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The objective is to start setting goals routinely and its therefor very important to understand how setting vivid, compelling goals or not setting goals impact on your life. Setting goals is a very powerful technique that can yield strong returns in all areas of your life, such as things to do, your career, future security, people to provide for.
How do you know precisely what you want to achieve, and what you have to concentrate on to do it?
Goals are your life journey's map and itinerary, giving you direction! Goals gives you clear knowledge of where you want to go and how to get there with great efficiency. While avoiding taking direction may be exciting, its likely to leave you disappointed, merely distracted rather than realising your dreams, experiencing real pleasure, satisfaction and a having sense of achievement. By the powerful process of setting goals you decide what you want to achieve, and by doing planning on a routine basis you then move step-by-step towards achieving these goals. The bottom line is that more than half the rewards and benefits achieved from goal-setting comes from actually taking your first step in that direction, regardless of the consequences. Ask yourself, “How important is it to me that I attain my goals?”
Your goals of setting goals:
Structure: Turn your deepest desires into something understandable, tangable and achievable. Prioritise: What is important for you to achieve in your life? Decide: What is important and what is irrelevant? Motivation: Motivate yourself to realise what you want, your dreams, experiencing real pleasure, satisfaction and a having sense of achievement. Self-confidence: Building your self-confidence based on measured achievement of goals. Resourcefulness: By setting and reaching goals on a routine basis, you will becoming more resourceful and effective.
Benefits of setting goals:
Motivation: give you long-term vision and short-term motivation and enthusiasm Direction: Clear and focused direction giving a sense of security and purpose. Learning: Focus your acquisition of knowledge. Time Management: Maximum use of your time and your resources Sense of Purpose: notice your progress, instead of seeing pointless grind Self-confidence: Boost your self-esteem and raise your self-confidence. People who set big, long-range goals have been found to have higher self-confidence, higher selfesteem, and greater personal motivation.
Self-development: recognize your ability, competence and belief in yourself to make things happen and feel in control and improve performance. Achivement: Moving steadily towards and achieving the results you really want and ultimate success. Fulfillment: Help you make the very most of your life, be happier and more satisfied. Good Health: decreases stress and anxiety, improved concentration.
Effective goal statements:
Written: The act of writing your goals down... Positive Statements: Writing goals creates a set of instructions for your subconsious mind to carry out, and can only be understood when expressed in the positive. The more positive these instructions, the more positive the result, since your subconsious mind is very efficient and its only function is to carry out your instructions. Being more positive in general will also help you grow and be open to more possibilities. Precise: Write down the precise details about your goals, including dates, time, amounts, location, etc. This will enable you to measure your achievement, but also provide the vital information to your subconsious mind requires, the more clear the final outcome becomes and this precise outcome will make your subconsious mind more efficient. Prioritise: Give each of your goals a priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed and to direct your attention to the most important ones. Visualise: Use very detailed visualisation, imagining all the details in its surrounding context using feeling, smell, sound etc to make the image more vivid. Present Tense: Write them in present tense, first person, as if they are currently true: "I am breaking even this month." The subconsious focusses on the immediate and will 'postpone' goals put in vague future tense. Focus on your goals: The more focussed you are on your goals, the more likely you are to accomplish them. Review your goals: It is important to review your goals regularly and adjust them as you grow and mature. Keep on fine-tuning. If a goal don't hold any attraction, then let it go. Re-write your goals: When the words are repeatedly re-written they have maximum impact. Rephrase it, compact it, add motivating adjectives. Quality of Goals: Set sharp, clearly defined goals that are measurable. Operational Goals - Tasks: Keep the low-level goals you are working towards small and achievable with more opportunities for reward. Performance Goals: Set goals over which you have as much control as possible. These are performance goals, not outcome goals which might fail because of poor judging, bad weather, injury, or just plain bad luck. Rather base your goals on personal performance, then you can keep control over the achievement of your goals and draw satisfaction from them. Realistic: Setting achievable goals is part of a learning process. Other may set unrealistic goals for you, in ignorance of your goals or you may be naïve in setting very high goals for various reasons. No one will put serious effort into achieving a goal that they believe is unrealistic. However, remember that the belief that a goal is unrealistic may be incorrect.
A Challenge: Not setting goals too low is just as important as not to set goals unrealistically high. People tend to do this where they are afraid of failure or where they are lazy! Ideally your goals is slightly out of your immediate grasp. Imagery: By using imagery while creating goal statements, you can change negative beliefs about the achivements of your goals.
Start to set goals
Set Aside 2 Hours to start: You will need about 2 hours to think through your lifetime goals and work them back into plans right down to drawing up a To Do List to move towards your goals. Environment: Its best to set your goals in a peaceful environment so you can brainstorm. Brainstorm: Write it ALL down , and you throw out nothing, no matter how ridiculous it sounds. The benefit of brain storming is that you don't have to be practical and be opened up to more possibilities. o Free Thinking: Consider what you would do, be, have, give or won't do, have, be or give if there were no obstacles. Consider what you would do if you had no limitations. o Role Models and Mentors : Think about the people you admire and what it is that they have, do, and are that you want to emulate. Note that you might even want to consider one of these people to be your mentor, to help you think through these areas (at least partly), and to tell you what he/she has found to be effective for them. o Funeral: Visualize your funeral and think what would be said about you (Steven Covey) o Historic Desires: Remember everything you ever wanted or dream about in every facet of your life. o Goal Categories: Give a broad brainstorm coverage to of all important areas in your life - see 'categories' below. Choose Categories: o Financial: How much do you want to earn by what stage? Have you achieved a satisfactory standard of living? Have you planned for your children's education? What about your own retirement? o Career: Do you enjoy your work? Do you feel you are making a contribution to society? Are you living up to your potential? What level do you want to reach in your career? o Education: Is there any knowledge you want to acquire in particular? What information and skills will you need to achieve other goals? Did you accomplish the educational goals you set for yourself following high-school? Are you still growing and learning? Do you invest in your continuing education on a regular basis? o Spiritual: Is religion important to you? If so, are you happy with the way you are practicing your religion? If not, have you reconciled your relationship with a higher power or with the universe in general? o Ethical: Have you ever articulated specific personal values to yourself? Are you living up to those personal values?
Cultural: Do you have interests outside of your career and family (e.g., sports, theater, outdoor events)? o Home: Be sure to use your own personal standards rather than society's standards. o Attitude: Is your attitude or behaviour holding you back or upsetting you? If so, set a goal to improve your behavior or find a solution to the problem. o Health: How satisfied are you with your current level of physical health? Are you fit enough to do the things you want to do? o Physical: Are there any athletic goals you want to achieve, or do you want good health deep into old age? What steps are you going to take to achieve this? Are you living up to your own standards in terms of diet and exercise? o Family: Have you realized your dream in terms of your home and family relationships? Do you want to be a parent? If so, how are you going to be a good parent? How do you want to be seen by a partner or by members of your extended family? o Social: Does your circle of friends enrich your life and contribute to your sense of fulfillment and well-being? Is there at least one other person with whom you can discuss important life experiences? o Artistic: Do you want to achieve any artistic goals? If so, what? o Pleasure: How do you want to enjoy yourself? - you should ensure that some of your life is for you! o Service: Do you want to make the world a better place by your existence? If so, how? Mr./Ms. Practical: Take your brainstorming matial and weed out the goals that just don't make sense. You may want to hold on to the documents for future reference though. One way of thinning out the list is to ask, for each goal, "Why do I want this and what good will it really accomplish?" When you find a goal that doesn't have a good answer to this question, you've found a goal you can toss. Prioritise Categories: Not all goals are equally important. Re-prioritize until you are satisfied that they reflect the shape of the life that you want to lead. Also ensure that the goals that you have set are the goals that you want to achieve, not what your parents, spouse, family, or employers want them to be. You can prioritize them by area (Personal, Family, Spiritual, Professional, Financial, so forth), with each area having a Priority 1 and a 2 and ... Or, you can prioritize them absolutely, with respect for area, as 1 through 109 (or whatever). I vote for prioritizing by area, since priorities change too much as your life circumstances change. (It's a lot easier to make minor mods to one or more areas than to have to redo your whole list of priorities based on changes in your circumstances and preferences.) Writing your goals: The first step in achieving your goals, is writing them down - this crystallizes them, making them real and gives them a force of their own. This forces you to visualise them and creates a sense of commitment and can set the process in motion. o Lifetime Goals: Long-range goals help you to overcome short-range failures. They can also help you to change your direction without going back on your decision. Big goals force you to reach in and use the potential that is inside of you. Consider what you want to achieve in your lifetime, as setting Lifetime goals gives you the overall perspective that shapes all other aspects of your
decision making. To give a broad, balanced coverage of all important areas in your life, try to set goals in some or all of the following categories: o Large Scale Goals: First you decide what you want to do with your life and what large-scale goals you want to achieve. o Smaller Targets: Break the large scale goals these down into the smaller and smaller targets that you must hit so that you reach your lifetime goals. Never Lose Sight of Your Goal: Take the time to review your goals every morning when you get up and every night before you go to bed. This will keep them fresh in your mind. If you think reviewing your goals twice a day is too much to ask, maybe you should reevaluate what it is you want. Start Planning: When you have your goals in writing, it is easy to do your planning.Create an Action Plan and Start achieving your goals! Achieved Goals: Fully absorb and enjoy the achievement of goals, the satisfaction and implications! Observe your progress towards other goals. Reward yourself: Reward yourself for having achieved your goal. Review Achieved Goals: If it was too easy/hard, adjust remaining goals to be slightly more/less challenging. Also review time allocated. Review Progress: Having an action plan is not enough. The captain will have to constantly evaluate his progress in order to be sure he is on target . Unforeseen obstacles are sure to arise, such as a hailstorm, or increased southerly winds. As a result, he may have to increase his speed or guide the boat in a more westerly direction. In other words, notice what is working and what is not. If an approach is not working, don't waste your time with it. Change your approach. Learn: Failure to meet goals does not matter as long as you learn from it. Feed lessons learned back into your goal-setting program. Draw lessons where appropriate, and feed these back into future performance. Failure to meet goals does not matter as long as you learn from it. Feed lessons learned back into your goalsetting program. Does lessons learned affect how you would like to approach other goals? Do yo u need to acquire more skills or equipment to improve your efficiency in reaching your goals?
Plan your action!
Project Planner: Organizing your goals by using a project planner or a database system ToDo List: These are your goals broken down into individual tasks to do each day to work systematically towards achieving each one of your goals. Update your to-do list on a daily basis. Keep it Handy: Have your key goals in front of you on a regular basis. You should look at them at least weekly to ensure you are making progress and to see if you need to modify your plans in anyway. Don't Procrastinate: Procrastination is a “silent killer”. Understand that the only way to achieve your goals is to take action! Knowledge means nothing if you don't apply it. How many people have you come across with an unbelievable amount of education working a mediocre job? The world is full of people who don't apply their knowledge. On the other hand, chances are you know of people with less educational background who apply everything they learn. These people are usually the ones who
are most successful in all areas of their lives. Do something right now that will help you to achieve your goals. There is no time like the present! Get the ball rolling. Each step you take brings you one step closer to the life you want. Remember the motto, “The road to Someday, leads to the town of Nowhere” . Someday is today! Review Plans: Once you have decided your first set of plans, keep the process going by reviewing your plans, and make sure that they help you move toward your goals and fit in with how you want to life your life without compromising. Periodically review the longer term plans, and modify them to reflect your changing priorities and experience. A simple way of accomplishing periodic review and planning activity is to have a memo set up on your phone, palm or pocket book, so that you can review a list of your key goals periodically.
Benjine Gerber, Author, Systems developer firstname.lastname@example.org www.self-educate.com
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