Less than 3 % of people write down their goals. We are statistically more likely to spend time organising exactly what we want from the supermarket instead of working out what we want from life. Crazy but true.
The chances are that you commit most of your working day to helping your boss to achieve their goals, instead of spending time working on your own.
One way to enhance the quality of your life is to learn how to apply an effective goal setting program. These tips will help you on your way to doing this.
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First of all why set goals?
The biggest predictor of success is direction. If you don’t have something to aim for in life, the chances are you will end up achieving very little. Almost every successful person in the world started with a clearly defined goal in their mind of what it is they wanted to achieve. This provided them with a fundamental sense of purpose and direction.
The beauty of setting goals is that they help to streamline your life, adding a focal point and something tangible for you to work towards.
In some ways goals are like beacons helping you to stride through life towards something that holds special importance to you. What that special something is, is up to you.
Working out what you want
It amazes me how many people work towards goals that they don’t really want.
Usually the motivation to achieve these goals comes from a feeling that you should want them. Fame, recognition, and a high status job, are some of the modern day desires that society conditions people to think that they want.
It is important that all goals and aspirations come only from a place of wanting and not from a place of should.
When you cut out all the noise that society deafens you with, and directly ask yourself, “what is it that you want?” honestly and whole heartedly, you are able to generate goals that come from a place of inspiration, and not from a place of conditioning.
It is from inspiration that all worthwhile goals are created. When you work from this place your commitment to your goals is full of desire, passion, and zest.
Set goals based on your values
Working out what your goals are is often the hardest part of the goal setting procedure, and the part which requires most thought.
The first step to working out what you want is to establish what is important to you in life.
If for example you value your friends and family above anything else, then it makes sense to set a life goal of spending as much quality time with these people as possible.
If financial independence is valued highly you may chose to construct a goal that focuses on reaching a specific sum of money within a set time frame.
Ask yourself a series of incisive questions that force you to address who you are and what is important to you in your life.
Consider answering the questions below and start devising goals around the answers you produce:
- What would you want to achieve if you knew you could not fail?
- If you could leave one message to the world what would it be?
- Who are you when you are at your best?
- If you had one day to live, what would you do?
The responses to these questions should provide you with some information about what is important to you in your life and aid the goal setting process.
How will you know when you have reached your goal?
Your goal needs to be as clear and precise as possible so that you know exactly when you have reached it. One way to do this is to set the goal as a numerical figure. If you can produce a clear ‘yes’, or ‘no’ response to whether you have reached your goal then you have successfully created a measurable objective.
For example, consider the goal of generating a financial target of ₤100,000 by the end of the year. The numerical and precise nature of your goal allows you to effectively evaluate whether or not you have successfully reached your target when the end of the year arrives.
Does your goal make you go ‘wow?’
It is important that the goal you set is wildly ambitious.
Old schools of thought believe that goal setting should be realistic and attainable, avoiding excessive ambition. On the surface this makes perfect sense, because you want to set goals that you have a good chance of hitting. And arguably, failing to hit your goals because of aiming too high may leave you feeling a little despondent.
The reason why I suggest that goals should be set as high and as ambitious as possible, is because there is no logical reason why you cannot achieve whatever it is that you want.
It is only through your negative internal belief systems that you decide what is and what isn’t realistic. Years of conditioning have encouraged us to develop a warped view of our potential.
This is why unrealistic and wild goals ironically are sometimes closer to what is realistically possible compared to your conditioned view on what is realistic.
If you set the outrageous goal of making ₤1,000,000 in 1 year, work with dedication and drive during that time and end up making ₤600,000, I am pretty sure that you will not feel despondent at the end of the year.
It is certainly better than aiming to make ₤50,000 within the year, and hitting the target easily, without having to push yourself in any way.
Aim for the stars and you will catch the moon
Have you written down your goal?
Once you have precisely and clearly established what it is that you want to aim for, write it down.
Your goal needs to be written down in a specific style in order to be successful.
Although goals are inherently in the future write your goal in the present tense. For example; instead of writing ‘I will have a successful business’, write ‘I have a successful business.’ This will add immediate impact to the strength of your goal.
The second point is to make sure when you write down your goal it is something you want instead of something you don’t want.
If you focus your energies on what you don’t want unfortunately you will attract what you don’t want into your life.
It is always more powerful to move towards something, instead of away from something.
For example wanting to make more money is much more effective than focusing on getting out of debt.