Goal Setting: Staying Focused On Your Future

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Goal setting is a delicate art that can be a powerful tool if used correctly. What many people lack is the knowledge to properly set goals that can be realistic and achievable, and will be best worth their time overall. Whether your goals be short-term or long-term, understanding how to create forceful and practical goals can change the way you achieve things in your life.

To best decide what we want in our futures, we must first evaluate our current self and see where our level of satisfaction is. Taking a minute to reflect on the present and look at your accomplishments and failures in life can better help you understand how to create your goals. To do this, sit down and write a list of what you believe to be your greatest accomplishments and your overall satisfaction, and begin to build a baseline to work from.

We all have huge aspirations we wish to achieve someday in our lives, but for the most part, they’re simply dreams. Taking action to achieve them is when they become a concrete goal. By defining what our goals are, we are willing them into existence, and visualizing what they are. Doing this gives our goals a specific focus, and allows us to concentrate on truly accomplishing them. Record all of them on a piece of paper, and prioritize them.

Once you have specified your goals, you’ll want to make them S.M.A.R.T., which is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive. If your goal isn’t specified, it will just be a vague concept without any direction on how to achieve it. By making a goal measurable, it means you can easily see whether you have made progress on achieving it. A goal that is attainable and realistic means that you’re goal isn’t too lofty to achieve. Finally, a time frame should be attached to your goal. This allows you to have a deadline, and will keep you on track. Developing a S.M.A.R.T. goal is a tried. and true method of goal setting. Professor Rhodds, a business professor at Cal State San Marcos, told me, “Having a goal that coincides with all these of characteristics is one of the best ways to achieve your goals. This is often used in leadership meetings in large companies”.

Once you’ve created your goals, you should tell someone what you are setting out to achieve. This will give you some accountability in reaching your goals, as someone else will be able to check in on your progress. A goal will hold no power over you if it’s just your or a few people who know it. I spoke to Garrett, a personal trainer at a Gold’s Gym who preaches accountability with his clients. He said, “My clients know the goals of all my other clients, and play a role of holding each other accountable when it comes to diet and exercise”.

Using these tips, you can best set yourself up for success when it comes the goals you want to achieve. Just remember, the journey you set out on to achieve your dreams is never wasted time, no matter its end in success or failure.

Avid writer and reader with a curious mind. I'm always looking to get the most out of life! Follow me on Twitter @whatsaschoon

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