By Carol Halsey
I'm sure this is not the first time you have heard about goal
setting. The reason you keep hearing about it is because it
really is important to your life. A good definition of goals
is that they are dreams with deadlines. Yes, you can make
your dreams come true. How do you want your life to be 10 years
from now? How about 5 years, next year, or even 6 months from
The only difference between setting goals for your business or
career, and setting personal goals is the subject matter. With
commitment and persistence, and setting goals, your life can
be any way you want it.
When you actually sit down and start identifying goals, you
will probably end up with a long list. Decide what is most
important to you in your business and personal lives. All goals
do not have equal value. Some will be more meaningful to you.
These are the goals to start on. Keep your list of the remaining
goals to get back to later. Trying to do too much at the same
time can be self-defeating.
Once you have selected the goals to start on, give each goal a
deadline. Short term goals, such as completing a project, will
be completed in six months or less. Medium term goals, such
as increasing a customer base, or revenue, will be a yearly
target. Your goal for career advancement could be in this time
frame. Long term goals can run for several years, such as
where do you want your business to be in 5 years, or building
your nest egg to retire in 5, 10 or 20 years.
Write your goals down, as this increases commitment. Make
your deadline for each goal realistic and reachable. There is
no right or wrong on how long you determine it will take to
reach a goal. It will be different for each person and each
goal. Whatever is comfortable for you is what counts.
Okay, you have done this. Now, how do you get started? By
identifying what you must do to accomplish your goals. Look
at each one individually. Under each goal, write down the tasks
to be undertaken to reach that goal. You may not think of
everything to the smallest detail, but you will come up with
the major tasks. Give each one of these tasks a deadline.
On short term goals, your deadlines will most likely be daily,
weekly and monthly. On long term goals, deadlines are more
like six months, first year, eighteen months, second year.
You can break these down even further. If you know what you
want to accomplish the first six months of a long term goal,
what can you do this month, next month, etc. to get there.
Include these tasks and their deadlines in your calendar, and
schedule the time needed to work on them.
Once this is done with all your goals, you have made a contract
with yourself and the commitment to take action. This is your
road map to get you where you want to go. Each day, ask yourself
if what you are doing is helping you get there. If the answer
is no, be sure you know why you are doing it at all.
If all this seems difficult or overwhelming, start with just one
goal. Make it easy and short term. Once you have accomplished
this, go on to another goal. Remember that life is a journey
to be enjoyed. Be kind to yourself. You will find by setting
goals and identifying what you need to do to get there, will
cut down on a lot of stress in your life. At the same time,
you will be making those dreams a reality.
Here are a few good quotes to inspire you.
"Happiness, wealth, and success are by-products of goal setting,
they cannot be the goal themselves. " - Denis Waitley
"If you don't know where you are going, you will probably end
up somewhere else." - Laurence J. Peter
"People have more options than they think they do. But most
people spend more time planning their vacations than thinking
about what they want to do with their lives." - Bob McDonald
"What you do every day should contribute to giving your life
meaning. If it doesn't, why are you doing it?" - Don Hutcheson