In my previous post I talked about how writing down the things you want to achieve in life is the best way to ensure you actually achieve them. Setting goals is a great way of ensuring something that you want will actually happen. We can’t expect to get somewhere without first planning how we are going to get there. Goal setting is useful at any time of year and for any venture but many people find it useful to set goals at the beginning of the year for the things they want to achieve throughout that year. Goals are different to Resolutions in that they are measured and are stepping stones to get to a greater achievement. Resolutions and specifically New Year’s Resolutions, I think, are more promises or things that we think we should do to live a better life. Our goals enable us to get to higher state or a better place and making them enables us to see our path to achievement. I have so many goals that the process of writing them down allows me to prioritise them and see which ones are the most important to me, which ones can be achieved easily and which ones will take more work.
Here are the steps you will need to take to set yourself some goals for the forthcoming year –
1. In order to set new goals you need to assess where you are right now. Evaluate and reflect on your current situation. What are you happy with and what are you unhappy with? If there are things you want to change then ask yourself why and how will things be better if you do?
2. Once you have taken this time to reflect on your current situation you will have a much clearer idea of where you want to go. In order to define your goals you need to ask yourself what it is you actually want. What are my goals and why? When you know what your goal is then ask yourself what will happen when I achieve this goal? What will it do for me and how will I feel? How will others perceive me? How will I know that I have achieved my goal? We rarely sit down and take time to really thing about what it is we want. Asking yourself these questions will help focus your mind on the specifics and drill down exactly what you want and how you might start going about getting it. This is also the point at which you prioritise those dreams. Ask yourself how would you feel if you didn’t achieve the goal? What would happen? Are there some that are more feasible than others?
3. You may have heard about setting SMART goals before. SMART simply stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time.
Specific – Your goals need to be clear and concise. If you set wishy washy goals you will get wishy washy results. There is no use writing ‘I would like to get a better job this year’. What sort of better job? A better job than what? Better according to whom?
Measurable – The best way to explain measurable is that you need to be able to know whether or not you have achieved the goal by the end of the timeframe. Financial goals are pretty easy to measure but emotional goals might be a bit more difficult. If your goal is a feeling then it is important to be able to measure that feeling in some way.
Achievable – We want to set goals that are a challenge but equally they need to be achievable. You don’t want to set yourself up to fail – that’s never a good outcome. If your goal is too big to achieve this year then think of what steps you can achieve that will help you on your way.
Realistic – Your goal has to be possible – it may sound obvious but there will be many of us that will regularly set ourselves unrealistic goals and then wonder why we don’t manage to achieve them!
Time – Your goal needs to have an end date – a date by which you intend to achieve it. If you are setting goals for the year then you may be happy with ‘by the end of the year’ but it is quite a good idea to set yourself some shorter term goals that you could achieve sooner. There’s little better than ticking a goal off your list as ‘achieved’ just a few months into the year!
4. It is a good idea to have accountability for your goals. Put them up on display in your house, put them on the internet if you are brave enough but if you’ve told someone you are going to do something you are much more likely to actually do it. I usually just tell my other half and that is enough to keep me motivated to achieve.
5. Write it all down. It is not enough to simply think about what you want and talk about it with someone. Write it in detail, picture yourself achieving it, believe you can do it and then put your list somewhere safe. Display it on the wall or keep it in your bag or next to your bed…somewhere close by so you can keep referring to it.
Ask and you shall receive! Tell the universe what you want and work hard to achieve it…you’ll surprise yourself with the magnificent things you can achieve!
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