Setting goals is not just about writing down what you want on a piece of paper. There are various factors that make a good goal setting exercise. So if you are going to spend your time and effort on setting goals, you might as well do the best job that you can.
One of the things to remember is the need to set goals for the various areas of your life. We all need balance in our lives. What’s the point if you are really successful in your career but you don’t have a good relationship with your family? Would you consider your life to be a success if you are super rich but have various health problems?
Our lives are made up of various aspects and you do not want to neglect any part of it. Success in one area but failure in another is not a victory by any means.
Personally for me, I set goals for the following categories:
- Mind & spirit
Guidelines on How To Set Goals
Now that you understand the importance of setting goals in the different areas of your life, here are some guidelines on how to set goals;
1. The reason
What is your reason for the goal? Whenever you write down a goal state your reason for wanting to achieve it. Having a strong reason keeps you on track when the going gets tough. It will be your driving and motivating force that keeps you going and prevents you from giving up.
2. Be specific
Your goal should be as specific and detailed as possible. By being specific it helps you determine where to start, what to do, how to schedule the goal and most importantly, how to know when you have achieved it.
3. Have an action plan
As part of your goal setting exercise, you must develop a detailed action plan. The action plan should contain details such as what action to tale, your approach and how you would do it, the resources that you need (and what do you already have) and the possible obstacles and how to mitigate those obstacles.
4. Short & long term
Set both short and long term goals. Long term goals are your ultimate desired outcome, while short term goals are the steps and milestones that you will need to reach to achieve your ultimate outcome. Doing this breaks down your goal into manageable pieces while at the same time it keep you moving towards the ultimate prize.
5. Schedule it
Have a timeline for achieving your goals. Make sure the time frame is practical but at the same time also challenge yourself to do your best and achieve it in the shortest time possible. Set timelines for both your short term goal milestones and the long term goals. Apart from that schedule your action item steps, on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
Always remember to continuously review your goals and track your progress. As you track and see the progress you’ve made, you will become motivated. The act of periodically reviewing your goals will also help ensure that you’re moving in the right direction and did not go off track.
7. Get into a positive state when setting goals
8. Make it public
Making your goals public (telling everyone about it) will give you positive pressure to do it and not slack off.
9. Use power words
Use powerful words like majestic, superb, phenomenal, invincible etc in your goal setting. It amplifies the effect.
10. Be decisive
Be decisive in your goal setting and stick to it. Keep a certain degree of flexibility but do not get into the habit of constantly changing your goals.
11. Reward & celebrate
Remember to reward yourself and celebrate when you have achieved a goal. We often forget to take time out to acknowledge and celebrate our hard work and successes. Always reward yourself whenever you achieved a short term goal, and have a full on celebration when you reach your long term goals.
12. Take immediate action
Finally, never leave the site of your goal setting without taking some immediate action. Immediately do something that you have identified in your action plan immediately after you complete the goal setting exercise. This way you keep and continue to build on the momentum that you’ve gained during the goal setting.
When it comes to achieving your goals, the capacity to handle setbacks is one of the most important abilities for you to develop. Always remember that there are no failures, there is only feedback. Goal setting is not just about achieving the goal, it is about the journey to get there as well.
Whenever you face setbacks, take it as a lesson, an experience, learn from it and move on. Don’t take life too seriously. Failure to achieve a goal is not the end of the world. You know you have the ability to pick yourself up and try again.