Happiness begins with you. It can’t come from anything else which is why self-improvement is a major influence on our personal happiness and overall life direction. The more work you and the more meaning you put in your life, the more incredible results and different outcomes you will receive.
Whether personal or business-related, setting goals helps you envision what you want to achieve and the steps required to get there. Without set goals, it is hard to focus your energy on specific tasks that will improve your life and outlook later on. If you create a plan to achieve your goals and stick with it, you can see real results. In addition, once you achieve one goal, a snowball effect begins, helping you to be more motivated to keep going and set more.
When considering your personal goals, look towards the future and decide what you want your circumstances to look like years down the road. Think, “what is my ultimate goal in life?” Once you have considered the big picture and determined your long-term goals, create a list of smaller goals that are more attainable in the short term, and that will lead to the long-term goal. Step by step, accomplishing each of these short-term goals will lead you on the path to seeing your long-term vision fulfilled.
One of the key goal setting activities that will help you be not only more productivity but more successful in the long term is writing down goals. You’re more than 42% more likely to achieve your goal by writing it down as countless studies have shown this to be true. This helps by visually reinforcing your goals and holding you accountable to them. Having a physical reminder of your goals can give you encouragement to keep going and not lose focus. Write your goals and your goal plans where they are most accessible. Set reminders to help you stay on track.
The first step to achieving your goals is to write them down. This gives you something concrete to provide motivation. Write down your over-arching goal, then draw a simple flowchart of the smaller, more attainable goals required to get there. Create a daily to-do list that you can follow each day to keep moving forward towards your goal.
When goal planning set a target completion date for each goal. Having a deadline will help keep you accountable to your dreams. Start with your long term goal. Choose a date several years in the future – perhaps five to ten. Then, choose smaller goals to accomplish along the way; working your way down from five years to one, then breaking them down into months, weeks, and finally, a daily list.
As we said earlier in this article, start goal planning by looking at the way you want your life to be several years in the future. Just as there are many aspects to our daily life, so there will be different facets to what you want things to look like in the future. For example, where do you see yourself in your career in ten years? What about relationships? Do you want to start a family one day? How are your finances? Do you have debt you want to eliminate? These are just a few examples of goal topics that all come together to create a bigger life picture.
In personal goal setting, it is important to always keep the ultimate goal at the forefront of your mind. Create a strategic plan to achieve that goal by determining which smaller goals will be beneficial to completing your long term vision. Divide and conquer by breaking this plan into years, months, weeks, and days to keep reaching your goal more manageable.
When deciding where to write your personal goals, accessibility is key. Choose a planner or journal that you can keep with you at all times, where you can make notes on your progress and make changes as needed. Remember, your ultimate goal is concrete, but the steps to getting there are more fluid. Writing down your progress, as well as new ideas to achieve your goals can encourage and motivate you to keep going and not give up when things get tough.
If you need a reminder for good goal setting activities, then just be S.M.A.R.T. Developed in the early 80s, this management tool has been used by countless CEOs, elite management teams and solo entrepreneurs. Use this handy, well-known acronym to help accomplish any goal you set.
Specific – Write your goal down in a simple, clearly defined way. For example, “by January of 2021, I will pay off my credit card debt so I can have more financial freedom.
Measurable – How will you know you’ve accomplished your goal? In the example given above, you will know because you will have no more debt.
Achievable – Be somewhat realistic when choosing your goals. For example, unless you are already an astronaut, having a goal of going to the moon in five years is probably not attainable. Rather, choose a goal that you know you can reach, but that will require you to grow and learn along the way.
Results-focused – What is the desired outcome of reaching your goal? Make sure this is clearly defined. As given here, the result of paying off your credit card debt would be having financial freedom.
Time-bound – Having a time limit on your goal creates drive and motivation for its completion. Create a plan of daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals to follow until you achieve your ultimate objective. In the example goal to pay off credit card debt, you would create a plan of how much you want to have paid off at the end of each month and year leading up to 2021. For weekly and daily goals, you could create a budget for yourself that will help you attain this goal.