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Setting Goals - How to Reach Your Dreams

Aug 17, 2007
"The shortest distance between two points is a straight line." This statement perfectly explains the benefit of setting goals. Establishing goals for yourself, professionally and personally, can help you reach the objectives that are important to you.

How to do I set goals?

The first step you should take is to determine what is important to you. It could be health, career, and family life - it can be many things - but put these items in order of priority. This step will prevent the possibility of being sidetracked by distractions and give you something to focus on; otherwise, you risk floating in a constant chaotic state without achieving anything.

Next, phrase your goals in a positive manner and write them down, i.e. try - "Learn to fluently speak and understand Spanish;" versus - "Not sounding like a moron every time I speak." Get the difference? The words you use to define your goals also determine your feelings towards them. So use positive words!

Define your goals in very specific terms. Be sure to identify any milestone and final dates, as well as, how you will measure success. This action is critical because it not only gives you a timeline to follow, but also a marker of achievement.

Remain conscientious that the goals you set are realistic and attainable. Nothing hurts worse than failing to reach a goal that was too big in the first place. It's fair to say that wanting to be the next Julia Roberts in three years is not a very realistic goal, but perhaps, promising yourself to go on an X-number of auditions is reasonable. Let your common sense be your guide in keeping your goals within reach.

Conversely, don't establish goals that are too low. Many of us fear disappointment and failure so we set goals that offer little challenge or effort to achieve. Don't allow yourself to fall victim to this common practice; identify objectives that are slightly out of reach, but not impossible.

I've achieved my goal - now what?

Once you've achieved a goal, reward yourself for a job well done! Then take time to reflect on how you reached this goal so you can tap into that energy and knowledge for future objectives.

If, however, you found that this goal was bit easy, be sure to make your future goals a little more difficult. Or if you discovered difficulty with a particular skill, consider improving it as your next objective.

But I didn't reach my goal!

Don't allow yourself to despair if you did not achieve your specific goal. Embrace your experience as a learning lesson and develop ways to overcome obstacles for the next challenge. Remember - "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!"

And the bottom line is...

Anything worth attaining is worth the effort.
About the Author
Written by Cathy Warschaw, Director of the Warschaw Learning Institute. Offering cds, eBooks and online training for the dental and medical field. Register for our newsletter www.WarschawLearningInstitute.com
2005
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