The Goods on Goals

Most folks have some­thing in their life they’d like to improve. Some want to lose weight. Some want to learn a new skill. Oth­ers want to develop their careers or per­sonal lives. The process of achiev­ing these desires often includes the set­ting of goals.

Set­ting goals can be a use­less process if not done the right way. One can waste pre­cious time, tal­ent, and resources chas­ing the wrong goal. Set­ting the right goals actu­ally takes some thought and reflec­tion. You must be hon­est with your­self about what you want the most. You have to fol­low through. Goal chas­ing is a multi-stage process, and if you don’t per­sist dur­ing each stage, you run the risk of not achiev­ing your goal. Here are a few thoughts that may help.

Get­ting Started

When set­ting a goal, it’s best to dream big at the start. Don’t limit your goals to what seems real­is­tic or prac­ti­cal. Just dream. Break your dream down into pos­si­bil­i­ties. Focus on goals that are part of your big dream. You can cat­e­go­rize your goals as long-term (over a year), short-term (between now and a year), and mini-goals (right now).

From there, it’s time to start nar­row­ing your scope. Sort out pos­si­bil­i­ties by attain­abil­ity, com­mit­ment required, finan­cial impact, or desir­abil­ity. Keep in mind what’s most impor­tant to you. When you have all that cor­nered and you have a goal you want to chase, it’s time to come up with a plan.

The Chase

When chas­ing your goal, it’s impor­tant to real­ize that you’ll encounter obsta­cles. These can become a source of dis­cour­age­ment and may even derail you com­pletely. Keep­ing your­self moti­vated is of the utmost impor­tance. And that doesn’t have to be an overly com­plex or involved process.

Write your goal down. Put it some­where where you can see it. Write it down on post-it notes and put them through­out your liv­ing space. You’ll always have those lit­tle reminders of what you’re doing. Also, write some notes detail­ing why you’re chas­ing your goal or what it means to you. Include ram­i­fi­ca­tions for fail­ure. This will keep your goal in mind.

Another way to keep up the chase is to do some­thing small every­day that per­tains to your goal. Achiev­ing goals is a step-by-step, day-by-day process. Don’t get dis­cour­aged if you feel you’re not mak­ing progress. Take a look back at where you started and you might be shocked how far you’ve come.