You can achieve anything you want out of life, not by wishing for it and never taking action, but with a specific goal setting template outlined below. Set goals the wrong way and you will likely not achieve your goals and give up out of frustration. For example, far too many people treat outcomes as goals. This guide shows you how, by setting goals the right way, you can attain self confidence from finally achieving long desired personal targets in many aspects of your life. Success can be yours–from career advancement, to personal or business finance, relationships with others including family that you wish to start or rebuild, and more. Goal setting is an important method of accomplishing lifetime achievement.
How to choose the right goals to focus on
Sometimes, choosing the right goals to begin with is difficult. You just need to remember that goal setting is nothing more than a formal process for personal planning. By setting sharp and clearly defined goals, you can measure and take pride in the achievement of those goals. The process of achieving goals and seeing this achievement gives you confidence that you will be able to achieve higher and more difficult goals later on.
Critical steps to begin your goal setting plans
Goals are set on many different levels. Begin with operational or process goals, and then move to performance goals. Try to avoid outcome goals, as outcomes are usually tied to factors over which you have no or little control. Subsequently, you can feel frustrated and unmotivated to continue. For example, setting a goal of being married by next year, or having $100,000 in the bank in 5 years or quitting your job to start a business in six months can be counterproductive. What is better is to use outcomes to think about where you want to be in a given time frame, then work backwards to create the operational or process goals to get there. If you focus on saving 10% of your paycheck each period, taking concrete steps to start a part-time business, or goals related to changing your eating and increasing your exercise each day, you will no doubt achieve your desired outcomes.
Also be specific with your goals. Vague outcomes such as my business will be the #1 consulting firm in this metropolitan area, without specifying what number one means, will also lead to needless frustration.
Make sure your operational and performance goals are time bound. From there you can just shorten your overall goal spans for example, you can begin with a 5 year plan, break it down into a 1 year plan, and then a 6 month plan, and 1 month plan of progressively smaller goals that you should reach to achieve your larger or lifetime goals.
At an early stage these goals may be to read books and gather information on the achievement of your goals.
4 Ways to Effectively Set Goals
- Express your goals using positive statements.
- Prioritize your goals.
- Write your goals down to solidify and reinforce them.
- Keep operational goals small.
You will achieve your big lifetime goals by breaking them down into smaller pieces. Keep your daily goals, those operational goals, small and manageable. Each daily goal should be part of a larger goal.
Reminder: Set performance goals, not outcome goals
If you set goals derived from your own personal performance, then you will be able to keep control over their achievement and reach satisfaction.
Set realistic goals.
It is critical to set goals that you can realistically achieve. Do not set goals too low. Alternatively you may be fearful of change and avoid high goals.
9 Tips for Achieving your Goals
- Visualize your life as it would be after you achieve your desired goal. Recognize the goals you have achieved along the way.
- Reward yourself appropriately, when you achieve significant goals.
- After you achieve each goal review the process that it took to achieve that goal so that you can refine your subsequent goal achievement.
- For example, if you achieved the goal too easily, make your next goal more difficult.
- If the goal took way too long to achieve, make the next goal a little easier.
- If you discovered something new that would make you to change other goals, then do so.
- If you realize that you need a new skill set to achieve your goals. Then include the steps toward building your skills and your goal setting plans.
- Always incorporate your lessons learned back into your goal-setting plans.
- If you no longer want to reach a particular goal then just let it go.
Remember: Goal setting is supposed to work for you not be your master.
How to Avoid Going Wrong with Goal Setting
Goal setting often goes wrong for a variety of reasons. If you set outcome goals initially, you will focus on the end result. Instead of all the little steps it takes to actually achieve what you want, resulting in you being exactly in the same place where you started.
You might be over ambitious in your goal setting. On the other hand, setting goals too low may not challenge you and you will not take action.
Unspecific goals are useless. If you cannot measure it you will never know if you achieved it. Set precise and measurable goals. If your goals are disorganized, lacked a coherent system, or are not based on smaller goals leading up to progressively larger goals. You can lose sight of what you are trying to achieve. You also miss out on the feedback loop that comes from being able to systematically review your progress and the sense of accomplishment from achieving progressively bigger goals.
Next Steps in Goal Setting
Motivation is the key to successful goal setting. In Part 2 of this article, coming soon, we cover specific examples of the right way to set goals, and include goals in specific areas of your life, including career and business, finance, relationships, and health. Stay tuned!