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.