How do you set and reach “the best” goals for YOU?
Start by letting go of negative thinking. You must have a positive attitude toward goal setting in order to achieve your goals. Get enthusiastic about your goals and foster an attitude of abundance. (I’ll tell you more about this in my next post).
Your goal might be to have happier relationships, to gain motivation or confidence. You might wish to achieve goals in many areas of your life such as your health, wealth or relationships.
Now, I know you came here because you’re looking for immediate advice. Well here’s a goal setting strategy for you:
Firstly, do you know what your goals are?
Some people have no idea what their future will look like and they meander along aimlessly, just waiting for life to throw up the next event. You need to have a picture of your future in order to achieve it, and a process to go through to get to that point. This is where goal setting becomes a very powerful tool. So let’s start to set some goals.
What do you want your future to look like?
Will you be married with children? A rich entrepreneur? A philanthropist or a missionary? Will you be traveling the world or helping disabled people to enjoy better lives? Will you be a movie star or guitar hero, a teacher or an Olympic athlete? Think about what you want to be when you grow up – even if you’re already a grown-up, you still have many more things you want to achieve before you feel you’ve “grown up”. I once asked my 84 year old mother “Mum, when did you feel you grew up?” and her response was “I still haven’t grown up”. Never for a minute should you think you’ve grown up. There is so much life to live and so many things to look forward to.
Make time to focus on visualizing your future self. Set aside the time and find a place which is quiet where you can focus on this undisturbed. I personally find it hard to picture myself many years in the future – it feels so far away. So I picture myself in a year from today. So in a year from today, what do you wish to be different about yourself? What would you like life to feel like? Where will you be living and what will you be doing if, for this year, everything you want to happen, happens? Now make sure you’re thinking with a positive attitude. For instance you won’t find visualizing yourself in psychological care for depression to be very inspiring. A better picture of the future for such a person might be “in a year from today, I want to be visiting the psychologist only once a month and have reduced my meds by 50%, thus feeling stronger and more capable of achieving my lifelong goal of xxxx.”
Keep Your Goals On Track
Web-based goal setting software
Track goals, tasks, progress & time
Make your goal positive.
You mustn’t express a goal as a negative. Negative terminology has a way of bringing you down. Don’t express a goal as “I don’t want to be this fat for the Prom”, or “I have to stop hitting the goal post”, or “I can’t eat any more ice cream, ever”. Such negative statements immediately change your attitude for the worst.
Instead, you might say “I want to lose 4 pounds this month to keep on track to be 20 pounds lighter by Prom night” or “I will practice half an hour more every three days, specifically focusing on getting the ball BETWEEN the goal posts” or “I will eliminate ice cream from the shopping list and reward myself each Sunday with McDonald’s soft serve”.
Visualize your future self realizing the goal.
Step into your body in the future… See and feel your future self after realizing your goal. Really experience the feeling. Visualization is a very powerful tool to help you focus on your goals. Now that you see your future self, is it what you really want? Here’s your opportunity to revise your goal to hone in on what you really want. Remember, your goal does not have to be fixed or etched in stone. You can change your goal at anytime.
How do you know it’s the BEST goal for you?
Own the goal – it can’t be to please or appease someone else – it must be YOUR goal.
Remember these goals have to be very personal and cannot be for someone else. For example “I want to lose 10 pounds so Jack doesn’t nag me anymore and is a nicer person to be around” is both a negative goal and a non-personal one. A re-write of this goal might be to “lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks by exercising half an ur a day before leaving the house, and, by practicing tolerance and patience, mold myself into a nicer person to be around”.
Think about the steps it will take to achieve the goal. Break your goal down into smaller “phases”.
Any visionary goal requires many steps to achieve it. For instance, if your goal is to become a great concert pianist, you must first become a good pianist. You will want to find mentors, teachers and successful people in the field who you can model. You’ll need to research and discover methods that will help you get to your final goal. Break it down into achievable steps. Like…
1. Get a great piano teacher and set up a realistic schedule to become a better pianist a year from today.
2. Connect with the best conductors and pianists and orchestras in my area, become well known as a good pianist and put myself “out there”.
3. Find out who are the best pianists and learn everything about how they got to where they are today.
A goal setting strategy to help you achieve your desired
dreams and goals, whether regarding Health, Wealth or Relationships!
Break each phase down into even smaller steps.
Step 1 in becoming that Concert Pianist needs a Piano Teacher. Break this phase down even further by listing the things you need to do:
a) find a piano teacher
b) budget for the financial and time expenses
Break these steps down into a to-do list.
You’re well on the way to scoping out your goal. Now to turn those smaller steps into a to-do list. I hope you’ve been writing all of these goals, phases and steps down. A mind-map might help you to break these things down. Personally, I use Evernote to simply list my big goals, phases, steps and t0-do lists.
So lets break down “find a piano teacher”…
i) yellow pages or google – get the local results for piano teachers in your area. Make sure they’re accessible via my transport routes. Write them down or add them to your resources list in whichever software program you’re using (Evernote, Excel, Word, Notepad, Goals on Track – it doesn’t matter what tool you use, what matters is that it’s written/logged somewhere where you can read it/refer to it.)
ii) contact the first three and ask them for references or recommendations – keep in mind they may be unable to fit you in.
iii) check the local music society or the university orchestra social group and connect with them to get word of mouth recommendations.
iv) book a lesson with teacher 1 and get a feel for their teaching style and whether you have a rapport with that person.
v) if (iv) fails, try again (and again) or revert to (i) and start again
Make progress on your goals daily
Every morning when you wake up, look at your list and think about what is the one thing you can do today to move closer towards your goal. It may be as small as “do that google search for piano teachers in my area and write down the three”, but it’s a great start. Don’t under-estimate the importance of every little step. Every little step is inching you towards your goal.
Write that one thing down and make it your focus today.
That’s how you set and reach the best goals for YOU. Each day, when you look at your list, you must also look back and celebrate each and every item you have achieved. Make sure you celebrate the successes and use each “ticked off” item as a milestone to inspire you to keep working on your list.