Goal setting is the process where you define what you really want to achieve in a specific period of time. It is a skill high achievers master in their life. You can create goals in every area of your life and therefore, these will give you direction, purpose and motivation.
If goals are so important to be successful, why is that so few people have goals? The answer is that most of the people do not know how to set them.
In this article we cover seven steps that will help you define your personal goals:
1. What do you really, really want?
Many people know what they don’t want and not what they want. Other people believe that goals only work to get a new car, ideal home, travel etc. However, material goals are just a small part of the goal-setting process. At the core, the objective of setting your goals is to identify what is most important to you, what makes you happy and fulfilled.
Considering this, start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What do I really want to feel, achieve and experience in my life?
- What am I passionate about and excite me to achieve?
- What makes me happy and fulfilled?
- What do I want more in my life?
- What do I want less in my life?
- How would you like to be remembered?
2. Believe that you can achieve your goals.
It is important that you believe that your goals are attainable and that you deserve to accomplish them. Therefore when setting your goals, check how deep in your heart you believe are certain that you will reach those goals. If you find any resistance, redefine your goals until you get to the point where you feel you are stretching yourself but have certainty that you can make them happen.
3. Write your goals down.
Define SMART goals and write them down. Considering this your goals must be:
Specific: Make simple and specific as possible. Do not make your goals too complicated to remember or very broad. Be descriptive on what these goals will make you feel.
Measurable: It is recommended that whenever possible you use numbers in your goals. This will help you keep track and be specific. At the same time ask yourself: What can I do to measure my goals?
Achievable: It is important that your goals stretch you, but at the same time that you believe are possible to attain.
Relevant: Define goals that are truly important to you to achieve.
Timeline: It is important to set a specific deadline for each of your goals. This will be your best guess on when you will reach these.
4. Identify your WHY behind your goals.
Make a list of all the reasons why you think you must achieve these goals. Think about how you feel, and all the benefits completing your goals will bring to your life. The more reasons you think of the more intense your desire to make them happen. Your why is your leverage to go back to work on your goals when facing challenges.
5. Determine what you need to achieve your goals.
It is important to start being concrete and think what you would need to reach your goals within your deadline. Consider the following:
- Who can help to reach my goals? Make a list of all the people you know and think may be able to help you and how. Brainstorm ways in which you can add value to them. Work on building better relationships, as they are key to achieve success.
- What knowledge, skills or information do I need to get? Every new goal is a journey of development and progress, that requires growth in different areas of our life.
- What do I see as potential challenges that will prevent me to achieve my goals? How can I overcome these challenges?
- Write down all possible actions, even if they seem silly, that you think can help you reach your goals. Be creative, and dare to think out of the box and to go out of your comfort zone.
6. Make a plan and take action.
It is time to put all this information together and determine concrete action steps. You must break your goals down into smaller milestones that will help you take action. Prioritize these activities in order of relevance, timeline and sequence. Then you have a plan. Be consistent with your implementation and start with smaller steps.
Time management is key for execution and productivity. You must learn how to make the most of your day and allocate your time to your top priorities. A simple way to manage your time is to plan in advance the top three things you must achieve in a day, a week, and month. Schedule those activities in your calendar and take massive action.
7. Have FUN!
Remember that the most important thing about setting goals is not achieving it, but the journey you are taking to achieve them and the personal growth you experience through this process. Therefore, it is important to have goals as they will set the direction you want your life to go. However, avoid focusing only on the future and even worst thinking that only when you achieve your goals you will finally be happy. Enjoy every moment, every challenge and all the growth. Be more grateful and mindful of what you have right now and not on what you still don’t have. Have fun!