The Goal setting strategy highlighted in this post is designed for businesses and individuals alike. Goal setting can be used for personal, business, health, and spiritual life, in fact whatever area of life you want to accomplish something. You can have as many goals as you like in as many areas of your life as you like as long as you don’t overload yourself with an unrealistic amount of goals that are so plentiful you can’t keep track of them all.They can be changed at any time, altered, and redirected as you desire, but having goals, sets you off in a specific direction rather than just floating aimlessly. I advocate using one big “End Goal” which sets your life to a purpose, with all other goals supporting this “End Goal”.
Focus on one BIG Goal
Aim towards one big “End Goal”. A Goal will add purpose to your life. Check yourself before embarking on your journey. Check that your “End Goal” will give you the lifestyle you crave. Will you be doing what you want to do? Will it fit in with your family life? Will it give you the feeling you want it to? Will it allow you the right work/life balance you crave? Think about this carefully from the start. Don’t waste your life pursuing a goal you don’t really want.
- Aim for one big “End Goal”
- Check your “End Goal” will give you the life you crave
Break down into smaller mini Goals
Each action should be aimed at the attainment of your “End Goal”. Start from your “End Goal” and work backwards. Break your “End Goal” down into smaller mini goals whose purpose is the ultimate attainment of your “End goal”. Line up your daily, weekly, monthly, yearly mini goals like domino’s so that each one that is pushed over helps in knocking down the next. This will add momentum and make the next mini goal easier. It’s goal setting in the present, we can only shape the future with our actions in the present. Tomorrow never comes. “Doing it tomorrow” is simply procrastination and fear of failure, rejections or disappointment.
- Break “End Goal” into smaller sequential “mini goals” line up like domino’s so that each mini goal helps in the attainment of the next
- Mini goals should be daily, weekly, monthly, yearly all leading to the “End Goal”.
- What’s the one thing I can do now to help in the attainment of the “End Goal”.
- Start today. The present moment is the only moment we live in. So shape tomorrow with the actions of today.
The most important part is to take action. A sure way of not fulfilling your goals is failing to take action. Work out a sound plan of action and go for it. Don’t fear failure, because it is part of the learning process. Failure will help you test the soundness of your plan and help in your search for a better plan and for the attainment of your “End Goal”. Look for the best systems, models, habits and relationships that others have used to get the same “End Goal”. Who has achieved what you want to achieve and how did they do it?
The fear of failure, fear rejection, and fear of disappointment, will conspire to work against you and deter you from reaching your goals, they manifest themselves in the form of procrastination, indecision, overwhelm, anxiety and keeping yourself busy doing unnecessary things so that you feel busy. To test whether you are suffering from any of these, ask yourself “What would I be doing now if I knew I could not fail for the next 24/48/72 hours?”
Measurable – Put a deadline on it. If you treat it like a project with a deadline and work backwards. setting your mini goals as you go it will help you “think it through”. Moving it away from being just a hopeful dream into a doable project. It will help you see what needs to be done this week, this month, this year, in the next 3 years etc. Check your actual progress against your planned schedule to see if you are still on schedule.
- Taking action is key, without action you will never reach any goal
- Set deadlines for your mini goals and the “End Goal”, and check progress against the plan.
Don’t give up
You can only fail if you give up. Life has a habit of testing us as we move through it and this seems particularly true just before we make a major goal breakthrough. It seems to be testing to see if we are worthy of it. Make sure you don’t give up at the first signs of failure overtaking you. Remember to look at the systems, models, habits and relationships of others who have succeeded in achieving the goal your are aiming for and see what you can learn from them in the pursuit of yours. Check out my problem solving post about overcoming obstacles.
If you’re interested using the S.M.A.R.T. approach to goal setting it should be
- Specific – Remember specific goals lead to specific actions
- Measurable – If you can measure your goal you will know when you have achieved it. “If you can’t measure it you can’t control it” goes the management mantra
- Attainable – don’t make goals easy to reach, In his book “The one thing”, Gary Keller advocates ignoring “doable” and “stretch” goals and going for “possible” goals, where you don’t currently have the skills to achieve it, this will allow you to grow into the goal in question.
- Relative – Your goal should align with your morals and ethics and put you where you want to be in life. If it doesn’t align with your values and give you the life you want then it will not make you happy.
- Timely – Set a timeline and aim for a deadline. Setting a deadline will help you focus on reaching your goal.
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Goal setting Quotes
“Some men give up their designs when they have almost reached the goal; while others, on the contrary, obtain a victory by exerting, at the last moment, more vigorous efforts than before.” – Polybius
“Life can be pulled by goals just as surely as it can be pushed by drives.” – Viktor Frankl
“Don’t be pushed by your problems; be led by your dreams.”
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars” – Les Brown
“Your goal should be just out of reach, but not out of sight.” – Denis Waitley and Remi Witt
“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” – Robert Browning
“Purpose is what gives life a meaning.” – C. H. Parkhurst
“Every ceiling, when reached, becomes a floor, upon which one walks as a matter of course and prescriptive right.” – Aldous Huxley
“Aim at the sun, and you may not reach it; but your arrow will fly far higher than if aimed at an object on a level with yourself. ” -J. Howes
“Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.” – Seneca
“Who aims at excellence will be above mediocrity; who aims at mediocrity will be far short of it.” – Burmese Saying
“Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ballpark.” – David Ogilvy
“The virtue lies in the struggle, not in the prize.” – Richard Monckton Milnes
“To reach a port, we must sail—Sail, not tie at anchor—Sail, not drift.” – Franklin Roosevelt
“He who would arrive at the appointed end must follow a single road and not wander through many ways. ” – Seneca
“It is not enough to take steps which may some day lead to a goal; each step must be itself a goal and a step likewise.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“In absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.” – Author Unknown
“Most “impossible” goals can be met simply by breaking them down into bite size chunks, writing them down, believing them, and then going full speed ahead as if they were routine.” – Don Lancaster
“There are two things to aim at in life; first to get what you want, and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind has achieved the second.” – Logan Pearsall Smith
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