My 8 Steps for Effective Goal Setting
The end of the year is always very powerful for me. It’s a time I let fresh ideas pour in and get excited and focused for the year ahead. I feel it’s so important to live intentionally and make the most of your life. And one way I like to do that is by setting goals. Goals give clear direction and help to create focus on achieving the things that are most important to you personally and professionally. People that don’t set goals for themselves are like leaves that move in whatever direction the wind blows. Life is just passing them by and is very much happening ‘to them’ not ‘for them’. The saying that comes to mind is from the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland: “If you don’t know where you are going then any road will get you there.” And that certainly isn’t going to help you achieve your best YOU!
Here are 8 steps for effective goal setting:
- Decide EXACTLY what is most important in your life. Goals must have a benefit for you in order to stay committed to them. Take time to examine your life and determine the areas that are most important for you to become the type of person you want to be.
- Set a goal and write it down. Once you have really connected with yourself and examined your life, set goals in the most important areas that you want to grow or enhance. Is it becoming healthier, fitter, stronger, more involved in a charity or getting a business off the ground? It may be something totally different and that is OK as long as it has meaning and importance to you. The key is to set a goal in an area of importance to you and write it down in clear and actionable words. It should be quantifiable, for example: losing 10 pounds of fat in 10 weeks starting January 2.
- Identify obstacles. Any goal is going to have obstacles, or it would not really be something worth working towards. Identify the challenges that may come up or stand in the way of you accomplishing your goal ahead of time so you’re prepared when and if they do occur.
- Make a plan. Now that you have a clear goal in mind, create a plan to give you a step-by-step map to accomplishing your goal. Keep the obstacles you identified in mind so that you can incorporate steps to overcome those obstacles if they occur.
- Set a timeline. Goals should have a timeline with a start and stop date. Setting a stop date will help you to stay motivated in accomplishing the goal. This helps to ensure that they are given importance and priority in your vision of what you want to accomplish.
- If your goal scares you thats a great sign that you really want it. Embrace the discomfort of setting a BIG goal and start by setting a series of smaller goals to get there.
- Commit and block time. With your goal in place and plan to achieve it – ACT! It is imperative that you take action if you want to achieve your goals. Make sure you are consistently working toward your goal. This may be only 15 minutes a day once a week. Whatever it is, make sure you block the time on your calendar and treat it as an important event that you won’t miss. Make yourself proud by honoring your commitment to yourself.
- Get an accountability partner. Just like every professional athlete has a coach, most successful people have coaches or someone that holds them accountable to the goals they set. Think about who you have in your life that you could trust to hold you accountable to your goals. This should be someone that will provide the support and accountability that you need. This should be someone that you trust, respect and that can hold a mirror in front of your face and remind you that you made this goal to help you become the person you want to be!
Make this year the year you accomplish what is important to you. Use my 8 steps above to achieve your goals and intentionally become the person you want to be. YOU CAN DO THIS!
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