Goal Setting: Put Your Future in Your Own Hands

The best kind of life is one that you design yourself. It is not a life that comes about by accident or from careering from experience to experience, all the while just managing to survive. Goal setting gives you the chance to create your perfect life and the results can be nothing short of amazing.

Goal setting starts with harnessing the power of your imagination to think about your future. Whether you want to set goals to achieve this week, next month or in ten years’ time, imagination opens the door to the kind of life you deserve. Goal setting is a skill. Whether you possess that skill now matters not because, like most skills in life, goal setting can be learnt.

Six Reasons to Set Goals


If the promise of the life of your dreams seems like a stretch – and if you don’t currently set goals, it likely will – first consider these six benefits of goal setting.

Goals Offer You a Roadmap

Will you wake up tomorrow and allow life to take you by the scruff of the neck and drag you in any direction it likes or would you prefer to wake up with a purpose? Goals offer you a roadmap on how to live your life - how to spend each day doing something of value - something that, a little further down the line, will help you accomplish one of your great personal desires.

Goals Make You Enthusiastic

Goals are like a powerful magnet. They can drag you through the most miserable of days and the leanest of periods because you know, no matter your current situation, you are heading to somewhere great. The simple act of writing out your goals will raise your level of enthusiasm. By wondering whether new and exciting experiences are possible, you will feel compelled to try.

Goals Kick Resolutions’ Behinds

We’re all guilty of making new year resolutions. Perhaps it’s the free-flowing champagne that makes us think we can instantly become a thinner or happier version of ourselves as the clock strikes. The trouble with resolutions, aside from the fact most of them fail, is that they are little more than good intentions. In comparison, a goal is a journey - a measured way of achieving something wonderful.

Goals Make Your Subconscious Work Harder

By taking the time to write down your goals, you are telling your subconscious what we really want. If you believe in your goals enough, your subconscious mind will do much of the work for you. Let’s say that one of your goals was to own a convertible car. From that point, you will notice examples of your car wherever you go. That is your subconscious mind helping to keep you motivated.

Goals Increase Your Self-Confidence

Whenever you achieve something, you feel a sense of accomplishment and consider yourself ready to take on the world. That feeling comes from self-confidence - from knowing that you have achieved something worthwhile. Imagine enjoying that feeling more often as you achieve your goals. It would feel good. And, of course, the great thing about goals is that there are always more to set.

Goals Offer You Long-Term Vision

In life, we are often guilty of looking into the long-term yet living in the short-term. In other words, we dream and long for the future but consistently live in the present. It is unfortunate, therefore, that the short-term or present can be full of obstacles. Goals give you the motivation to clamber over these obstacles and to see them for what they are - bumps in the road to success.

How to Set Goals

Now that you understand the benefits of goal setting, it’s time to crack on and set some of your own. American entrepreneur and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, tells us that powerful goals have three components. They must be inspiring, they must be believable, and they must be goals you can act on. When your goals inspire you and when you believe in them, you will accomplish them.

To look to your brilliant future, you should first look to the past. It was almost four decades ago when George Doran, Arthur Miller and James Cunningham first introduced the concept of S.M.A.R.T goals in the November 1981 issue of Management Review. Today, their ideas about how to define goals remain just as smart.

Don’t be vague when setting goals. Specify in detail exactly what you want to achieve. This is no time to waffle. You don’t want to be in any doubt about what it is you want to accomplish.

Quantify your goal. Whether it be pounds on the scale or pounds in your purse, you must be able to measure your progress. Otherwise, how will you know when you achieve your goal?

Be honest about what you can achieve given your current responsibilities. That’s not to say you shouldn’t dream big but your goals should also be within reach if you stretch just a little.

Goals must be doable, practical and real, else you risk disappointment. Be honest with yourself. For example, losing five stone in two months is not realistic, losing it in a year is more likely.

Give each goal a time frame. When should you achieve your goal by? If you fail to set a deadline for your goal, you will too easily fall into the ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ mindset.

The Need to Evaluate

Knowing where you want to go and what you want to achieve is also about knowing the point at which you start and what you can realistically hope to accomplish toward your goals on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. When introducing goal setting into your life, it is also important that you make time for regular evaluations of your progress. The purpose of evaluation is to provide you with a method to check how well you are doing and whether you are keeping to the plans you have set yourself. The process gives you the opportunity to see if you’re on track and, if not, the chance to amend your plans. Taking the time for personal evaluation helps you to know where you’re going, how you’re going to get there and how much ground you have gained so far.

It’s exciting stuff.

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