Become a Goal Medalist
Lots of resources are available to help you learn about goal setting. But few are as straightforward – or as applicable to every kind of real life situation – as the approach offered by MindTools.com, an extraordinary site which focuses on “Essential skills for an excellent career.” In Personal Goal Setting, MindTools explains, “The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts. You’ll also quickly spot the distractions that would otherwise lure you from your course.”
MindTools points out that “Goal setting techniques are used by top-level athletes, successful business-people and achievers in all fields. They give you long-term vision and short-term motivation. They focus your acquisition of knowledge, and help you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the very most of your life.”
Whether your goals are for your education, physical well-being, finances, relationships, career, or virtually any aspect of your life, these are the first steps to take in setting them:
- State each goal as a positive statement: Express your goals positively – ‘Execute this technique well’ is a much better goal than ‘Don’t make this stupid mistake.’
- Be precise: Set a precise goal, putting in dates, times and amounts so that you can measure achievement. If you do this, you will know exactly when you have achieved the goal, and can take complete satisfaction from having achieved it.
- Set priorities: When you have several goals, give each a priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by having too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones.
And “When you have achieved a goal,” says MindTools, “take the time to enjoy the satisfaction of having done so.” And then take the following steps to “review the rest of your goal plans:”
- If you achieved the goal too easily, make your next goals harder.
- If the goal took a dispiriting length of time to achieve, make the next goals a little easier.
- If you learned something that would lead you to change other goals, do so.
- If you noticed a deficit in your skills despite achieving the goal, decide whether to set goals to fix this.
Find more on this topic – including MindTools’ complete list of guidelines for setting effective goals plus other valuable tips – at Personal Goal Setting.