Goal setting plan

DREAM - BELIEVE - CREATE - SUCCEED.

Let's start at the very beginning. The most important part of setting a goal plan is to plan to set a goal plan!

Set up an appointment in your diary RIGHT NOW to sit down and evaluate what is important to you and what goals you dream of achieving. Give yourself at least a half hour for the first part of the process, and write your goals down as you go. 

A whiteboard or online program like Outlook Express are excellent tools to use for this exercise as you will be required to move and remove items as you go.

Better still, you can utilize an excellent online goal setting tool at MyGoals. Everything you would ever need to know is included in the MyGoals plan and they streamline the process to make it easier to manage.

When you're ready to start your goal setting plan, the first step is:

Make a list of the areas in your life that you would like to - in a perfect world - work on. 

These may include:

  1. You
  2. Your health
  3. Your family
  4. Your car
  5. Your house
  6. Your state of mind
  7. Your friends
  8. Your working environment
  9. Your neighborhood
  10. Your community
  11. The world
  • Add to the each section of your list all the things you only ever dreamed about. Include everything, even the goals that you don't believe you could possibly achieve.

    In your mind imagine the new person you could be - alive, thriving, happy, successful, fit, wealthy. Be imaginative and write down in each section the dream you have for the perfect life. 

    As an example, under "Your health" you may wish to record "I want to lose 10 pounds in 3 months" or "I want to be able to walk a mile at least once a week."

  • Continue adding goals until you can't think of anything else you could possibly want to achieve. You may wish to seek the assistance of a family member or supportive friend.

  • Now that you've written down all your goals, go through each list separately and choose one or two goals from each list that you KNOW you can achieve and circle or mark them.

  • Next, choose five or six goals in total, ranging from easy, quick goals like "I want to be able to start work on time each morning" or "I wish to make more time on the weekends to see Bill, my closest friend", to more difficult goals like "I want to own a red Ferrari by the time I'm 45". 

    Be clear and concise with your goals.

  • Record each of the goals you have highlighted on a new sheet of paper (or on your computer, or wherever!), leaving room to write down details about each goal. Discard the original list or keep it to review when you need to revise or renew your current goals.

  • Start with goal number one and write down the projected start date and the length of time you believe it will take you to achieve each goal. Be realistic and honest with yourself and make yourself responsible for each of the goals you choose.

  • Next comes the interesting part. Beside each goal write down the obstacles, challenges and objectives that may get in the way of you achieving your goal.

    Don't be afraid to say what it is that may prevent you from reaching your goal because if you don't face up to the obstacles now, they are only going to get in your way in the future.

Cull and recreate your list

Now that you have your list of goals, the scheduled date for completion and the obstacles and challenges that may prevent you from achieving them, you've done the hardest part of your goal setting plan.

Only you know how many goals you can successfully handle at one time.

Here is another opportunity to be honest with yourself so if you need to, start small. You can gradually increase your goal setting plan as your confidence grows.

Next step is to look at the challenges and obstacles and ask yourself realistically if they are REAL challenges or are they negative perceptions you have about what you believe you're capable of?

If you believe you are tethered by your own sense of inadequacy, read our article on Simple self improvement advice or Motivational and success skills.

The final step in the process is to put your goals in order, from short term, easy goals to longer term more challenging goals.

The longer term or the more challenging goals can be broken down in to smaller pieces. Aiming to achieve long term goals without accounting for what it is going to require from you is only asking for failure and the likelihood that you will abandon your goal setting plan altogether.

So if your aim is to lose 10 pounds in 3 months, set your first goal as losing 3 pounds in the first month, and so on.

Keep your goal list where you can see it, whether it be on a whiteboard, in a computer file, pinned to your "To Do list" or as part of your MyGoals plan. You need to remind yourself every day of what you are trying to create and remember to act accordingly.

Dispel negative thought patterns and imagine how it will feel when you get to mark the first goal you've achieved with a big red tick!


Success is a great motivator!

As you achieve each goal, reward yourself and acknowledge what you have achieved, even if it is only the first baby step in a larger and more complex goal.

But don't become complacent!  Once a goal is achieved, plan a new goal and keep on adding goals as you dream them up. Then turn those dreams into reality.  And always remember your mantra:

DREAM - BELIEVE - CREATE - SUCCEED.

If you don't believe you are capable of achieving your goals on your own, help is at hand. MyGoals will work with you every step of the way by encouraging you and prompting you ever higher. Their goal setting plans can be tailored for everyone, regardless of how, what and why you want to achieve them.

Sometimes it pays to take the supportive hand that is offered to you!

August 20, 2006

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