Successful People Know How To Set Goals, Do You?

By Darrin Wiggins

     Everyone has their own idea on how to set goals for their personal success but they are not always the most effective. Some people are holding back their progress by not ensuring all the elements of a great goal are present when planning their goals. It takes more than just grabbing some paper and writing down some ideas. That is just the beginning. In order to live the life of your dreams you need to ensure they have these six components.

     Do you know the difference between a goal that feels satisfying and one that feels empty upon accomplishment? It is the motivation that made that goal happen. The goals that provide the highest level of satisfaction all come from a thing called intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is the internal motivation you get when you create goals based on your own personal needs and desires, not those of external influences. Basically if a goal feels forced upon you, your chances of success diminish greatly. This motivation explains why some heart attack victims change their lives post heart attack and some don't. A doctor telling you to do something is much different than you believing you should do it.

     Setting goals that are vague will not allow you to properly plan out the steps you need to take to achieve that goal. A specific goal will have answered all the questions of why you want it, how you will get it and what is needed to succeed among many others. If you can't articulate how you are going to accomplish a goal when someone asks you then you need to get more specific with your goal. People set goals like being wealthy, healthy and wise but without defining what it actually means to be those things you will never reach them.

     To know when you have achieved a goal it needs to be measurable. Losing some weight is not a specific enough goal to let you know whether you are progressing or not. Saying you want to lose 25 pounds gives you a tangible measurement and can help you in adjusting the steps you need to take to reach your goal. Once you fully understand what exactly it is that you want to achieve, planning your goals becomes much easier and more efficient.

     Are you the person you need to be right now to be able to attain your goals? There will always be the need for personal growth when we are pursuing our goals. Take the time to research whether or not you currently have the skills, talents and strengths needed to achieve your dreams. You can't get to where you want to go without knowing where you are starting from. By doing this it will also allow you to accurately determine the time frame it will take to reach your goal. If you need 4 years of schooling then do not set the goal for two years.

     When setting goals you always want to practice limitless thinking with a hint of realism. There are certain limitations you need to be honest with yourself about when setting goals. Goals that conflict with your personal values or highest priorities in your life are not going to be realistic goals no matter how you word them. You will not pursue them with the passion and dedication needed because they will not make you feel good inside. Becoming a lawyer may be attainable but if it means you are going to sacrifice your core values to do it then it is not realistic.

     You are setting yourself up for underachievement if you do not put the pressure on to accomplish goals in a timely fashion. The flip side though is you set yourself up to fail by setting goals within an unrealistic time frame. This is a balancing act and is crucial in the planning of your goals. Research every facet of your goal to know exactly what it will take to reach it and also how long each step of the way will take. Then commit yourself to a time frame that scares you a little and makes you know that there will need to be daily action taken to achieve it.

     Discovering how to set goals that are powerful and mean something to you is not without its trial and error periods. Goal setting is that skill no one taught you when you were young and it can be more difficult to learn something new when you are an adult. I promise you that with dedication and perseverance you will find the path that leads you to all your deepest desires.

About the Author: