Art of conscious self-development

Personal development • Self-Coaching

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How to set goals you can achieve – part 2

How to set goals you can achieve – part 2

In this section you will learn how to exactly define your goals, so that achieving them can be something very easy. Remember that the way in which your goal is written down on a piece of paper is extremely important. Sometimes, even a minor change in its form can have great influence on whether it will be achieved by you or not. Therefore, take more time to be more accurate than just merely jotting it down in w way like: "I’ll cut down on smoking" or "I’ll set up my own business."

In this section you will learn how to exactly define your goals, so that achieving them can be something very easy. Remember that the way in which your goal is written down on a piece of paper is extremely important. Sometimes, even a minor change in its form can have great influence on whether it will be achieved by you or not. Therefore, take more time to be more accurate than just merely jotting it down in w way like: “I’ll cut down on smoking” or “I’ll set up my own business.”

 

What should the goal be like?

specific – it cannot be general as so you need to exactly know what your goal is. Ask yourself – how can I know that I have achieved the goal? If it’s difficult for you to answer this question, it means that your goal has to be more accurate. The principle of 6W comes in handy here (Who, What, Where, When, Which, Why). A well-defined goal will contain an answer to most of these questions.

measurable – you need to know when the goal can be achieved and how far you are from achieving it. For example, if you want to be rich, you need to exactly know how much money you want to earn.

attainable/ realistic – let your goals be a challenge for you. Set goals for yourself that are big, even if you are not sure whether you can eventually achieve them. At the same time try to make them realistic and not completely unachievable.

timely – determine time limits for your goal. It will motivate you to act faster.

 

For your convenience here are some examples of well-defined goals (Their incorrect versions are crossed out):

I’ll look after myself – since December I am going to go once a week to the pool and once a week to the gym.

I’ll make more money – within the next 5 years I am going to earn 10 thousand a month thanks to my successful business.

I’ll lose some weight – I am going to lose 10 pounds in two months.

I’ll set up my own business – By the end of this year I’ll have started a business with my brother and we are going to sell audio equipment.

I’ll cut back on smoking – By January I will have reduced smoking to two cigarettes a day.

I’ll be more open to people – Starting next week I am going to get to know 5 new people a week.

 

Now, can you see the difference? Before I got acquainted with the exact concept of goal setting, I would formulate my goals in the way as presented in italics. Those goals didn’t practically have any power.

Once you’ve jotted down on a piece of paper all your goals, it’s time to determine your “sub-goals”, which are smaller steps one has to take in order to achieve a given goal. These “sub-goals” are to be the answer to the question “how” addressed in relation to the superior goal. For each of them try to define a couple of steps and also write them down on a piece of paper. Remember that they should also be determined with accordance to the above-mentioned principles. For example, taking into account starting a new business, my “sub-goals” could look like these: I’ll have invented a name for the new company by the end of next week, by December 10th, I’ll have found 5 people who are interested in cooperating with me, for the next two months I’m going to read every day a book about audio equipment, I’m renting an office, etc.

These are goals that make up a bigger objective. Achieving these small steps will help me reach my big goal. Note that well-defined “sub-goals” are the steps that are easy and achievable. Even if starting a business sounded scary in the very beginning, now, after breaking it into pieces, you can see that your goal is possible to achieve and you’ll have much more motivation to take action.

Now we’re down to this last one thing that has to be done. Draw four big circles (two on top, two on bottom) on an A4 sheet of paper. The last circle (the bottom right corner of the card) indicates a period within which you want to achieve your life goals. Include all of them there, you can use images, symbols or words. This will work better for your imagination and will take less time. The last but one circle (bottom left) indicates a period of 1 year. Include there all the steps that you’re going to take throughout the coming year and these which will help you to achieve your life-long goal.

The same instructions can be applied to the circle on the right upper side of the page – include there the things that you’re going to do this month and which will bring you closer to achieving the goals for this year. The last circle is for the goals for today. If you don’t set life-long goals but rather short-term ones, you can mark the circles, for example like: a year, half a year, month, day.

 

The goals are set, what’s next?

Once you have defined, written down and planned all the goals, you can breathe a sigh of relief. You’ve done a great job. Put everything aside, rest and start with doing two things on the next day. The first is to visualize your life-long goals (and those not life-long as well :-)). This will give you much motivation and, as I wrote in the first part of the article, it’ll confirm your brain in the belief that the goals are already parts of you. You can read about effective visualizations here. Visualize that you have already reached what you wanted and experience all these wonderful feelings that accompany this visualization. Enjoy this view. Do this exercise once in a while, for example, three times a week for a few minutes.

Another important thing is going back every now and then to the pages where you have all the goals and checking how you’ve been doing. Not only can it improve some things, cross them out or add other but you’ll also gain a feeling of a continuous connection with your goals, which is very important in the process of achieving them. You can do it once a week. Ask yourself a question: What can I do in the coming week that will bring me closer to achieving my goals? If something comes to your mind, write it in your notebook among other tasks to be done.

Remember that successful achievement of the goal is a process which has to be learned. In time you will become better at this. So, if it happens that you fail to achieve a goal, there’s nothing wrong about it. This is a great opportunity to gain valuable experience and become even better. Think about where you made a mistake and next time focus on doing it in a different, better way. You can also refer again to this article and make sure that your remember everything.

If you want to go through a process in which after setting the goals you’ll step by step, in the right order perform all the necessary actions in order to achieve them, check Life Architect.

If you have done all the above-mentioned steps, congratulations! As for me, the very fact of setting goals gives me a great feeling of heading in some direction and I have a strong sense of meaning of what I do every day. This is a really interesting experience. If you don’t decide to do what I described above, I’m serious – give it a chance, you’ll be surprised with the effects. It’s only 2 hours of your time, and you’ll get a powerful boost of motivation and an excellent feeling of what direction you’re heading in. Above all, you’ll greatly increase the chances of achieving all your goals. It is definitely worth a try!



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