Goal setting requires a long-term vision and short-term motivation. You must focus your acquisition of knowledge to help you organize your time and your resources so that you can make the most of your life. Setting sharp and defined goals allows you to measure and take pride in the achievement of them. This allows you to see forward progress in what might previously have seemed a long and pointless grind. It also allows for you to raise your self-confidence and level of motivation as you recognize your ability and competence in achieving the goals you have set.
The three steps to goal setting include:
1.) Create your “big picture” of what you want to do with your life and what large scale goals you want to achieve.
2.) Break those goals down into the smaller and smaller targets that you must hit so that you reach your lifetime goals.
3.) Start to work to achieve your plan.
Long-term goals (10 years or more) may include areas in your life such as; artistic/creative, attitude, career, education, family, financial, physical, pleasure and public service. When looking forward to a pleasure goal, you may ask yourself “How do I want to enjoy myself in ten years?” or when looking forward to a public service goal, you may ask yourself “How do I want to make the world a better place?” First you need to brainstorm these areas and select the one that best reflects you and what you want to accomplish. Once you decide on a goal area, consider trimming again so that you have a small number of really significant goals on which you can focus. Make sure that the goals are ones that you really want to achieve and not what others want you to achieve.
One of the keys to success in goal planning is to keep them SMART:
Start by setting a timeline for your plan; 10 years, 5 years, 1 year and 1 month. Create a daily list of things that you should do today to work towards your lifetime goals. Review your plans to make sure they fit with the way that you live your life. Review and update your to-do list on a daily basis. Periodically review the longer term plans, and modify them to reflect your changing priorities and experience.
Tips for success may include:
- Stating each goal as a positive statement.
- Being precise.
- Setting priorities.
- Writing down goals.
- Keeping operational goals small for more opportunities for rewards.
- Setting performance goals, not outcome goals (variables that cannot be controlled).
- Setting realistic goals.
When you achieve your goals, take time to enjoy the satisfaction of having done so. Absorb the implications and observe the progress you have made towards other goals. Reward yourself appropriately as this helps to build your self-confidence and motivational level to succeed.
Review your goal plans frequently and if you achieved the goal too easily, make your next goals harder. If the goal took a dispiriting length of time to achieve, make the next goal a little easier. If you learned something that would lead you to change other goals, do so. If you noticed a deficit in your skills despite achieving the goal, decide whether to set goals or fix the deficit. Remember, failure to meet goals doesn’t matter much, as long as you learn from it. Feed lessons learned back onto your goal setting program. Remember that goals may change as you get older and remember to adjust them accordingly.
Goal setting is an important method of deciding what is important for you to achieve in your life, setting what is important from what is irrelevant, or a distraction, motivating yourself and building your self-confidence, based on the successful achievement of those goals.
Good luck with setting your goals for 2013!
Written By: Kristen Shingleton, M.B.A., CCP
President, New Focus HR LLC