How to Create Empowering Goals, part 2
Search within Yourself
Set goals that are right for you and what you truly want out of life. If you are setting goals that are against your values and who you are as a person, you are unlikely to finish them or feel happy while doing it.
Believe it or not, it is easy to get into other people’s goals and think it’s what you want yourself to make them happy. If you find yourself struggling to accomplish something, take a step back to see if it's genuinely what you want out of life before moving forward.
Write Them Down
This might sound a bit obvious and silly, but when you write something down, you are telling yourself that it is vital to you. Writing it down creates a visualization of the goal in your mind. Once you visualize something, your brain sees it as more attractive and therefore makes the desire to get it done, especially when the steps have been written down clearly.
Set Daily Goals
Practice daily goal setting by waking up each morning and setting five to ten small goals each day based on your bigger goals. For example, if losing 30 pounds is a goal for you, set actions within the goal, like eating a salad before each meal, so you get full from nutrient-rich food and eat fewer calories.
The goals can change as your life goes on, which is essential. This practice alone will exercise your brain into knowing what you want. As these goals truly change to your interests, they will become more empowering and achievable to you.
Create a Vision Board
A vision board is a collection of pictures, words, and/or stories that help you visualize what you want out of your life. Creating a vision board puts your goals into your imagination in a realistic way that you can truly see happening.
The vision board creates a visible image in your mind that makes you desire that goal more. This vision board prevents you from forgetting about the goal because you will be forced to see it every day when you look at your calendar. Not only that, but you will also have the memory of putting it together. Taking time out of your day to create something puts yet another layer of desire, giving you more motivation.
Believe It Can Happen
If you ask any professional athlete or successful person, the number one advice they’d likely give is to visualize your success or, in other words, “fake it until you make it.” This is because the feeling of already achieving what you want out of life gives you the confidence and determination to keep going and therefore accomplish the goal. The more you want something and believe it can happen, the harder you’ll work at achieving it.
Focus on Your Progress
Create a system that allows you to track your progress. Again, this is another tool to enable you to visualize your goals more. The more you can imagine your future and the success you are working toward now, the more you will want to continue.
No discussion about goal setting can leave out the example of George T. Doran, a consultant and former director of corporate planning for the Washington Water Power Company, who published a paper on the idea surrounding the acronym SMART for goal setting.
Creating SMART goals ensures that any goal you set has a higher chance of being seen to fruition. Let’s go over quickly what the acronym means. Use this every time you set a goal to ensure that there is a path to success created for you from the process.
Specific: Goals need to be specific
Who, what, when, where, and why do you want to accomplish this goal? The more transparent the intention, the more apparent the plan to achieving the goal. Instead of saying, “I want to start a YouTube channel,” get more specific about what the channel is about and when you want to start publishing.
Measurable: Goals need a way to be measured
What will you use to determine that this goal has been accomplished to make the goal more tangible and measure progress?
This might be as simple as yes or no, or a number. For example, if you want to lose weight, you know the number you want to lose. Instead of saying, “I want to lose ten pounds,” you might say, “I want to lose ten pounds in five weeks starting on November 1st. I’ll lose weight by walking 30 minutes a day at the park and eating nutrient-dense food with at least 1500 calories per day.
The idea is to make sure that whatever you are using to measure it will accurately reflect success to provide motivation. From the earlier example, if you only lost five pounds out of the ten, you have now estimated how far you have come along and can see how much longer you must go.
Achievable/ Attainable and Actionable: Your goal needs to include how and be attainable
What do you need to do to able to do the goal? Do you need to acquire more skills or more time for it to be achievable? Maybe one of your goals is to receive a promotion at work in two years but to accomplish this goal you’ll need to acquire a certificate or, in other words, obtain more skills first to be prosperous. Just add that step to your goal to make it happen.
Relevant and Realistic: Your goal can’t be pie in the sky or have nothing to do with your life
Is the goal relevant to what you need right now? If you’re a 42-year-old with severe arthritis, it’s not realistic to say you’re going to climb Mount Everest, but you may be able to do something else smaller.
Is the effort worth the value you will receive in the end? To know if you are truly working on the most relevant goals, order them from the most valuable reward to the least. Then you can see which goal on top should be the one you work towards the most.
Timely and Time-Bound: Is your goal time-bound?
Your goal must be time-bound because if there is no set time or date of completion, chances are you won’t get it done. Setting a time and date provides an incentive to keep going and provides a way to measure.
The time factor also helps with planning. From the weight-loss example earlier, if you know you want to lose ten pounds in ten weeks, then you can break that down into a more natural, more attainable goal of one pound a week. That alone will make it seem more manageable, and due to that will provide you with more willpower to get it done since the changes in your life will be relatively small.
SMART goals are beneficial for most people, no matter if they’re goal setting for life or business. Goal setting that is done this way will produce much better results for you throughout your entire life.
Strategic Planning and Prioritizing
Setting goals requires strategic planning and prioritizing. If you just write down a bunch of goals without any real thought or plan of action, it may take a while to accomplish them, or unfortunately, you may not accomplish them at all. It is easy to forget without an actual plan, but a real system is essential to your success.
Set a Personal Goal
What do you want, and why do you want it? Take time to visualize why you want to accomplish this goal. Is there a real meaning behind it? Is the meaning behind it truly worth your time and energy? Is the why about you or someone else?
To prioritize your time and plan to achieve your goals, you must be honest with yourself and figure out the why to these goals as well – this is how you will know the next steps for every goal that you set.
Break It Down
Determine the steps necessary to make it happen. Break down this big goal into baby steps or small daily goals that will ultimately allow you to achieve the big, hairy goal.
For example, if you want to complete a triathlon in a couple of months, what would you need to do? How would you break down your daily schedule to ensure you have the training and skills to succeed at completing the triathlon?
Most likely, you will schedule in good sleep and eating habits, while also creating daily tasks that will increase your swimming, running, and biking times slowly but surely during the training period.
Determine the necessary habits to achieve your goal. Setting habits will make achieving your ultimate goals easier. What can you do every day so that one day you will do it without thinking? That’s the power of habits. Just like you can have a bad habit, you can also create good habits.
Maybe your goal requires you to get in eight hours of sleep each night, or you want to meditate each night before bed. Whatever it may be, there are little things you can set to make it easier. You just need to be a bit creative and be willing to turn everything you want to do into a habit.
Map Out the Process
Be specific in how you will take each step and create each new habit. Determine what obstacles might get in your way and figure out the solutions to these obstacles. Identify which steps are a priority and which are secondary. Document steps, deadlines, and the success of each as you go along.
Create Your Daily Plan
Set out the specific actions you need to take every day to reach your goals. Each day before you start your day, create a daily plan of action. Remember, even very small daily tasks can make a huge difference. Want to get more steps in every day? Set the intention and put it in your schedule.
This way, you have a visualized plan of action and know what you need to do each day before it even starts. There may be some roadblocks along the way, but at least you have a roadmap to guide yourself back to the right path if needed.
Only you hold the key to unlocking your full potential, setting proper goals can help get you there. While this may seem overwhelming and easier said than done, it is as easy as plotting your realistic course and following it. Eventually, achieving your goals will seem second nature to you.
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