How can you set effective goals?.
First, identify what you want using your inner guidance. Take some slow deep breaths and approach this playfully.
Now, without pausing to think too much, simply fill in the following sentence stems with the first thoughts that come to mind:.
Now, you know what you want or what is lacking! That's a pretty important place to start, isn't it?.
What do you think you would need to do
in order to get what you want? Take the thing you want most, that really rings a bell inside you, and ask yourself the following question:
What do I need to do to get ____________________________?
What do I need to do to get ____________________________?.
Once you know what you would need to do, then take the following steps...
Make sure the goal is about YOU. Don't make a goal for someone else--just because the word "I" is in your sentence doesn't mean that you're focusing on what is in your control. So, be careful with this part. For example, sometimes people say, "I'm going to make him/her love me." Other people are not in your control, though you may sometimes influence them. Instead, pick a goal that is ABOUT YOU such as, "I'm going to take college classes and get my degree," "I'm going to lose 5 pounds," or "I'm going to make 3 new friends this year."
Write the rough draft of your goal
The more specific your goal is, the easier it is to tell whether or not you've reached it. Being able to tell that you've reached a goal will give you more momentum. So, get specific! Rather than saying, "I want more money," revise it to say, "I want to earn $9,000 more by December of this year." Remember to specify a timeframe and an amount. Though the timeframe isn't mandatory, it might help you to focus more intently upon your goal.
Re-write your goal so it is even more
It is very helpful to COMMIT 100% to reaching your goal. If you are not 100% committed to taking the needed actions, then you are likely to waffle back and forth. This wavering might lead you to give up too early in the process. Approaching your goal without commitment can lead you to feel uncertain, anxious and confused. Once you make the decision to simply do it, it is usually much easier to face the road-bumps. Can you recall something that you committed yourself to? Somehow, you found the way to take the action, because you simply made a firm, unshakeable decision to do your best.
Let me be clear about something here. You are committing to TAKING THE ACTIONS toward the outcome. This is the part that is in your control. There are obviously factors that are beyond your control. Because of this, it is a given that you will likely learn lessons and modify your plans. For example, someone might commit to getting their college degree from a specific school. This would involve committing to taking the needed classes from that school. However, if the school is washed away in a flood, then the person would probably revise the plan as needed. Hopefully, the goal could continue elsewhere as circumstances permit. So, I'm asking you to commit to the required behaviors, even as this requires you to become flexible. In easy language, "Do your best and forgive yourself for taking however long you take."
Now it is time to use your inner guidance to give you even greater momentum. Relax and, in your mind's eye, simply allow any images of yourself reaching your goal to come to you. Perhaps you'll notice who will be there or how your face will look. Perhaps you'll notice your body posture or your joy. Observe what you be look like upon reaching your goal, as though you are watching the dramatic ending of a great film. Ask yourself, "How will I feel when I reach my goal?" Note any feelings that emerge.
Now, write a time-line. At the end of the line (on the far right) write your goal. Like this:.
Me now _______________________________________ Me reaching my goal.
You are going to fill in each step toward your goal--but here's a cool trick, you're going to fill it in going backward. Ask yourself, "What behaviors might I have done right before I met my goal?" Write these down. Then ask again, "What would I have done right before that?" Continue to ask yourself this question, working backwards until you get to the point where you are now. At each point, write down the behaviors you "took" to get to the goal, as though the goal were already met.
You've essentially broken down the goal into small, manageable steps. This is called chunking. It is easier to reach mini-goals than big giant goals. Remember, if the mini-goals all point toward the endpoint of you reaching the big giant goal, you'll probably be more likely to reach the giant goal!
If you notice that your plan isn't working, talk with others and revise your plan. You can add newly acquired behaviors into your timeline as needed.
Concentrate on taking a step every day--when you feel uncertain, turn inward and ask yourself questions beginning with how or what (How can I enjoy this more? What is the most important step for me to take today?).
Reward yourself along the way--figure out what would be enough a reward to help you to desire to take action.
Keep a positive attitude by noting all that you are learning and becoming along the way. Some of my buddies keep a Journal of Successes. Basically this will help you to keep taking action daily.
Take off one day a week to relax. This is sometimes a good day to read through your successes. Turn toward your inner guidance when you are very relaxed. Ask yourself, "What can I learn from this past week?" Another good question to ask is, "How can I improve during the upcoming week?" Write down your answers in your journal.
Keep going until you meet the goal! Now it is time to celebrate and share the joy of your success with others!
Remember this: The process is as important as the outcome. You will learn valuable lessons on the way to reaching your goal. These lessons can and will probably stretch you to become more of yourself. So, welcome growth, stretching and challenge....they lead to mastery!
Let me know what goals you reach using your inner guidance!
REMEMBER: This is a process. Keep going to see ongoing results!.
Pam Garcy, PhD is a Psychologist and Coach in
Dallas, Texas. If you'd like a partner in reaching your goals and
overcoming the obstacles that seem to stand in your way, please contact
Dr. Pam for coaching at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Garcy offers a special 10% coaching discount to all valued subscribers of Cultivate Life and to customers of Trans4mind.com. Dr. Pam's best-selling books - including the bestsellers The Power of Inner Guidance: Seven Steps to Tune In and Turn On and Wake Up Moments of Inspiration