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How To Set Goals

By Steve Gillman

How to set goals? First of all, don't confuse wishes or desires with goals. Often, people want things, situations or accomplishments, and call these goals. Then they're disappointed when they don't get them. Just naming your desires isn't effective goal setting. Good goals have some or all of the following:

1. Good goals are specific. A goal like, "I want to be healthy" is too general. "I want to lose weight and walk three times a week," is better.

2. They're realistic. Unfortunately, even if it is possible that you could become an astronaut, if you're already 55, you better try to become a pilot for now. Unrealistic goals set you up for failure.

3. They're written down. Writing down your goals is a way to make them more real, and this influences your subconscious mind, especially if you review the goals regularly.

4. They're measurable. Exactly how many pounds do you want to lose? How much money do you want to make? How will you know if your relationship is better?

5. They're motivating. Setting a goal for the right reasons is a good start. Good goals get you excited when you think about the benefits of accomplishing them. You should also learn how to re-motivate yourself, and reward yourself when you make progress.

6. Good goals become plans. Taking a goal and making it into specific steps makes it much more likely to be achieved. It's easier to take one step at a time.

7. They have specific deadlines. By what date will you have a new job? Setting target dates really helps you measure progress, and motivate yourself.

8. Good goals consider personal factors. Will you succeed if you feel like you don't deserve it? Possibly, but unlikely. You have to learn how to set goals for your personal development as part of any other major goals.

9. They're followed by action. A secret of motivation and to getting where you want to be is to start with any movement towards the goal. Action begets action. Start slow if you must, but start.

10. They're not written in stone. All major goals naturally evolve. Why would you become a family doctor once you learned that you liked doing lab work better?

That last one is a tough one. A change of course and an excuse are not the same thing, but to know the difference requires a certain level of self-awareness. Develop that, and you'll be more likely to get to where you want to be. Especially if you use all ten of these keys to how to set goals.

About The Author

Steve Gillman writes on many topics, including brainpower, weight loss, meditation, habits of mind, creative problem solving, generating luck and anything related to self improvement.


Careers & Employment
Grief & Loss
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