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Monday, December 5, 2011

Basic Goal Setting Tips

These basic tips are organized in a sequence that will support you from thinking about your goals to actually achieving them. Don’t forget, these are only suggestions, take what you like and try it out for a while to see what works best for you. Have fun and play; Don’t make your goals “shoulds” but “wants”.

1. Use a journal to keep track of your goals journey where you may keep daily or weekly records of your progress including affirmations, successes, appreciations for your hard work, rewards, resistances, obstacles, etc. Use your goals journal to write goals initially and to rewrite them over time. Use it to break your goals into steps. Review your progress regularly and jot a few notes.

2. Get yourself into a positive state before writing your goals: It’s really important to get yourself into an inspired, positive and relaxed state before writing goals. Some ideas for getting yourself into a positive state include: Meditation, listening to inspiring music, reading something fun or funny, watching a funny movie, taking a walk in a naturally beautiful place, brisk exercise, reading or listening to an inspirational story, listening to motivational tapes, brisk exercise or prayer.

3. Start brainstorming: After getting into a good mental and emotional state, start your brainstorming. Write all possible goals quickly without any editing or criticism. You can review and prioritize later; right now you want to be as creative and grand in your vision as you can be.

4. Areas of your life to consider for goal setting: Here are a number of possible areas of your life to think about when you are developing your goals list: Career, financial, relationship, family, home, friends, personal development, health, appearance, possessions, fun and recreation, travel, spiritual, self esteem and service/community. Some types of goals include: personal development such as emotional, mental, physical and spiritual.

5. Goals time frames: Goals fall into varying time periods such as: Immediate goals, 30 day goals, 6 month goals, 1 year goals, 5 years, 10 years or longer. Make sure you can accomplish what you want in the time frame you set.

6. Here are four tips for writing effective goal statements:
* Say it like it’s already happened: When writing your goal, say it like it has already happened. Put your goals in words that assume that you already have achieved them. For example, “I now have a new silver BMW 4 door 2002 sedan.”

* Use motivating language: To get you passionate, committed and motivated, add emotional language to your written goals. Here’s an example “I absolutely love and am excited about my beautiful new home in the hills” which is much more passionate than “I like my new home in the hills”.

* Write specifically and in detail: Because your subconscious manifests things literally, you want to write specific detailed goals. Use language that is clear in describing exactly what it is you want

* Write in positive terms rather than negative ones: Examples of positive statements might be: “I am now free of the habit of smoking”, or “I am now a smoke free person”. Negative examples might be: “I don’t smoke anymore” or “I’m not a smoker”.

7. Be sure they’re really your goals: Check in with yourself to make sure that you’re thinking about what you really want. Often we try to please others at our own expense. You won’t be successful trying to reach the goals your parents, spouse or other friends or relatives want for you.

8. Be congruent in creating goals: Consider your most important values and beliefs when formulating your goals (e.g. honesty, security, integrity, freedom, responsibility, respect for others, love, leadership, etc.). For instance if you value freedom, your goal might be to be self-employed. If security is what you value, you might want to work for the government where layoffs rarely occur.

9. Choose rational goals: Choose goals that you can actually reach in a reasonable amount of time. An example of a rational goal might be: “I’m 55 years old and I want to sing opera with a local light opera performance group, a choir, or monthly recitals with my voice teacher’s students” (given of course that you have a good voice). An irrational goal might be: “I’m 55, I’ve never taken singing lessons, and I want to be a world class opera singer performing key roles with the New York Metropolitan Opera”. It’s unlikely that anyone starting at the age of 55 could do this, even with an excellent voice and rigorous training.

10. Prioritize your goals: After you’ve brainstormed, one way to prioritize is to put the highest priority goals at 10 out of a possible 10 points and the least important at 1 out of 10. Pick 3-7 of the goals with high numbers and focus your efforts only on them for the next few months. Try not to pick too many goals to focus on as this will dilute your energy and make it harder to get the results you want.

11. Create a step-by-step plan: Break each goal down into manageable blocks creating a step-by-step plan to achieve it. For example, if you want a new car, first decide exactly what color, model, year, and brand you want. Write this down in your goals journal. Then write the specific steps you need to get to your goal such as: Apply for a car loan, look at and test drive different models, write affirmations, visualize yourself driving the car, etc.

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