Goals setting is an ongoing practice because life is continuously evolving, and you are under no obligation to be the same person you were five minutes ago. Goals provide purpose and inspiration for your day to day life and can help you feel like you have a better sense of direction, and even a better sense of Self.
Setting goal requires more than making a list of “I wants.” Goals can be inspired by “I want,” but must be paired with hardwork and dedication. When you set clearly defined goals they offer direction, while cultivating focus and dedication.
Goal setting is fundamental to growth in relationships, career, and personal development. The goal setting process is as important, if not more important than reaching the goal itself. Along the journey to reaching your goals is where you are challenged to grow and creative problem solve.
How to Set Goals
Setting goals that are important is the driving force to achieving them. There should be value in achieving your goals. The value you place on your goals will motivate you to achieve them. Think of goal setting as positive planning for the future.
What are your priorities? The answer to this question will help you start getting more specific. Setting too many goals can sabotage your success while setting easy goals is uninspiring. If you lose your “can do attitude” you are more likely to put off what you need to do in order to accomplish your goals, same if you are uninspired. When you have too many goals, and your goals do not hold as much value, you are more likely to feel disappointment. Disappointment can be a result of setting too many goals, not being specific, and can result in questions around self-worth and enoughness.
As you start to brainstorm, do not only write your list of goals, but write your why. You can ponder this question-- if I couldn’t fail, what would I do?
Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
Be Specific. We already covered this one, but it is invaluable. Specificity is incredibly important to successfully reaching your goals. When you are specific your goals suddenly have direction and in turn have momentum. Being specific and defining what you want also makes it easier to get where you want to go.
Set Measurable Goals. Setting measurable goals looks like writing down numbers, dates, and other measurable items. This is where you give yourself a little wiggle room, but it is nice to set up a plan, and it is also nice to check things off this list as you work towards reaching your goals.
Attainability. Attainable goals are goals set up with success in mind. Take note of where you are. It is incredibly important to dream big, but your goals are the stepping stones on your journey to reaching your ultimate desires. Do not set goals that are impossible to reach, but instead ones that will push you to challenge yourself and in turn grow. Setting unreachable goals erodes confidence. Goals that are too easy to achieve are anticlimactic, but challenging goals will help you find balance between ease and effort.
Relevant. Where do you want your life, relationships, and career to go? Align your goals with what is relevant to you. This will help establish your focus, and establish your commitment to yourself.
Time. Set a timeline for yourself. When you follow your timeline and when you hit your benchmarks you get to celebrate. This will give you a sense of urgency and help you to reach your goals more quickly.
Write Your Goals
Writing your goals down makes them tangible. Use more definitive words like “will” as opposed to words like “should,” “would,” or “could.”
It can be helpful to fill in these blanks:
Start where you are. You can revisit and refine your goals at any time. Getting started is the hardest part but the only thing in your way is you.