Setting Goals for the Future

Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your future, and for motivating yourself to turn this vision of the future into reality.  The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts. You will also quickly spot the distractions that would otherwise lure you from your course.  However, effective goal setting require careful planning. 

Spend some time brainstorming and then select one or more goals that best reflect what you want to do. As you do this, make sure that the goals that you have set are ones that you genuinely want to achieve.  Once you have set your lifetime goals, set a 5-year plan of smaller goals that you should complete if you are to reach your lifetime plan. Then set a 1-year plan, 6-month plan, and a 1-month plan of progressively smaller goals that you should reach to achieve your lifetime goals.  Then create a daily to-do list of things that you should do today to work towards these goals. At an early stage these goals may be to read books and gather information on the achievement of your goals. This will help you to improve the quality and realism of your goal setting. 

The following are some goal setting tips to help you set effective goals:  

1) State each goal as a positive statement: Express your goals positively

2) Be precise: Set a precise goal, putting in dates, times, and amounts so that you can measure achievement. If you do this, you will know exactly when you have achieved the goal, and can take satisfaction from having achieved it.

3) Set priorities: When you have several goals, give each a priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by having too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones.

4) Write goals down: This makes them clear and gives them importance.

5) Keep operational goals small: Keeping goals small and incremental gives more opportunities for reward.

6) Set performance goals, not outcome goals: You should take care to set goals over which you have as much control as possible. It can be quite disappointing to fail to achieve a personal goal for reason beyond your control! In business, these could be bad business environments or unexpected effects of government policy. In sport, these reasons could include poor judging, bad weather, injury, or just plain bad luck. If you base your goals on personal performance, then you can keep control over achievements of your goals and draw satisfaction from them.

7) Set realistic goals: It is important to set goals that you can achieve.

Finally, review your plans, and make sure that they fit the way in which you want to live your life.