A Simple Guide to Goal Setting
A Simple Guide to Goal Setting
I thought it would be useful to talk about a simple guide to goal setting, since I mentioned goal setting not so long ago last month in our Tips for Getting Organized segment. Many people seem to drift through life, working hard but not really getting anywhere. Often they feel this way because they never took the time to set themselves some solid goals about what they want to achieve in life, or what direction they want to go in.
Why is Goal Setting so Important?
Goal setting is a powerful tool that can help you with life, your career, family and relationships. It helps you to focus and hone in on what’s important, eliminating everything else and keeping on track over the long term.
Setting Yourself Some Personal Goals
A tip is to start by setting your goals on a number of different levels:
– Create the ‘big picture’ of your life. What direction do you want to head in, and what do you want to achieve in the long term?
– Then, break this down into smaller goals along the way. Using a time frame is helpful. Mark out different milestones for your life, and what you would like to achieve within those milestones (eg every 10 years).
– Now that you have these goals, break them down even further into steps that you can start taking now, like months and then weeks. That way you can have a clear idea of your goals from a week to week basis. These smaller goals may seem insignificant or meaningless now, but they can make a big difference down the track if you stay consistent. You sow today what you want to reap tomorrow 🙂
Only Choose Goals that Matter
I say this, because it’s easy to write down 100 different goals all at once. The reality though, is that it will be extremely hard to keep track of all those goals and to keep working on them all at once. So, try to keep things simple and only write down the goals that really matter. This is also a key for me personally in staying passionate about those goals over time. If I’m not truly and deeply passionate about something, then I certainly won’t be diligent in staying consistent with it. And why start something if you’re not going to finish it? I need to feel deeply about my goals, with a sense of passion and conviction, or I won’t keep doing them over time.
Ever heard of SMART goals? A useful way of making goals more powerful is to use the SMART mnemonic. While there are plenty of variants, SMART usually stands for:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Trackable
For example, instead of having “travel the world” as a goal, it’s more useful to have “To have completed my trip to the United States, Europe and New Zealand by December 31, 2016.” Obviously, this will only be attainable if a lot of preparation has been completed beforehand!
Finally, keep track of your goals. It’s tempting to try and remember everything off the top of your head, but the reality is that a lot will happen from day to day and it’s hard to keep your goals in the forefront of your mind. So find a good way to keep track of your goals. This will probably look different for everyone, so find what works best for you. A yearly calendar or month to month calendar work really well for me. That way I can see both my long term goals, but also the smaller goals I’ve placed along the way to help em achieve them. It also keeps me focused on a time frame.