Seven Steps to Goal Setting Mastery

You’ve probably set loads of goals in your life before, and, with January coming up fast, you’ll probably set even more of them. But how do you set goals that last longer than the time it takes to write them down? There are a number of steps you can take to give those goals some staying power. If you want to master goal setting, that takes a little more time and thought.

Set your goals to become a goal setting master

Of course, you need to have goals before you can become a goal setting master. So you can start with a big brush and write out some notes before really buckling down. For instance, do you want to improve your health? Write it down! Want to improve your wealth or start a budget? Write that down, too. I’ve written about stretch goals before–you might like the article.

Use the S.M.A.R.T. model

Ensure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. In this MindTools article on SMART goals, the S in Specific is achieved by using similar tools to those a journalist would use. That is: what, why, who, where, and which. So in the second step, make your goals more specific! What do you want to improve about your health? Do you want to lose weight? That’s one of the most popular and common goals for New Years Resolutions.

Make sure you can measure your goal

Don’t just say you’d like to lose “some weight.” Surely you have a number in mind. You can start with a small number and work in increments, too. For instance, how about five pounds? When you reach five pounds, you can reassess. Or maybe that’s all you need to lose, in which case you’re done!

Is your goal realistic?

If you want to become the world champion heavyweight boxer or enter the next Olympics, is that even a possibility? Sure, it’s great to be ambitious, but even the most ambitious person has realistic goals. Again, dividing your long-term goal into short-term steps can really help here.

Timely goals are important

If you don’t give yourself a deadline to get those goals finished, there’s probably no point in having goals! Otherwise, you might be looking at decades before getting your goals done. That’s if they get done at all!

Say them, print them, post them all over

That’s right–you need to make your goals into something you can repeat, like a mantra every day. This is where it helps to have just a couple of goals and not twenty or thirty of them! So print them–on your printer or by hand is even better, and then put them up. How about on your refrigerator door?

Look at your goals every day!

Sometimes I fall down on this one. In the past, I’ve put my goal list into a folder on my desk so I can see them every day. Or, make a shorter list and look at them while brushing your teeth. Whatever you every day, make sure you can see your goals and you can really cement them into your brain.




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