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Goal setting

Plan to live your life your way

Are you feeling a little bit lost in your personal life at the moment?

Are you unsure what you want to do or what path to take?

One of the key reasons you may feel a little lost is that you haven’t spent enough time thinking about what you want in life and as a consequence, you haven’t planned where you want to go and how you get there.

Would you set out on a significant road trip with no real idea of what your destination will be?

Goal setting may be the answer to help get your life back on track.

Why set goals?

Successful people, top class athletes and high achievers in all fields of life all set goals.

Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future and for motivating yourself to turn your vision of this future into reality. It helps guide you where you want to go in life, by knowing precisely what you want to achieve and where to concentrate your efforts.

Goals establish a long-term vision and then prompt short term motivation processes. They help you to focus your thought processes which will ultimately provide a guide for you to organise your time and your resources so that you can make the very most of your life.

You can also raise your self-confidence as you recognise your own ability to move forward in life and your competence in achieving the goals that you have set.

Setting personal goals

You can set your own goals on a number of levels.

  • What is your ‘Big Picture’ of what you want in life (or over the next 10 years)? Identify what large-scale goals you want to achieve.
  • Break these larger goals down into smaller targets you want to accomplish to reach your ‘Big Picture’ goal.
  • Once you have the plan sorted, you start to diligently work on these smaller target goals (to-do lists) that can be achieved over the shorter periods of times. You gradually tick these target goals off, one by one, on your way to your ‘Big Picture’ goal.

Setting lifetime goals

Seriously consider what you want to achieve out of life. Setting these lifetime goals gives you an overall perspective that will earnestly shape all of the aspects of your decision making processes.

Consider a broad, balanced coverage of all of the important areas in your life by considering some of the following categories.

  • Career - What level do you want to reach or achieve?
  • Financial - How much do you want to earn and by what stage?
  • Education - To achieve my ’Big Picture’ target, should I consider more training or increasing my skills?
  • Attitude - Is there anything holding me back? Am I happy with my behaviour? What do I need to change personally to satisfy myself that I am happy?
  • Family - How do you want to be seen by your partner or by members of your extended family?
  • Health - Am I happy with the way I feel and manage my current life style? How do I maintain good health to ensure I achieve my ‘Big Picture’?
  • Pleasure - Am I managing my work/life balance well so that I have some time for ‘me’?

You may need to sit down and brainstorm some of these topics and select some goals that will motivate you to begin your journey. Make sure the goals that you set are genuinely the ones you most want to achieve, not ones that your parents, family or employers may want.

Staying on course

Once you have decided on your first set of goals, keep the program active by first starting the process, review the steps regularly and then update with any changes you have decided to make. Keep the goals small and achievable which provides more opportunities for reward.

Set precise goals by writing them down, including dates, times and data so that you can measure your successes.

When you have several goals in place, it may pay to prioritise them. This will help you from falling into the trap of becoming too overwhelmed by having too many goals and it helps you direct your attention to the most important ones.

Above all, make the goals realistic and achievable. Setting unrealistic or difficult goals can place unwarranted pressure upon yourself and develop elements of uncertainty in your mind.

Always remember failing to meet your goals does not matter a great deal, just as long as you have learnt from your experiences.