Have you set future goals for yourself? Have you spent some time thinking about what you want from life? Have you evaluated your progress against your dreams? Are you living the life you want to live? Do you ever feel adrift in the world? Are you working hard but don’t seem to get ahead?
Goal setting is a powerful tool to plan your future and keep yourself motivated to turn your vision into a reality. The process of goal setting can help you decide what you want from life. You can concentrate your efforts if you know exactly what you want and what matters most to you. This process helps you stay focused, making it easier to identify distractions that can lead you astray.
Most athletes and successful business people set goals. Setting goals helps you stay on track and accomplish your long-term vision. Goals can also help you organize your time and your resources so that you can make the most of your life.
When setting goals, make sure you clearly define what you want to achieve. Write them down to keep yourself accountable. Goals should be detailed, measurable, reasonable, appropriate and time-bound. This way, you can measure your progress, keep motivated as you build your self-confidence, and recognize your ability to pursue your dreams.
Break down your goals into levels. First start with the big picture of what you want to do with your life. The time-frame for these long-term goals can be 10 years. Then break the long-term goals into smaller targets that you must hit to reach your lifetime goals. The time-frame of these short-term goals can range from one month to a year. Once you have planned your long-term and short-term goals, then you can focus your energy on achieving them.
Some of the areas you may consider when establishing your big picture goals may include your career, your financial well-being, your education, your family, your health, your nutrition, your well-being, and your personal growth and development.
Once you have set lifetime goals for these categories, then reflect what steps you need to take to accomplish them. Next, set a five-year plan made up of short-term goals that you need to complete to reach the long-term goals. After, create one-year and six-month plans. Finally, break these down into a one-month plan of progressively smaller goals that you need to reach to accomplish the lifetime plan. When you are done, review your plans and ensure the goals fit the way in which you wish to live your life.
Consider the following tips when writing down your lifetime plan:
Express your goals in positive terms. It will keep you more motivated than writing down a don’t do list.
Be as specific as possible when writing out your goals. For example, use dates, times and amounts to describe what you want.
When you have multiple goals, give each one a priority. This will help you stay focused and encouraged, directing your attention to the most important ones first.
Set goals over which you have as much control as possible. If you base your goals on your personal performance, regardless of conditions out of your control, you will be able to keep measurement and achievement of your goals.
Set realistic goals which you can achieve.
Periodically review the ten-year, five-year, one-year and six-month plans. Modify the goals to reflect your changing priorities, your progress, and your experience. And, when you achieve a goal, take time to celebrate the satisfaction of attainment. If the goal is a significant one, reward yourself. Rewarding yourself will build your self-confidence and self-esteem. Also, be aware of the progress you have made towards your lifetime goals, and with the experience fresh in your mind review your plans. Make modifications as needed. For instance, if you achieved the goal too easily, make the next one more challenging; if it took too long too achieve and it was too challenging, make the next one more attainable; if you noticed that you a lack a skill, decide on how to address the deficit perhaps by adding additional goals; and if you learned something that you can apply to future goals then change them as needed. This way you are adjusting your goals regularly as you reflect on your personal growth and development, your knowledge and experience, and if goals do not hold any attraction any longer, then consider replacing them for new ones.
In summary, setting future goals is an important way to guide you to realizing what you want out of life. Setting a lifetime plan separates what is important from what is irrelevant. It keeps you motivated while building self-confidence and self-esteem. Evaluate progress by reviewing regularly and updating your goals. Also remember to take the time to celebrate your accomplishments.
Sense of purpose is the motivation that drives you toward a satisfying future. Hence, your sense of purpose helps you get the most of life and it helps you achieve what matters most to you. Most importantly, it feeds intrinsic motivation and it creates meaning from life. Purpose is our driver. Certainly, purpose is a fundamental component of a fulfilling life. Our purpose is to help you find yours.
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