The purpose of effective goal setting is to achieve what you
want in life in a successful, focused and decisive manner by taking the right actions in a
lesser time frame.
Who doesn't want to achieve more in less time? Yet, many of us abandon
our goals before we accomplish them. Why is that?
Some of the reasons include: lack of confidence, not having a workable plan for
achieving them, being unrealistic by expecting too much too soon, fear of failure, and lastly, putting too much
pressure on ourselves to accomplish them.
Luckily there are strategies and behaviors we can adopt
for successfully setting and achieving goals.
How do you start?
Know that you deserve success and achievement.
Before beginning the process of setting goals, know that you deserve
success and that it is achievable for anyone who puts their mind
to it. You must believe you can do what you set out to do and that you
possess the talents and abilities for doing it. Unless you begin with
this crucial premise, your efforts will be thwarted and you will fall
short of accomplishing what you want.
Determine what you want
One of the biggest problems people have in setting goals effectively is
not knowing what they really want. Lacking a clear concept of what you
want in life makes it difficult to proceed. The one thing all
successful people have in common is that they are extremely focused and
intensely goal oriented. They know what they want and they understand
it takes setting goals to achieve it. A good way to begin the process
is to take the time to write down the goals most meaningful to you and
then list what you would need to do accomplish them. To figure
this out you can look at the 'big picture' of your life. Start a journal or
workbook and write down for yourself the answers to some of these
Do I want to be in the best of health and what will
it take to get there?
What do I want to achieve in my career?
What kind of family life do I want?
What kind of lifestyle do I want today and in the
How do I see myself in 5, 10 or 20 years from now?
As an example, under the goal of maintaining good
health, you can jot down: exercise 3-4 times a week, eat a
balanced diet of protein, fruits and vegetables, get 7-8 hours of sleep
For where you want to be in 5 years, you might include:
finish college degree; be earning an income of x amount of dollars;
have a serious personal relationship (or avoid having a serious
relationship until career is established).
Plan, organize and prioritize your goals in smaller,
If you look at everything you want to achieve all at once, you might
find it daunting and overwhelming, so it's best to organize and
prioritize your goals. Instead, devise a workable plan for each
item you want to accomplish. You know that your health goals need to be
ongoing ones, so establish a daily routine or agenda that you can keep
up on a regular basis. For a career goals, categorize them in
monthly, quarterly or yearly chunks. List points, or plan the actions
required to attain a particular point in your career. This may include
taking the odd supplemental course, doing extra reading, or
volunteering in the community in order to get exposure and
experience. Since careers take time and effort to build, planning and
organizing your moves makes good sense.
Review, update and revise
Review and update your goals on a regular basis to ensure they are
still relevant to you. Doing so also keeps you on track and
taking the appropriate steps and actions. If some of your
strategies aren't working, fine tune them, or devise new ones.
Likewise, figure out which obstacles and distractions are getting in
your way and determine what you need to do to overcome them. We all
know there will be setbacks and bumps in the road along the way to
achieving our goals, but we need not let them hinder or take us off
course. Revise and adjust the game plan where, and when, you need
Stay focused and motivated.
Staying focused and motivated is probably one of the hardest things
to do when setting goals. It is common to periodically fall off the
wagon however, it is essential to get back on track as soon as
A great tool for keeping you
focused is the journal or workbook you've been maintaining. Go over it
regularly as a reference point and to remind yourself what you want to
accomplish. Set up routines or habits that will ensure you stay on track. For
example - do your exercises at the same time each day; drink your
protein shake first thing in the morning.
Other helpful techniques for staying motivated include
the use of relevant affirmations and visualization. Many successful people, especially
athletes, swear by both. It's important to 'see' yourself
accomplishing a goal before you actually do. Positive affirmations implant positive thoughts
into your subconscious, which in turn, prompt you to take the right
actions to achieve your goals.
The Benefits of Setting Goals
Give you the 'big picture' direction you want your life to take
Help you achieve success more efficiently and in
Make the small day to day tasks more meaningful
Goal setting, and certainly effective
goal setting, has been a tried and true method for achieving success and accomplishment in life. Without it
we would drift aimlessly and waste valuable time and effort in pursuits
that lead nowhere. So start now! Decide which goals are most
meaningful to you and devise a plan for achieving them.