Does personal goal setting work? Many people want things, situations or accomplishments, call these goals, and then are disappointed when they don”t get them. Call desires goals if you want, but just naming your desires sure isn”t effective goal setting. Good goals have some or all of the following:
1. They are specific. “I want to be healthy” is too general. “I want to lose weight and walk three times a week, is better.
2. They are measurable. 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?
3. They are in writing. There is power in writing down your goals. It makes them more real, and this influences your subconscious mind, especially if you review the goals regularly.
4. They are realistic. Sorry, but even if it is possible that you could become an astronaut, if youre already 55, you better try for becoming a pilot for now. Unrealistic goals set you up for failure.
5. They have deadlines. You”ll have a new job by when? Setting dates really helps your progress.
6. They become plans. Making a goal into specific steps makes it much more likely. It isn”t overwhelming to take one step at a time.
7. They are motivated. Having the goal for the right reasons is a good start. You should also learn how to re-motivate yourself, and reward yourself when you make progress.
8. They consider personal factors. Can you really get what you want if you feel like you don”t deserve it? Maybe, but good goal setting takes into account personal changes that are necessary or useful.
9. They are followed by action. One of the keys to 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 are not written in stone. Goals naturally evolve. Why would you become a doctor once you learned that you liked doing lab work better?
The last one is a tough one. An excuse and a change of course are not the same thing, but to know the difference means you need a certain level of self-awareness. Develop that, apply the keys to personal goal setting above, and you”ll get to where you want to be.