We've all been told to set goals, mostly by school, employers and so on...
I'm not talking about these kind of goals. Ok, I'm only kind of talking about those goals.
Let's start by talking about what goals are and why we should be setting them.
A goal is simple, it's something you want to or need to do. The dictionary defines a goal as: "The object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result."
Now that we know what a goal is...What is the difference between a goal and a dream? A goal is a dream that you are intentional about and that you take action towards making a reality.
A dream is a wish that most will never see come true. Dreaming is very important, it keeps motivation up, keeps your imagination going and so on. The goal setting is what will breathe life into these dreams, or take them behind the barn and put them out of their misery if needed.
To be successful in setting goals, there are a couple things we must remember.
1. The reason (your why for the goal) must be worthy of the price you will pay to reach it. AKA your vision.
2. It must be your goal. You must be driven to obtain this or you will not complete it.
What areas should we be setting goals in? Zig Ziglar had a goal setting wheel he called the wheel of life, this is the 7 areas we should be setting goals in, in no particular order.
1. Family- Doing X to better the relationship with X.
2. Physical- Workout, eat better, walk more.
3. Spiritual- Pick up a new devotional, Listen to more sermons.
4. Career- Work towards promotion, learn a new skill, connect with people in your field.
5. Intellectual- What would I like to learn, read 1 new non-fiction book a month, take a class, hire a coach.
6. Social-Say yes when someone invites you, Set up get-togethers and follow through.
7. Financial-I want to retire with X, I want to make X, purchase house by X, I want to hire a financial coach
Now that we understand what a goal/vision is and we know the areas we should be setting them in, how do we create goals we'll be successful at?
There is method called S.M.A.R.T that specifically address how to make the goal obtainable.
S-Specific: What do you want to accomplish? Be very specific about this, details matter. I want to get out of debt, I want to retire at X age. Determine any barriers that will need to be overcome, and make a plan to maneuver the ones you can currently see. Doing this will help you better handle the ones that will be a surprise.
M-Measurable: Give yourself daily, weekly, monthly & maybe yearly steps. If your goal is to lose 50 pounds in the next 12 months thats 4.16 pounds per month or 0.967 pounds per week. If your goal is to pay off $30,000 over the next 15 months, thats $2,000 per month or $460.27 per week. By breaking the goal down to a measurable amount it becomes easier to tackle it bit by bit.
A-Achievable: It must be realistic. Do you have the ability to do it or to learn a skill that will help you obtain this goal? You need to be honest with yourself here, just because it is a struggle doesn't mean you can't do it. Conversely, you don't want easy goals to reach either. This should be something that will challenge you but within your ability to grasp the goal.
R-Relevant: Does this goal fit with the overall plan you have for yourself? If your goal is to learn art painting but you have no desire to sell art work, that would be a hobby, which is fine! But, if you already have too many hobbies, that time and resources could better applied elsewhere. Remember your "Why".
T- Time-Sensitive: Setting a time limit is very important. Think of it like the finish line in a race. Breaking the goal down over time allows you to keep track of your progress, making changes where needed and celebrating your wins. After all we need to see progress being made, or we'll surrender the goal as unobtainable.
Most importantly, once you've set your goals remember we are all human, things don't always go as we plan. That's not always a bad thing. Set backs both big and small will happen, stay focused on your "why". Focusing on the "why", will help keep you going and keep you working your plan, which will make you reach your goal.