We’ve all read about the importance and power of goal setting. Many of you have probably had to set goals in your professional life. In your personal life, many have (hopefully!) set financial goals. But what about personal goals or life goals? Saying, “I want to get married and have a family” isn’t enough.
The first step in setting personal goals is to consider what you want to achieve in your lifetime, or at least, by a significant and distant age in the future. Setting Lifetime Goals gives you the overall perspective that shapes all other aspects of your decision making.
To give a broad, balanced coverage of all important areas in your life, try to set goals in some of these categories (or in categories of your own, where these are important to you):
Do you want to achieve any artistic goals, i.e. singing, dancing, painting, theatre? If so, what?
Is any part of your mindset holding you back? Is there any part of the way that you behave that upsets you? If so, set a goal to improve your behavior or find a solution to the problem.
What level do you want to reach in your career?
Is there any knowledge you want to acquire in particular? What information and skills will you need to achieve other goals?
Do you want to get married? Do you want to be a parent? If so, how are you going to be a good parent? How do you want to be seen by a partner or by members of your extended family?
How much do you want to earn by what stage?
Are there any athletic goals you want to achieve, or do you want good health deep into old age? What steps are you going to take to achieve this?
How do you want to enjoy yourself? Do you want to travel? What kinds of vacations do you want to take? You should ensure that some of your life is for you!
Do you want to make the world a better place? If so, how?
Spend some time brainstorming these, and then select one goal in each category that best reflects what you want to do. Then consider trimming again so that you have a small number of really significant goals on which you can focus.
As you do this, make sure that the goals that you have set are ones that you genuinely want to achieve, not ones that your parents, family, or employers might want (if you have a partner, you probably want to consider what he or she wants, however make sure you also remain true to yourself!)
Starting to Achieve Your Lifetime Goals
Once you have set your lifetime goals, set a long-term plan of smaller goals that you should complete if you are to reach your lifetime plan. Then set a 5 year plan, 1 year plan, 6 month plan, and 1 month plan of progressively smaller goals that you should reach to achieve your lifetime goals. Each of these should be based on the previous plan.
Then create a daily to-do list of things that you should do today to work towards your lifetime goals. At an early stage these goals may be to read books and gather information on the achievement of your goals. This will help you to improve the quality and realism of your goal setting
Finally review your plans, and make sure that they fit the way in which you want to live your life.
Staying on Course
Once you have decided your first set of plans, keep the process going by reviewing and updating your to-do list on a daily basis. Periodically review the longer term plans, and modify them to reflect your changing priorities and experience.
Goal Setting Tips
The following broad guidelines will help you to set effective goals:
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.