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6 Secrets of Personal Goal Setting

Aug 17, 2007
Why do we need goals to achieve anything in our life? The answer is as simple as allowing our imagination to pave the way of our success. What do I mean by that? Simply put, our imagination needs to have an end result in order for us to be able to imagine ways to get to that result. Let's do a simple exercise. In your mind try to trace the route of getting somewhere, but do not think of a specific destination. Imagine different streets you might take, or different roads. Having trouble? Your mind needs that destination if you are going to think of how to get there, doesn't it? Otherwise there are simply too many options to choose from, your mind can't sort through all of them, it needs to choose one. Goals work very similarly. In order for us to accomplish anything, first we need to envision what is it we want to accomplish, before we can commit to action.

So why is it that it is so hard for us to both set goals and stick to them until we accomplish them? A couple of the biggest reasons are the way we set goals and the way we think about them. This can fall into two categories: we might be setting goals that are unrealistic, or we start thinking of goals as set in stone. Either way, when we do not accomplish them right away we get disappointed and end up abandoning them all together.

To help us make goals that are both realistic and easy to achieve here are a few tips:

- We need to be specific about the goal that we are setting. So "I want to loose 30 pounds" is better then "I want to loose weight".
- Second, we need to know the time frame of our goal. So if it is something like "I want to develop a successful consulting business", and we know that this will not happen right away, we should put it in the long term goal category.
- If our goal is big like the developing a successful business example, we also need to break it down into smaller, shorter term goals that you will accomplish first before getting to the final destination. Like "I want to make a business plan for my new venture" or "I want to find partners that will help me accomplish what I set out to do".
- We also need to know when we will achieve this goal. So if we look at the business example, it can be something like "I will have a successful business when I will be able to cover all my living expenses from the profits of the business, while working only 30 hours per week" It is something very precise that will signal to us that we have achieved a desired goal.
- Here are also other questions we should ask our selves when setting a goal. Is your goal achievable and realistic? Is the time frame for achieving your goal acceptable to you? Are the costs and consequences of achieving your goal acceptable? Do you have all the resources you need to achieve your goal and do you know where to get them if you do not?

Another very important point about goal setting is that goals are meant to be constantly adjusted! If you think of goals as a guideline that highly depends on the circumstances surrounding it, you are on the right track. Situations in our lives change all the time. This is the primary reason why we need to constantly adjust our goal to make them fit into the new situations life presents to us. All we really have to do is monitor how we are doing with our goals from time to time. Make sure that these goals still correspond to our desires, and if they no longer do, adjust them or set new ones.
About the Author
Alexander Tretjakov
Author of MiWay Time Management System
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