Guide to Successful Goal Setting
It’s a new year. You have 365 blank pages to write your story of 2017. Well, technically, 349 blank pages. How do you want your story to read this year? Do you have a goal? Sure you do! We all do! Let’s get started on your amazing story by focusing on goal setting.
Goal setting is the powerful process of thinking about your ideal future. It puts your wishes into action items that turn the vision of your picture-perfect future into a reality.
Happiness covers multiple aspects and areas of life. To give a broad and balanced coverage to your future, try setting goals in some of the following categories.
ATTITUDE – Is there any part of your personality or mindset that is holding you back? Is there any part of the way you act that upsets you or upsets others?
FAMILY – How do you want to be viewed by a partner or by members of your extended family? Make more time for my family.
CAREER – What position/level do you want to reach in your career? What business goals do you want to achieve?
FINANCIAL – How much do you want to earn and in what time frame?
EDUCATION – Is there any level of knowledge you want to acquire? What skills and information will you need to have to achieve other goals in your life?
PHYSICAL – Are there any personal fitness goals you want to achieve? Are you planning for a healthy lifestyle? What steps are you going to take to achieve this?
PLEASURE – What kind of hobbies do you like? How do you want to enjoy yourself and your free time? (You always want to ensure that some part of your hectic life is reserved simply for you.)
Once you have narrowed down areas you want to focus on then use the below method of writing SMART goals to map out your plan.
The simple fact is that for goals to be powerful, they should be designed to be SMART. There are many variations of what SMART stands for, but the essence is this a goal should be:
Set Specific Goals
Your goal must be clear and well defined. Vague or generalized goals are unhelpful because they don't provide sufficient direction. Questions like, What is your goal? How often or how much? are answered in this step.
Set Measurable Goals
Include precise amounts, dates, events and so on, this way you can measure your degree of success. If your goal is simply defined as "Tour Europe or schedule some time for yourself " how will you know when you are on track for success?
Set Attainable Goals
Make sure that it's possible to achieve the goals you set. If you set a goal that you have no hope of achieving, you will only dishearten yourself and erode your confidence.
Set Relevant Goals
By setting realistic yet challenging goals, you hit the balance you need. These are the types of goals that require you to "raise the bar" and they bring the greatest personal satisfaction.
Set Time-Bound Goals
Your goals must have a deadline. This means that you know when you can celebrate success. When you are working on a deadline, your sense of urgency increases.
Broad Goal: I want to start a business.
Specific: I will sell handmade cards through Etsy.com.
Measurable: I will be ready to take my first Etsy order within four weeks, and I will aim to sell a minimum of five cards per week.
Attainable: I will get set up on Etsy first. Then, I will build an inventory of 30 handmade cards to sell. Finally, I will promote my business and build customer relationships through word of mouth, referrals and local networking.
Relevant: Selling handmade cards will allow me to benefit financially from my favorite hobby.
Time-Based: My Etsy store will be up and running within four weeks, and I will have an inventory of 30 cards to sell within six weeks.
SMART Goal: Within a month, I am going to get set up to sell handmade cards on Etsy, which will allow me to benefit financially from my favorite hobby.
Write down your goals.
The physical act of writing down a goal makes it real and tangible. You have no excuse for forgetting about it. As you write, use the word "will" instead of "would like to" or "might." For example, "I will reduce my dress size by two sizes not "I would like to reduce my dress size this year." The first goal statement has power and you can "see" yourself wearing that dress, the second lacks passion and gives you an excuse if you get sidetracked.
Use a SMART goal worksheet to help you. A quick online search will display many to select from. Pick the one that works best for you.
Make it a habit to review your goal worksheets every day. Once it has become a habit, you will see the impact your daily changes are making towards your long term goal. Remember, goal setting is an ongoing activity not just a means to an end. Build in reminders to keep yourself on track, and make regular time-slots available to review your goals. Your end destination may remain quite similar over the long term, but the action plan you set for yourself along the way can change significantly. Make sure the relevance, value, and necessity remain high.
What is your SMART goal?
Our next article will focus on creating a vision board. This will help keep your goal top of mind.