No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, setting goals is one way to help you get there. Often, when people have no goals, there is a lack motivation, focus and direction. Setting goals also provides a benchmark to determine whether or not you are succeeding. But how do you set goals if you’ve never done so before? Or what if you have set goals in the past, but you didn’t achieve them? Do you just give up and tell yourself that goal setting doesn’t work? That’s one option, but let’s put things into perspective.
- Set goals that motivate you. What does this really mean? The goals you set for yourself should be important to you, making you feel there is value in achieving those goals. Setting goals irrelevant to your life, will not inspire you to take action. To determine if a goal is important to you, write down “why” this goal matters.
- Break the larger goals down into smaller, more specific goals. For instance, if your goal is to lose 40 pounds over the next year, break that down into smaller more achievable goals. Set a goal of losing 3-4 pounds per month for the next 12 months. This makes the larger goal more feasible and accessible.
- Write down your goals. The physical act of writing down a goal makes it tangible and real. And writing those goals in ink versus pencil, makes it more permanent. Also, be conscious of the wording you use. In place of “I would like to” use “I will”. This gives your goals more power.
- Make an action plan to achieve your goals. In other words, don’t just focus on the end result. Spend time working on the steps it will take to get you to your ultimate goal.
- Adjust your goals periodically. Goals may change as you age or as you start to change. Your goals should be adjusted accordingly, allowing for flexibility and growth.
- Be specific. Even though your goals may change periodically, you still want to be as specific as possible when setting a goal. For example, don’t just set a goal of “getting fit.” Set a goal of running a 5K marathon by a certain date that will help you achieve the fit and healthy lifestyle you are ultimately striving for.
- Don’t give up. Many times, when we are faced with failure, we tend to give up on our goals. But some of the most successful people in history failed numerous times before they got it right. And they all had to stop, adjust and reevaluate their goals as they went along. The difference between winning and losing is staying the course.
If there is something you want to achieve, set a goal to get there. And above all, never give up. We are capable of doing and achieving so many things in our lives. All it takes is determination and goals.