- 1) Reflect. Take a moment to remember the last time you set a goal and achieved it. What was the experience like? Write down some key ingredients to your success. As someone dear to me once said, we have a tremendous ability to remember and forget. Focus on remembering what has helped you in the past. Likely, those same or similar key ingredients will be what you use for prospective goals.
- 2) Manage a small number of goals. Large and small pursuits should be scaled. This will help you prioritize and memorize.
- 3) Make your goals "smart," using S.M.A.R.T. You may have heard of this acronym as it is used across industries, simply because it works. It stands for:
Measurable - Try your best to quantify your approach.
Action-based - Your goals should be something you will do not something that you want. Use action verbs.
Realistic - Your goal should be stretching you outside of your comfort zone slightly; however, not so much that it becomes out of reach. Ask yourself, on a scale from 1-10, how realistic do you feel your goal is? (1 - not realistic, 10 very realistic)
Time-Framed - Every goal will benefit from having a time and date associated with it. Don't leave this one out. It will really help you.
An example for you:
- 4) Write down your goals - There is something about the transaction of paper and pen that makes a difference. You can be as simple as a sticky note or as creative as a vision board.
- 5) Adjust if needed. After you have carried out your process goal, you should have gained some insight. With the example given, maybe you've found that after work at 6:00 pm works better than before work at 6:00 am. You can adjust your process goals as you recognize ways to increase achievement.
- 6) Share your goals with someone you know. Accountability is about being transparent and staying in fellowship and community. When others around us are aware of what we are striving for, it helps us to be loyal to ourselves.
- 7) Celebrate. This is probably my most important goal setting principle; celebrate what you are achieving along the way instead of focusing on everything that may not be going as planned. Things rarely go exactly as planned. Thank yourself, no matter how small or large your achievements are.
I hope you will find that the modest investment you make into writing down goals will be the best investment you make, with the greatest return.
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