HOW TO SET GOALS

How to set goals

If you had a chance to check out the other sections of the Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting, you now know what goal setting is, and the 8 categories of life for goal setting. Fully understanding the goal setting process will go a long way in making your dreams come true. With some individual coaching you will have a well calibrated compass to get the best outcomes.

Knowing how to create goals is as important as declaring intentions for growth. When setting goals think of them as a leg in the journey to a destination. Having long-term “big picture” goals is the final destination in the journey of achieving the declared goals.

OVERVIEW OF HOW TO SET GOALS

1. Define your aspirations and dreams
2. Develop an action plan with incremental goals
3. Write down your action plan
4. Re-calibrate your goals to match your dreams, if applicable

1. DEFINE YOUR BIG GOALS

In the section called “Where You Are Now” in the Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting, identifying where you are in life will help you to better qualify your BIG goals. As you mature, your dreams and ambitions will change. Taking an inventory of what is important will help in defining your bigger vision.

WHEN QUALIFYING YOUR GOALS BE S.M.A.R.T.

SMART criteria are commonly associated with Peter Drucker's management by objectives concept. I have adapted the model to individual coaching.

Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
Attainable – achievable but challenging to reach.
Related – Related to all your dreams and ambitions.
Time-frame – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.

In the goal setting process, you will want to establish BIG goals as well as smaller goals that when achieved will get you to the BIG goals.

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2. DEVELOP AN ACTION PLAN WITH INCREMENTAL GOALS

Now that you know where you are going, work backwards from the declared big goals to where you are now, and establish small or incremental goals that become milestones. In this part of the goal setting process write your goals down in accordance with the S.M.A.R.T. criteria. Once you have decided which goal will be in alignment with your dreams and aspiration it is time to create incremental or smaller goals, so you can achieve the BIG goal.

EXAMPLE: Think about this concept in another way. Let's say that you wake up tomorrow morning get into your car and plan on driving from California to New York. Being the s.m.a.r.t. goal setter that you are, you will consider that will need to stop for food, gas and the occasional rest stop break. You now know that small attainable goals or stays overnight in a hotel will recharge your batteries and give you the motivation to continue on. That BIG audacious goal is attainable because you've accomplished many milestones in your journey to achieve your dreams.

NOTE: This is where people get overwhelmed in the goal setting process and give up. Without setting smaller, measurable short term achievable goals, the destination or the big goal can seem insurmountable. Individual coaching will help you determine appropriate smaller goals, so you are constantly making progress towards the bigger goal.

BIG goals can vary from those that will take only months to achieve. Then there are other BIG goals that will take a lifetime to realize. These are known as long term goals. Setting incremental or short-term goals are those that keep you on track for hitting BIG/long term goals. It is wise to partner with a life coach to help in keeping you focused on the prize in making your dreams come true.

3. WRITE DOWN YOUR ACTION PLAN

In today's digital environment it can seem a little antiquated to write out goals. Writing your goals is an essential part of the goal setting process. Keeping a goal setting notebook will help you to keep your eyes on the prize. Seeing your goals clearly written out will also keep you motivated and on track. If you are a person that prefers to type out your goals create a binder in which you can store them. The point in writing or having typed out goals is to have them available at your fingertips so can easily access them.

4. RE-CALIBRATE YOUR GOALS TO MATCH YOUR DREAMS

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Let's face it, life throws unforeseen circumstances that we can't always anticipate. The loss of a loved one, career hiccups, and the economy shifting are all things that can pop up out of nowhere and wreak havoc in our lives. On your journey in achieving your BIG goals you may decide that you really don't want the results of the long term or BIG goal. Or, on your journey you may need to change your smaller or incremental goals as a result of significant life events. In both of these scenarios re-calibrating your goals will become a necessity in making your dreams come true.

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