Goals: Get from where you are to where you want to be
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
– Lao-Tzu,Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)
In the previous step you defined your priorities, which are the values or ideals that you would like to shape your life. In this step you are going to get specific on what you want to accomplish. In order to bring alignment to your life refer to your list of values/priorities to help guide you in defining your goals.
DESIGNING EFFECTIVE GOALS
Before you complete your set of goals ask yourself these important questions…
Are you willing to devote a lot of time and energy to accomplish this goal? Or is it more of a dream that you hope just falls in your lap?
Is it achievable? Have you been specific enough so you know when you have accomplished your goal? Have you given yourself a realistic timeline to complete this goal? Have you stated a goal or just an idea? For example,instead of saying, go back to school, state, I will enroll at (name of institution) by June 17, 2012. You can always modify your goals as you learn new information.
Is this goal stated positively? For example, instead of, quit overeating, say, I will focus on eating a healthy and nutritious diet.Always state your goals in a positive way, the point is not to beat yourself up but to give you a concrete objective to work towards.
Are your goals in balance with your priorities? Have you set goals in all the different areas you listed as very important? You want to have balanced goals in order to have a balanced life. For example, if you stated health, family and career were your highest priorities but your goals focus solely on career, then you can also set goals that will encompass your priorities of family and health. Balancing your goals will discussed further in the next section.
Does this goal make me grow as a person? It is important that your goals take you out of your comfort zone, when you do things that make you uncomfortable, you master new skills, meet new people, and gain self-confidence. If you want a more enjoyable life, you have to do things differently. In fact, Dr. Edwin Locke found during his research in the 1960’s that, specific and more difficult goals led to better task performance than easy or vague goals.