It is a common practice in the corporate world for organizations to set goals or objectives. Organizations consider goal-setting vital to their operations. As an individual, you are part of an organization and family unit. In order to achieve what your family & organization requires, there has to be goals. This realization will help you to embrace the need to have your own goals. Personally, I value the process of goal setting; every achievement I have made in my life has been a result of goals that I have established for myself.
For example, when I was in my early 20’s, I was not actively seeking a spouse. I lived by myself on the beach and was happily finishing my engineering degree. Then one day my friend and I created a list of traits that we would like in a spouse while we were on a road trip from St. Pete to Orlando. My list included 44 traits that I would like in a spouse. I met my future spouse at a kung fu bai si (ceremony) about 6 months later. I think that he amazingly held every trait on my list. This occurred again when I wrote down a goal of “writing a book one day”. About a year later, I had negotiated a contract with McGraw-Hill. This goal actually occurred about 10 years sooner than I was anticipating. You are probably getting my point! The purpose of this article is not to focus on my accomplishments, but to stress how goal setting can help you to realize what you want in life and help you to focus on accomplishing your dreams.
Most of the individuals that you admire got to their position in life by setting goals. No one accomplishes what he or she desires by sitting back, waiting, and not working toward a specific goal in mind. The process of goal setting allows you to define what you would like the most out of life. By clearly elucidating your ideas, you can then begin the process of breaking the goals into “manageable chucks”, or acquiring the skills, knowledge, or finding the time needed to make them a reality. There is a fulfillment that one feels when he or she meets the goals he or she has set. No matter what the goal is, discipline must be involved to transform these into reality.
Setting your goals
The first step to setting your goals is to create a picture of what you would like to accomplish in your lifetime. The mental picture of the goals will act as a road map towards their attainment. Some thoughts to think about are:
Career: Where would you like to be with your career or job? What does an ideal day “look like” in your career or job? What Impact do you wish to leave behind in your career? What level would you like to rise in your profession?
Financial: What are your financial goals? What figure would you like to earn? What are the channels of income that you will establish?
Family: What would your family life be like? How many children would you like to have? When would you want to start raising your family? Are you a parent or grandparent? How do your family members relate to you?
Public Service: What will you doing to contribute to your community and/or society?
Physical: What does your health look like? How do you plan to ensure that you stay healthy?
Pleasure: What do you like to do in your free time? Where and how will you spend your free time?
Write whatever comes to mind when you consider each question. Use these questions to get you thinking about what you really want, and how you want your life to be. When you are answering these questions, do not let reality get in the way. Try to dream so that you can fully understand how you would envision your life without any restraints. Although family, friends and work are undoubtedly the most important aspects of your life, sometimes these responsibilities restrict you from thinking about your own dreams.
Set smaller goals
After you have written your lifetime goals, break this into smaller goals that are relevant for:
Do not be too hard on yourself or too strict with your goals on a daily or even weekly basis. The point of having goals is not to beat yourself up, but to help yourself to work toward achieving dreams or tasks that you believe are important for yourself, friends, or family. As long as you are progressing towards your goals – then you are on track. After you have written your goals, review them to include the following:
Make sure that your goals are expressed in a positive manner
Keep the daily, weekly and monthly goals realistic. These should be broken into manageable chucks to prevent you from being overwhelmed.
Goals that are five years or in the more distant future do not necessarily have to be realistic. Actually, I believe that it is better that they are not. Sometimes you rapidly progress toward a goal in ways that you could have not predicted if you keep your goals in mind.
Be precise and descriptive with your goals. The more detail that you can include will further solidify your desire to achieve your goals.
Restate your goals in the present tense
Now that you have listed all of your goals, go back and write each goal in the present tense – as if you are accomplishing them right now. For example, if you goal is:
“I would like to live in a beautiful home in a suburban neighborhood.”
Change this to the present tense:
“I am now living in a beautiful home in a suburban neighborhood.”
The process of rewriting your goals in the present tense makes the goals more believable for you.
Reaffirm your goals
The next step is to read your goals out loud.
Print out a copy of your goals and affirmations, and read them at least once a day for the next month. You will realize that as you start to do this, new ideas will come to you and opportunities will arise that will help move you toward your goals. If you keep a strong and brilliant picture of unwavering faith in your goals and dreams, eventually you will accomplish them. Attempt to keep your fears and doubts out of your mind, because this will cause you to believe the fears and doubts instead of your goals.
Write each goal as a simple, clear visualization on a single sheet of paper. In the future, you can always expand the amount of detail, however, one page is enough to have significant detail without going overboard. On the top of each page, write your goal in large letters, and then write your plan in detail underneath this. On each page, it would be helpful to write the goal first, then write why you chose this goal, and finally the steps that you take to reach your desired goal.
As soon as you complete these steps, you will begin thinking about how you can efficiently and effectively accomplish your goals. You will begin thinking of numerous possibilities and approaches until something begins to materialize.