How to Set Goals

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Setting goals is a powerful tool in personal progress whether in your professional or general life. Goals help you clarify what it is you want for yourself, and provide you with the steps to get there. Becoming more comfortable with creating goals and working to achieve them can increase your self confidence and help you lead a happier and more fulfilling life.

Things You'll Need

  • Short-term and long-term goals personal goals
  • Short-term and long-term professional goals
  • Drive to succeed

Instructions

  1. Determine what type of goals you are setting. Goals can be short and long term and can fall into any number of personal or professional objectives. Having separate plans for all combinations that fit your life help you to be well balanced and is an even better way to get to where you want to be.

  2. Express your goals in the form of a positive statement. Saying what you don't want just reminds you what you lack. Each goal should be written in complete detail with a time to complete it included (such as by the end of the year).

  3. Verify that you goals meet the requirements of being specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timed. An easy way to remember this is that the first letter of each requirement spells the word SMART.

  4. Assign priorities to each goal. It is easiest to tackle if you begin with number one within each set of goals, instead of all the categories you have created as a whole. This helps you to not get overwhelmed and know where to start.

  5. Organize your time and resources in the way that best helps you succeed in meeting the goals you have laid out for yourself. Visualize yourself achieving then.

  6. Review your goals periodically and change them as the focus of your life and intentions change. Repeat this process for all the types of goals you want to set and whenever you want to review the goals you have already created.

  7. Reflect on goals as you achieve them. Take time to pat yourself on the back for your efforts, and see if obtaining this goal should cause you to change any others.

Tips & Warnings

  • Each major goal can be broken into smaller, more manageable goals. For instance, personal goals can be broken into family, friends and physical. Professional goals can include career advancement and continuing education.
  • Set goals that truly reflect what you want for yourself, not what others want for you and that these are truly achievable efforts instead of dreams.
  • For lifetime goals, break them into smaller increments such as one, five, and ten years, and then do monthly goals for the year you are currently working on.
  • Priorities change, and so should your goals. What you want this year may not be the same thing you strive for in the next.
  • Don't just think about goals, write them down and create a plan to work toward them.
  • Don't try to do it all at once. When looking at long-term goals the road can seem too extensive. Be sure that you include smaller, short-term goals that support the long-term ones and work towards achieving those and you will meet your long-term goals by default.
  • Don't create incompatible goals. Once you have created your goal list, go back through and make sure none contradict each other.
  • Don't worry yourself too much over failed goals. Take them as a lesson that you have learned and appreciate the experience. Use that to make sure that the other goals you set make sense and are still realistic.

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