- Defining your goals
Before determining how you are going to achieve your goals, you must start by defining the goals themselves. These goals can be linked to any aspect in your life – career, financial, family, education, etc. Keep them few in number: focus on 2-3 goals at a time. After mastering the technique and succeeding, you might be able to control 5-7 goals at the same time.
- Make them SMART
For your goals to be effective, they should be designed to be SMART:
• Specific (or Significant) – goals must be clear, well defined and identify exactly what you want to accomplish.
• Measurable (or Meaningful) –assessable at each stage of the goal setting process, including when the goal has been achieved.
• Achievable (or Action-Oriented) – a good goal should stretch you, but not be impossible to attain.
• Relevant (or Rewarding) – goals should be relevant to the direction you want your life and career to take.
• Time-bound (or Trackable) – goals should be set within a specific amount of time - enough time to achieve the goal, but not so much time that can affect or delay performance.
- Write them down
Writing down your goals is critical to achieving them, even if you never develop an action plan or do anything else. When you write something down, you are stating your intention and setting things in motion.
- Plan the steps
If your goal is a broad long-term goal, it helps to break it down to smaller, short-term goals. This will help you to see the big picture and understand where you stand regarding the bigger goal. Achieving each step will produce self-satisfaction and pride, which will also generate an additional boost of motivation to reach the next step.
- Share your goals
Telling selected people about your goals will give you a support system while you are working towards achieving your goals. Additionally, sharing your goals creates personal accountability. Others will know that you are working towards achieving your goal and will be invested in helping you to get there. However, make sure to only share your goals with people who are committed to helping you achieve them.
- Start working to achieve your goals
Achieving goals will require commitment and sacrifice. Plan moments in your day to work on specific goals. When you reserve timeslots in your calendar to do an activity, it is more likely to be done than simply letting it happen.
- Review your goals
Every time you review your goals, ask yourself: what’s the next step I need to take to move toward this goal? You can review them daily, weekly, or monthly. The key is to let them inspire and populate your daily task list. Cross off each as you work through them.
Setting goals is key to any form of success – professional, financial, personal, etc. – With clear objectives in mind, you can map out your future and stay on course for success.