Welcome back. It is day 6 of our series and I am feeling very happy with myself. I have almost achieved my goal of passing on, what I feel is practical, ‘how to’ advice on the art of setting goals. If you have gone through the steps I have given you so far I expect that you may have a list (maybe a long one) of things you would like to achieve and if you have been doing your homework, you will hopefully have turned your dreams into SMART Goals, but we are not finished yet.
There are no hard and fast rules about how many goals you can set for yourself, but so that we are setting ourselves up for success, rather than failure, try to limit your initial goals to 2-3 short to medium term goals and 1-2 long term goals. If you just have one that you want to work towards for now, that is fine also.
To do this you need to scrutinise the list you have made. Separate out the long term goals from the short term ones, determine if a goal needs to be preceded by another goal in order for it to be achieved. When doing this remember to be real with yourself. Take a look at your list and assess the actions involved against the time and resources you have. Note: goals are not a to do list. You are not seeking to break them down that far. So it is ok to have a goal that reads, ‘I will work through all of the steps necessary to launch my own business within 3 months’, rather than listing out each step individually. Writing this goal may also prompt you to write another that reads, ‘Within 2 weeks I will identify all of the logical steps I need to take to launch my business’. So can you see how goal setting is also a process. Success comes from working on goal setting rather than just making wild and wonderful statements. When you add an action to your goal you make it much clearer for yourself and you can start to see a number of things, such as the natural order your goals should take, how much time you will need to give to achieving the goal and whether the goal needs to be a long-term one or a short-term one. Having both short and long term goals is a very positive way to approach your life. Just remember, a goal has to have an action attached to it. So, ‘I want to be happy in 5 years time’ is not a goal. You have to be specific about what you are going to do to achieve that and develop a list of mini goals that will make it happen.
If you have come this far with us you will now have some goals to begin working on and because you have created actions around your goals you should know where to start. What you need to also do is stay focussed and there are a number of techniques you can employ to help you to this. Next week we will take a look at one of them; the To Do List. Sounds boring? Well maybe, but look at it from another angle, a to do list is an effective tool and like goal setting it is one that is not always used to is best effect by many of us.
In the meantime take some time to enjoy the fact that you have achieved something. You have set meaningful, action orientated goals that you can achieve!