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In this series, we’ve been talking about goal setting. Get caught up here:
Part 2: 9 Basic Components of a Goal
Part 3: Goal-Setting Case Study
Once you have used goal setting you will never live without it. It simply becomes a way of life. By writing down the steps in a formalized fashion in the beginning, it soon becomes second nature.
Here are some things to remember:
Does your goal adequately reflect what you want to accomplish?
For example, you might want to become financially secure and choose an occupation that has the best potential for making lots of money. However, if your goal doesn’t reflect who you are, your personality, your talents, passions, etc., your goal will soon create high stress and great dissatisfaction. If you like working with people but choose to be an accountant who works with books, the conflict will soon deplete you.
Sometimes we have to let go of an old reality to create a new one.
Ask yourself some blunt and pointed questions.
- Are you really satisfied with things as they are?
- What would you rather be doing?
Ask for constructive input.
Ask good and loyal friends who are not afraid to tell you some uncomfortable truths.
If you are making a major life change, brainstorm as many options as possible.
Evaluate them carefully as to their potential outcomes.
Find people who are willing to mentor you.
Successful people within their field are usually honored to be asked for advice. Mentors are people we can trust, who will be honest, give constructive input, help clarify thinking, and perhaps reveal hidden obstacles. While we are responsible for the final choices we make, mentors can give us a heads up in the process.
Consider carefully the risks and obstacles involved in reaching your goal.
- What additional information will you need before getting started?
- What hidden costs, risks, time constraints, etc. will this involve?
- Is your goal important enough to match these costs and risks? Start small.
Your goals need to be realistic and obtainable.
If you have always wanted to become an astronaut, but are now 55, you will find that goal unrealistic and difficult to obtain. Work on goals you can accomplish. Combine some of your interests and passions into workable goals. We can’t have everything. Pick the ones that are the most important to you.
When you have done your homework, construct your goal statement to reflect exactly what you want to have happen.
It is easy to get discouraged even with a well written goal plan. Plans are always harder in real life. What we say to ourselves can be a great stumbling block. Belief in ourselves and our abilities is strengthened as we work through our obstacles.
Repeat positive affirmations every day that counteract discouragement.
- Affirmations include such statements as:
- I can do this
- I am accomplishing my goal
- I can overcome any problem or obstacle because I believe in my ability to succeed in my goals.
Include God in your plans.
When I ask for guidance and include God in all my planning, I am able to find a way to overcome obstacles and appreciate the unexpected blessings along the way.
Goals motivate and energize us.
Not all goals are elaborate or huge. We are making mini goals every day; we just don’t realize it.
When we know what is involved, can plan for obstacles, and have a workable plan of action, our efforts are turned into positive action and a positive return.
Marlene Anderson, MA, LMHC, NCC
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