“One of the amazing things we have been given as humans is the
unquenchable desire to have dreams of a better life, and the ability to
establish goals to live out those dreams.”
– Jim Rohn, Author and Speaker
Beyond setting personal and professional goals, a new year brings an opportunity to move towards your dreams. Setting and achieving goals can boost self-confidence, infuse you with a sense of purpose, and make your life’s journey fulfilling.
KNOWING WHAT YOU REALLY WANT
The first step in goal-setting is knowing what you really want. For example, Janice discovered that she was chasing the wrong dream. She thought she wanted to be a teacher like many of the women in her family. However, she discovered that teaching professional development courses for local corporations was more her calling. Explore your dreams and desires to uncover your true goals, then course correct to stay on track.
Your goals should be set as one specific desire. For example, saying that you want to be a good writer is vague. Saying that you want to be an award-winning author of a book on leadership is clearer and therefore more achievable.
CHOOSE YOUR AREAS OF FOCUS
Goals can be set in any area of your life. A list of common focus areas are:
Health and Fitness
Relationships with Friends
SET MEASURABLE GOALS
Each goal you set should be measurable. For example, if you want to attend more networking events throughout the year then, for instance, make a plan to attend six, identify them, and add them to your calendar. Thinking in terms of a specific number will help reduce overwhelm and allow you to break your goals into milestones.
Look at the various areas of your life: career, financial, education, spiritual, family, relationships, and artistic. Explore some lifetime goals for each area that is important to you. Next, break these goals down into smaller goals to make them more achievable.
SET A DEADLINE FOR YOUR GOALS
Setting a deadline for your goals is essential. Determine how long you think it will take to achieve a lifetime goal, then decide how much you’ll achieve in a year, six months, and one month out, then jot down deadlines for each.
ENSURE YOUR GOALS REFLECT YOUR DESIRES
If you want to stay motivated, determine your goals for yourself. You are more likely to pursue and achieve goals that reflect your own desires instead of letting others decide for you.
KEEP IT REALISTIC
Reach for goals that are suited to your abilities and circumstances. Yes, goals should make you stretch. But they should not discourage you at every turn. Consider your limitations and the resources necessary to move forward.
PLAN YOUR DAILY ROUTINE
Every day should put you closer to what you want. Decide what common tasks you’ll do every day to advance. You’ll find it helpful to write down your priorities and allow them to guide your daily efforts.
Looking at this list, which ones feel easy to incorporate into your current goal setting efforts? Which ones do you feel will be more of a challenge?
In Setting Goals Part II, we’ll look at attitudes and actions needed to keep you advancing on the journey to achievement.