Before you begin to make any positive changes in your life, setting goals will be essential for your success.
You may have created a goal at some point in the past. New Year’s is usually a time associated with goals. Most of us may be familiar with the term, New Year’s Resolutions.
Did you make a special resolution at the beginning of 2012? If so, what was it?
Maybe it was to exercise more.
Perhaps it was to get out of debt.
If you didn’t make a resolution, think of a time when you set yourself a goal.
Did you succeed in achieving your goal?
If not, it might be worthwhile to consider why.
There is a strong possibility that you weren’t specific enough. Goals rarely work effectively for this reason. They need to be detailed and focused.
Why make them specific, you might ask?
Well, a goal such as “Wanting to lose weight”, is a little vague…
Our brains need more details about what exactly our goal might be. So, if your goal is to lose weight, you need to be more specific, with precise details of when, where, and how do you want to lose weight.
Goals need to be stated positively. This way, you can focus on where you want to go, and not on what you are trying to get away from.
You should be in control of your goals, so that they are not dependent upon other people.
Goals also need to be realistic, and broken down into baby steps that are achievable, and not over-whelming.
They also need to consider time. Say for instance your goal is to change your behaviour. Over which time frame will you work on changing your behaviour? How often do you want to display the behaviour?
You need evidence that you have achieved the goal. How will you know that you have achieved the goal?
It is good to write down your goals. Writing down your goals helps you to remember them, and helps to reinforce you to take action.
Let’s explain each of the above steps, using Dale as an example.
Dale has a goal. He wants to be less anxious when giving presentations at university.
To make this goal easier to achieve, Dale will have to create specific and precise details about it. Doing so will help him to carry his goal out successfully.
Being more specific
Dale has taken his initial goal, and made it more focused.
He specifically wants to be less anxious when presenting in his law class debating group, at university. A goal stated this way, gives Dale something he can focus on, such as exactly where, and when he wants to be more confident. He has set a context and situation to achieve his set goal.
Stating the goal positively
Dale has also made his initial goal positive. Instead of wanting to be less anxious while presenting in his law class debating group meeting, he changes his goal to becoming more confident when presenting during his law class debating group meeting. This helps Dale focus on where he wants to go, and not what he is trying to get away from.
Under Dale’s control
Dale’s goal is also under his own control. He can work on becoming less anxious himself by improving his thinking. He doesn’t need other people to do this.
Making the goal realistic
He has also made his goal realistic. He states he will give himself 1 month to work on becoming more confident before his next law class debating group meeting. This does not put Dale under pressure, as it gives him sufficient time to achieve his goal.
Dale’s goal is also time dependent. He wants to achieve his goal once a month, to start off with.
He states that he will know he has achieved his goal because he will feel confident and positive when presenting during during his law class debating group meeting. He will also be in an enthusiastic mood.
Written down goal
Dale writes down his goal, including the specific details that will help him to achieve them. He writes that he wants to speak confidently when presenting in his law class debating group meeting, once a month. He also writes how he will feel when he has achieved his goal, which is to feel confident and positive.
So there you have it. In summary, you have learnt about the key elements which are needed to make goals. Setting goals in this way will give you a better focus, and help you remain motivated, increasing your chances of achieving your goals in 2013!
My friends, it’s over to you:
What goals have you set for 2013?
How have you created your goals?
What would you like to achieve in the New Year?
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