11 strategies for personal goal setting
Central to all goal setting strategies is the need to focus. Setting goals is all about having a vision of where you want to be in the future.
Many of you fail in to life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage, but simply because you have never organized your energies around a goal.
Millions of words have been written about goal setting. Millions of you set goals. Yet, most goals set by most of you remain unfulfilled. I have distilled (from experience and education) the eleven essentials of successful goal setting here for you. Follow these and you will accomplish your goals. Fail to follow these and you probably will not.
Here are some explanations of how and why to set and accomplish your goals.
Goal setting must be original.
That does not mean that they cannot be the same or similar to the goals that others may have; it means that they must be yours, not secondhand. Many of you set goals are according to the hopes and expectations you have.
As a consequence you do not own these goals. You cannot generally have or hold what is not yours or even if you do manage to keep it, it will not have any value or meaning to you. What is the point then of having it? The real reason you set and hope to achieve goals is not just to have the thing, it is to be happy and fulfilled in the accomplishment.
Set goals that are yours; not inherited or assumed. If they are not your own original goals, even if you manage to accomplish them, it will mean very little to you. Why waste your life pursuing something that will end up as meaningless?
Goals must be inspirational they must achieve a positive outlook on life and arouse your passion. This must be a consuming passion, not some whim. You must desire passionately to achieve what you set as a goal. It must drive you to action and you must feel fulfilled in that action because you know that it is leading to the fulfillment of your goal.
It is passion that drives you to move continuously toward your goal. It is passion that keeps you from getting distracted. It is passion that keeps you from getting discouraged. It is passion that fuels your motivation. It is passion that draws others to you to assist in your goals. It is passion that inspires you and others. It is passion that lights your way through the darkness that you will find along the way.
Get passionate about your goals or get passionate about someone else’s. Life without passion is not a life; it is merely an existence.
Goal setting must be harmonious.
Obviously, you cannot have conflicting goals in life or you will be conflicted they must bring inspiration into your life. That is the easy part. Your goals, however, must also be in harmony with your core beliefs and your self-assigned purpose in life. It is easy to understand that to have conflicting goals will raise your stress levels and frustrate you. Yet, you do that to yourself all the time.
It is not so easy to understand that you may have some deep set unconscious game plan for your life (whether from some basic spiritual urge or from some sense of undefined purpose) and the goals you set may actually be in conflict with that real, but hidden, game plan. First, decide who you are and what you are here to do and then set your goals in alignment with that; or you, yourself, on a subconscious or super conscious level will continually be sabotaging your goals.
Goal setting must be realistic.
There is not much point in setting a goal to personally live on Mars, if you are today over 95. The goals you set for yourself must be achievable within the framework of what is humanly possible. But (and this is important) realistic does not mean what the majority commonly accepts as realistic. Most people did not think that it was realistic to attempt to fly a bicycle with wings and a motor attached, but two brothers named Wright did. Most people did not think it was realistic to build a personal computer for people to use in their home, but two guys named Steve did.
These 4 guys changed reality for all of you. Their goals were obviously, in retrospect, quite realistic. Do not let your imagination be hemmed in by the crowd.
Goal setting must be idealistic.
In two ways they must involve your personal ideals in the five mentioned areas of your life and they must be progressively higher or further ahead than you are at now. If your goals are not in tune with your ideals, you will be conflicted. Most of you are, in some way, in conflict with the different aspects of self: Material and Financial ($$$ & Things); Physical and Environmental (Health of body, home and world); Emotional and Relationship (Happiness, Love, Social contact); Mental and Educational (Learning, Awareness, and Self-knowledge); Spiritual and Ethical (Unity, Life purpose, Values, Sacredness). This is why you are unhappy and why you do not achieve your highest potential.
Set your goals in harmony with your ideals.
If your goals are not idealistic (in the sense that they are progressive), you will get bored and unsatisfied. People (those who do not understand) often wonders why those who are already extremely wealthy continue to pursue more wealth. It is because the ideal is always being extended or raised. Great achievers do not rest on their laurels. Each goal achieved is merely a stepping-stone to more and greater achievement. It is not the end in itself.
Goal setting must be specific.
Goals like “I want to be rich” are not worth the paper they are printed on there are Important steps for improving your income. Rich must be defined. $1 million in the bank might mean rich to most people but it means poor to many others. It is the same for more ethereal goals. I want to be happy means nothing. Happy must be defined just as rich must be defined. I want to be spiritually fulfilled is the same meaningless, unless defined.
What does rich mean to you? Exactly? What does happy mean to you? Do not know exactly? Then how on earth will you ever even know if you get there? I have met a lot of people who say that they are on a spiritual path. I like to ask where that path is leading. Most cannot say anything specific. It is all very nebulous. If your destination is not defined, how in heaven’s name will you know if and when you get there?
Goal setting must be adaptable.
Many of you miss the better fulfillment of goal setting because your focus on the one you had originally visualized is too intense and narrow to recognize the better one when it shows up. Be sure that you are focused on the best possible fulfillment of your goal, not just on the method that you foresaw that goal fulfillment happening.
Goal setting must be visualized.
If you cannot see it as real and as true and as a part of the way you live your life it will not happen.
When you are confronted with some seemingly outrageous possibility or goal setting, will comment, ‘I will believe it when I see it made real, not just some imaginary ideal.’ The dreamers, schemers and achievers of history all had a different approach I see it. I believe it. It is real if it exists in my imagination. Visualize the reality in your imagination and it will become real in your manifestation.
Goal setting must be affirmed.
You must tell yourself all day, every day, in your constant conscious and subconscious self-talk that your goal setting is real and achievable. And, you must tell others what your goal is so that they can ‘buy into it’ and contribute to it. If you do not believe in it enough to make it a part of your daily conversation and are not passionate enough about it to be compelled to talk about it to yourself and others, it is NOT real for you and it will NOT become real.
You will be surrounded by naysayers. Someone must speak the truth of the reality of your goal. That is your 24/7 job. Constantly affirm where you are headed and why. You will end up not only convincing yourself but the world as well.
Goal setting must be time related.
Everything exists in space and time. If something is not defined precisely in space and time, it does not exist. A goal of someday, I would like to be financially secure, or someday, I would like to climb that mountain does not, and it is highly likely that it WILL NOT ever, exist as anything other than nebulous wishful thinking. You must set specific times for your goals to be made manifest OR you will be forever going towards you goals and never quite reaching them.
Goal setting must be written down.
If it exists only in your head, it is only wishful thinking. This is the basic, proven by experience, truth of the matter 95% of people who have specific written goals, accomplish them; and 95% of people who have unwritten goals (specific or not) do not. If you can read that sentence and not begin immediately to write down your goals, you might as well resign yourself to the fact that you will not accomplish what you imagine you want to be, doing and have in life.
Yes, there are those few high achievers who manage to set clear distinct goal setting without writing them down and also manage to stay focused on them for their entire lives. Do not kid yourself you are not one of those people. I will prove it to you. Tell me (or anyone) right now exactly, specifically and in full detail what goals you held 1,000 days ago. Write them down.