Setting Goals Basics 1 to 11
These basic tips are organized in a sequence that will support
you from thinking about your goals to actually achieving them.
Don’t forget, these are only suggestions, take what you like and
try it out for a while to see what works best for you. Have fun
and play; Don’t make your goals “shoulds” but “wants”.
1. Use a journal to keep track of your
goals journey where you may keep daily or weekly records of your
progress including affirmations, successes, appreciations for your
hard work, rewards, resistances, obstacles, etc. Use your goals
journal to write goals initially and to rewrite them over time.
Use it to break your goals into steps. Review your progress
regularly and jot a few notes.
There are a number of paper and digital
methods for keeping these records such as notebooks, planners or
professional goal tracking software. Develop consistent habits of
writing about your thoughts and goal progress. It will propel you
forward at a faster pace. Use colored pens and playful things like
stickers and pictures, have fun!
2. Get yourself into a positive state
before writing your goals: It’s really important to get yourself
into an inspired, positive and relaxed state before writing goals.
Some ideas for getting yourself into a positive state include:
Meditation, listening to inspiring music, reading something fun or
funny, watching a funny movie, taking a walk in a naturally
beautiful place, brisk exercise, reading or listening to an
inspirational story, listening to motivational tapes, brisk
exercise or prayer.
3. Start brainstorming: After
getting into a good mental and emotional state, start your
brainstorming. Write all possible goals quickly without any
editing or criticism. You can review and prioritize later; right
now you want to be as creative and grand in your vision as you can
4. Areas of your life to consider
for goal setting: Here are a number of possible areas of your
life to think about when you are developing your goals list:
Career, financial, relationship, family, home, friends, personal
development, health, appearance, possessions, fun and recreation,
travel, spiritual, self esteem and service/community. Some types
of goals include: personal development such as emotional, mental,
physical and spiritual.
Then there are “thing” goals like
vacations, cars, yachts, antiques, houses, etc. Another area is
financial goals—savings, net worth, retirement income,
investments, etc. Make sure you include some health and energy
goals because they are the foundation of a successful and
5. Goals time frames: Goals fall into
varying time periods such as: Immediate goals, 30 day goals, 6
month goals, 1 year goals, 5 years, 10 years or longer. Make sure
you can accomplish what you want in the time frame you set.
There are mixed opinions on how specific
the deadline dates on goals should be. The authors use different
methods; Joel usually puts specific deadlines on his goals. Teddi
uses general time frames (i.e. a few months or within a year) but
not exact dates. They both get good results.
6. Here are four tips for writing
effective goal statements:
* Say it like it’s already happened: When writing your goal, say
it like it has already happened. Put your goals in words that
assume that you already have achieved them. For example, “I now
have a new silver BMW 4 door 2002 sedan.”
* Use motivating language: To get you passionate, committed and
motivated, add emotional language to your written goals. Here’s an
example “I absolutely love and am excited about my beautiful new
home in the hills” which is much more passionate than “I like my
new home in the hills”.
* Write specifically and in detail: Because your subconscious
manifests things literally, you want to write specific detailed
goals. Use language that is clear in describing exactly what it is
* Write in positive terms rather than negative ones: Examples of
positive statements might be: “I am now free of the habit of
smoking”, or “I am now a smoke free person”. Negative examples
might be: “I don’t smoke anymore” or “I’m not a smoker”.
7. Be sure they’re really your goals:
Check in with yourself to make sure that you’re thinking about
what you really want. Often we try to please others at our own
expense. You won’t be successful trying to reach the goals your
parents, spouse or other friends or relatives want for you.
8. Be congruent in creating goals:
Consider your most important values and beliefs when formulating
your goals (e.g. honesty, security, integrity, freedom,
responsibility, respect for others, love, leadership, etc.). For
instance if you value freedom, your goal might be to be
self-employed. If security is what you value, you might want to
work for the government where layoffs rarely occur.
9. Choose rational goals: Choose goals
that you can actually reach in a reasonable amount of time. An
example of a rational goal might be: “I’m 55 years old and I want
to sing opera with a local light opera performance group, a choir,
or monthly recitals with my voice teacher’s students” (given of
course that you have a good voice). An irrational goal might be:
“I’m 55, I’ve never taken singing lessons, and I want to be a
world class opera singer performing key roles with the New York
Metropolitan Opera”. It’s unlikely that anyone starting at the age
of 55 could do this, even with an excellent voice and rigorous
10. Prioritize your goals: After you’ve
brainstormed, one way to prioritize is to put the highest priority
goals at 10 out of a possible 10 points and the least important at
1 out of 10. Pick 3-7 of the goals with high numbers and focus
your efforts only on them for the next few months. Try not to pick
too many goals to focus on as this will dilute your energy and
make it harder to get the results you want.
11. Create a step-by-step plan: Break each goal down into
manageable blocks creating a step-by-step plan to achieve it. For
example, if you want a new car, first decide exactly what color,
model, year, and brand you want. Write this down in your goals
journal. Then write the specific steps you need to get to your
goal such as: Apply for a car loan, look at and test drive
different models, write affirmations, visualize yourself driving
the car, etc.
Continue to Goal Setting Guide Basics