scary at first. Try to set a schedule and then reward yourself each time you meet it.
If you like putting off reconciling your accounts, try marking your calendar for two or three days and set a time limit for each day, say 15 minutes and then spend those minutes doing nothing but reconciling your accounts.
If you don’t finish the job, no sweat – you only allotted a quarter of an hour anyway. But try to make some progress within the time frame you set. Once you condition your mind that you can actually do it within a certain time period, you won’t find it too difficult to make schedules in the future.
Start small, but keep walking
Goals don’t necessarily have to be big ones. When you set your goal too high, you might find it too overwhelming and time consuming and just give up, or make another one, just as big. It’s akin to quitting cold turkey – there are setbacks.
To make goals believable and achievable, set them in small increments, complete with time, dates, amount, some details.
If you tell yourself, “I’m going to be an opera singer” and then sit around and wait for it to suddenly happen, you could be waiting all your life. Start with singing lessons for a month, and then a year and expose yourself to opera music. You can then progress to more singing lessons year after year.
By breaking down your goals in smaller, workable units, you are more likely to make them come true. Remember, even the great ones had to start somewhere.
Be positive when stating your goals
Instead of saying, “I am not going to mess my exercise routine today,” say “I’m really busy, so I’ll probably just make time for 20 minutes on the treadmill.” Stating your goal positively will help you view it as a good thing to do, and not as a byproduct of what you had to avoid.
Spread out your goals
So maybe we do have certain general goals that apply to all areas of our lives like, “I want to be successful” or “I want to be rich” but those would seem as far away as the Niagara Falls viewed from Hawaii. Instead, try making tiny goals for different aspects of your life, one or two for each, even more if you like.
These areas are: family and home, career, social, physical, mental and spiritual. If you say, “I want to be a successful dad,” then try to make goals towards the development of your family life while still keeping an eye out for ways to improve your career and other areas of your life.
Don’t underestimate yourself
It’s tempting to sometimes just slack off, or let yourself off too easy. If you want to write the definitive American novel, then don’t try to churn out just a page or two a day when you know you are more than capable of writing five pages, even ten.
The fear of failure is sometimes to blame for setting our goals too low. How often have we said, “I don’t really want to volunteer for that project ‘cause I might screw it. And then my colleagues will make fun of me.”
Remember that some fears are unfounded. How do you know you’ll actually ruin it? And how do you know for sure your coworkers will laugh at your effort? If you try to reason with your fears, more often than not, you’ll realize that there really is no reason for you to be reluctant and that in fact, you can do it.
Write it down
Putting your goal down on paper is more than just memorizing it. You are actually confirming your willingness to make it come true. A written list of goals is also an effective reminder of what you need to do and once you’re done, a good review of your accomplishment.
Affirmation is really more than writing down, “I am going to buy my $750,000 home by Christmas” twenty times. It’s actually being conscious not only of your thought processes, but also of your acts during the day.
If you’re trying to save money and then you pass by a shop window where a great pair of shoes seems to have your name on it, think, “If I buy those shoes, would I be making my goal of saving easier? Will I be able to meet my deadline if I splurge just this once? A few months from now if I don’t meet my deadline because I didn’t save enough, would I feel good about it?”
Small decisions can have a great impact on you working towards your goal. Remember that your goals are your road maps to success in life. Without them, you can lose your way. Although you can always retrace your steps, you might not have the time, opportunity, energy or resources you once had when you could have made your goals happen one by one.
Max Kezooki is passionate about helping others succeed in their career & personal life. To discover how to sleep better with natural means, visit: