Goal Setting Strategy #1: To Tell or not to Tell

Some people like to tell anyone who will listen all about their goals, and others like to keep a tight lid on their goals until they have at least made some significant progress. I use to tell everybody I knew the minute I had decided to shoot for a new goal. The only problem was, I spoke too soon. I would get what I thought had to be a brilliant idea and before I had thought it through, I would shout it to the rooftops. Problem with that strategy, I soon discovered, was that I ended up looking foolish when I abandoned my goals two days into the process.

Now, I keep my new goals to myself until I have made significant progress. While I sometimes think I have a brilliant idea, this lets me save face if I decide two days later that my idea wasn’t feasible at all. Now, when my friends and family hear about my goals, I’ve already worked on them enough to have put forth a good amount of effort and they are much more believable to those I confide in.

Bottom line: The important thing about sharing your goals with others is to share them with those who will be truly supportive of you and your journey with setting and reaching your goals.

Goal Setting Strategy #2: Put Your Goals in Writing

Don’t just think about your goals. Write them down! Then write down each step you will need to take to reach each particular goal. A wise man once said, “A goal is a dream with a date.” Give your goals dates, that is, deadlines. That doesn’t mean you can’t extend the deadlines as long as you are making progress. Assigning a deadline to your goals lends a sense of urgency to the process. Goals without deadlines are nothing more than wishes so don’t stress about the deadline you assign to each of your goals, change it if need be, but do assign a reasonable deadline.

Goal Setting Strategy #3: Check in Often

You don’t want to merely decide to reach a goal, write it down, and then leave it alone until you’ve made it a reality. That is, unless your goal can be reached almost instantly and in that case, you really don’t need to write it down at all. Checking in means that you check in with your goals every now and then. You decide. Once a week or once a month is when many people choose to re-evaluate their goals. Some people actually do this on a daily basis. The important thing is that by checking in on your own goals on a regular basis and reviewing what you have done and what steps still need to be taken, keeps the goal fresh in your mind so that you will be more apt to act on the specific steps you need to take to reach your goals.

You’ve heard about setting goals all of your life and now you are ready to commit yours to paper. Congratulations! Follow these four easy goal setting steps for success.

Define Your Goal

Sounds overly simplistic, doesn’t it? Maybe you just want to lose a few pounds or buy a new car or house or improve an important relationship. What is it you need to define? Regardless of what category your goal falls into, break it down into simple, manageable steps so that you will know exactly what it is you need to do to reach your goal. For example, if your goal is to buy a new house, how much will that house cost? How big will it be? Will you need to move across town or across the country to occupy it once you have it? See what I mean? Define exactly what your goal entails so that you can come up with the specific steps you will need to reach it.

Define Your Purpose for Setting and Reaching This Goal

Why are you doing this? Sticking with the example above, why do you want to buy a new house? Is it so your children will have a stable and secure place to live? Is it so you will never have to pay rent again? Knowing exactly why reaching this goal is important to you is an important part of the goal setting and reaching process. Define your purpose and you will fuel your goal setting muscles.

Define Your Assets

What do you have going for you regarding the realization of this goal? For example, if your goal is to buy a new house, what does your credit report look like? If you don’t know, obtain a copy of it now because this could be an important part of your goal reaching process. If you have excellent credit, note this on your goal setting sheet; this will empower you during times of discouragement. If you need to improve your credit before you can reach the goal of buying a new house, you have just identified a step you’ll need to take as part of your house buying goal. By defining your assets that relate to your goal, you will succeed not only in empowering yourself with the range of assets you already have available to you regarding the realization of your goal but you will identify additional steps that need to be taken as well.

Define Your Liabilities

Liabilities don’t have to be negative. Think of them as positive steps you need to take to reach your goal. For example, if you don’t yet have the job you will need to have in order to make mortgage payments on the house you want to buy, it is important to realize that now and set a goal that will aid you in paying for the house once you get it. By defining your assets and liabilities you will be able to recognize the steps you need to take in order to realize your goals. Don’t worry if you get sidetracked and come up with ten smaller goals that need to be reached in order to realize your major goal. That’s all part of the process and will fuel you as you take steps to make the big dreams come true!