We have all been told at some point in our lives that we should set goals for ourselves. This shouldn’t be too difficult right? So we think of a few things that we want to achieve. We may even quickly jot them down on a piece of paper, but then what? We place the piece of paper aside or safely put it away and get on with our lives. We stumble through life like a person trying to find their way around in a dark room. We stump our toes and bump into things, because we can’t see where we are going or what we are doing. After some time of stumbling around, we begin to feel tired, frustrated, unfulfilled and unhappy.
Our goals have not been clearly defined and we do not have a roadmap for our lives. Would you set out on a journey to a destination, be it a trip, an event etcetera, and not decide on a plan for how you will get there? I am doubtful that you will. Would you take the bus or a taxi or drive? What route would you take? What time do you need to leave? How long will it take you to get there? What do you need to take with you? You would consider and plan all these things. So why would you set out on your most important journey, life, without a roadmap?
Sure, we have been told that we should set goals, but for many of us we have not been taught how to do so. I know I haven’t. Zig Ziglar says that 97 percent of people in our society do not have clearly defined goals for their lives. He suggests four reasons for this. They are fear (false evidence appearing real), poor self-image, they have never been sold (persuaded), they don’t know how.
For the remainder of this article I will share with you some steps for setting goals and developing your roadmap. All the information I learned from author and speaker Zig Ziglar as well as the book, The Complete Guide to Goal Setting by Dean White.
Step One – Wild Ideas
Create you list of goals. Zig Ziglar calls it you wild ideas list. White refers to it as goal brainstorming. The idea is to write down everything you want to accomplish. It does not matter what it is. Do not judge, filter or restrict yourself. Write down everything that is in your heart and that comes to mind. White puts it this way, for the next ten years or more you can have anything you want and do anything you want, no questions asked. What do you want? Make your list as comprehensive as possible.
Step Two – Shorten Your List
Next, you want to shorten your list. You do this by asking yourself why you want to achieve this particular goal. WHY? Write your why in one sentence. If you are unable to clearly articulate your why in one sentence, then the goal comes off you list. You should then put an ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’ next to each goal. An ‘A’ goal is an excellent goal to have, it will change your life, it is inspiring and important to you. ‘B’ goal is a great goal to have, it will make you happy but is not as important as an ‘A’ goal. ‘C’ goal is a nice goal to have but not as important as your other goals.
Step Three – Categorize
It is now time to categorize your goals. Place them into the following categories: physical, mental, spiritual, social, financial, career and family. As you go down your list consider the following questions. Will this goal make me happier? Will this goal make me healthier? Will this goal make me more prosperous? Will this goal make me secure? Will this goal give me peace of mind? Will this goal improve my relationships? Your goals should add value to your life and the lives of others. If they do not, then you need to reconsider them.
Step Four – Form Your Plan
Your main focus for now is your list of ‘A’ goals. These are the goals that are most important to you. Your list should be much shorter by now. You want to break down each of your ‘A’ goals into smaller more manageable tasks. There are several tools you can use to help you with this but I am going to mention just one; mind storming. To do this you write your goal at the top of a page, be as specific as possible. Next write out a list of at least twenty answers or ideas to your goal. These are steps you need to take in order to reach your goal. Do not judge yourself in anyway as you do this. Once you are finished review you list and choose those ideas which feels right for you. Trust your instincts. Repeat this step for each of your ‘A’ goals. Once you are finished record your plan in a more permanent way. Whether it be in a journal or on an electronic gadget or using a software program designed for goalsetting. The choice is yours.
Step Five –Take Action
Your plan has been set in place. You have your specific targets and tasks mapped out. It is time to take action! A plan without action is of no use. Make use of your daily and weekly planner and even simple to do lists and post-its or anything else that you find helpful, to keep you on track. Schedule your time and work on those tasks. Depending on your goal there are things that you may need to do daily or weekly, you decide. Just work on your goals persistently and consistently.
As you go through your process of goal setting. Remember to make your goals SMART. White has extended this acrostic to SMARTEN UP.
Achievable (Think about your why.)
Timed (Set a time frame for completion.)
Enthusiastic (Set a reward for yourself, which will help keep you enthusiastic about your goal.)
Natural (It should not be something you are doing for someone else. It should be natural to you.)
Understood (you would need the support of significant persons in your life. There may be sacrifices you may need to make which will affect those in your life.)
Planning (your plan will take into consideration any obstacles or road blocks you may meet.)
As you are setting your goals be sure that they are in line with your core values and life’s purpose. This will save you a lot of time and valuable resources. You do not want to waste time going after something only to realize half way in that it not in line with who you truly are, your values or your purpose.
Just thinking about carefully planning your goals in clear details can seem daunting and a bit overwhelming. It also calls for significant time investment, but you don’t have to complete the entire process all at once. Do it over the period of a couple days if you have to. Once the process is completed, you will experience a great deal of clarity and hopefully enthusiasm.
Goals give you direction and help you utilize and manage your time well. They also guide the way in which you use your resources, helping you to use them most efficiently. The benefits to setting goals are many, so do not be afraid and do not hesitate. If you haven’t already, begin developing a roadmap for your life today. I dare you to jump right in and see the difference it makes in your life.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you enjoyed it please share with a friend. Until next time stay blessed and stay safe.😊😊