Most people aim at nothing in life and hit it with amazing accuracy. If we don’t specify exactly what we want, we have no reason to complain about what we get or where we find ourselves. Goals represent expectations, hopes, and dreams, and to the extent, our goals are achieved, we are successful.
The following ideas will help you define and establish realistic goals in your life. By setting and achieving worthwhile goals, you can give your life greater meaning and purpose. You will also find your work and personal life more exciting and fulfilling.
GOAL SETTING GUIDELINES
- Your goal must be conceivable. You must be able to imagine, conceptualize and understand the goal or desired result. Top athletes practice visualizing step-by-step actual success in their sports competition. By visualizing your success in great detail, you are conditioning your mind and preparing yourself to achieve your desired success.
- Make your goal believable. Your goal should be consistent with your personal values system, and you must believe you can reach the goal. It is critically important that you believe in yourself. You must see yourself with the goal in hand.
- Your goal must be achievable. You must have the mental and physical capacity to reach the goal. It would, however, be important for your goal to cause you to stretch beyond normal self-imposed limits. You will find a goal that causes you to stretch and grow will be the goal that gives you the most satisfaction. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself to go beyond old limits!
- Make yourself measurable: Deciding to do better than last year or to be happy gives you no standard by which you can measure progress. Be sure to relate your goal to quantity, percentage increases, financial volume, time or distance. This will allow you to measure your progress.
- Your goal should be controllable: This means you must be able to achieve the goal yourself or gain the willing cooperation of others to reach the goal. This emphasizes the importance of building team spirit. If you can have no control over the outcomes of an event, it’s not realistic to set a goal in this area. Without a proven system that beats the odds, lack of control will lead to frustration – and cost you a lot of money.
- Be sure you have a singleness of purpose: Make sure your goal is not in conflict with other areas of your life. For instance, if you decide to travel extensively in your business or work 80 to 90 hours per week, this will interfere with your personal or family relationships. The travel and long hours could lead to health to poor health or family discord. Some goals become mutually exclusive and create conflict with other goals.
- Your goal must be truly desirable: A goal that you really want, one that will be emotionally satisfying, will make you strive harder to achieve that goal. You will also feel better about yourself and the goal will be worth your time and effort. The emotional power of really wanting a new car, beautiful home or job promotion, will cause you to work harder to reach the goal.
- Make your goal growth facilitating: Your goal should provide you with a real challenge. This will help you feel better about yourself when you actually reach your goal. Be sure your goal is beneficial, not destructive to yourself or others.
- Select a goal for the right reason: Choose a goal that makes you happy, not because it makes your boss or spouse happy. Be sure that reaching your goal will help satisfy your needs.
- Keep a copy of your goal plan in sight and refer to it often: This will help you concentrate on results, rather than on activities. It will also provide a constant reminder and help motivate you to the goal.
- While approaching the completion of a major goal, begin formulating another important goal: Goals are like foundation building blocks. Each goal provides the strength and direction necessary to help you attain the next highest goal. Every time you attain a goal, you gain personal pride and self-esteem. This increased confidence and a more positive attitude will enable you to more eagerly approach your next challenge or opportunity.
When you set a goal, does it satisfy all of the above guidelines? If it does, you will be more likely to achieve success and will be satisfied with your accomplishments. How does your goal help you personally? Most people find that a goal generates enthusiasm, gives meaning and purpose, and provides direction. I believe that a goal accomplishes all of these objectives plus gives focus to your thoughts.
How do you see unexpected roadblocks on the path to each of your goals? Do you perceive each roadblock as a problem? Do you see it as an opportunity to test your skills and to learn? You must learn from each setback.
It is usually easier to quit than it is to go on. By forcing yourself to persist until you reach your goal, you build greater character. By building your character and adding in persistence, tenacity, and determination, you can reach any worthwhile goal. Go for it!