What is the difference between a dream and a goal? A dream is fanciful and vague, while a goal is concrete and measurable. Despite the differences, if you do not properly prepare for personal goal setting, your goals can easily become just faded dreams.
In order to succeed in establishing a purpose and direction for our lives, we need to do more then simply have vague ideas in our head or scribble down some random ideas on a piece of paper. Goals need to be complete and focused, much like a dedicated route on a map. In planning for your journey in personal goal setting, there are some important preparations that need to be made in order to help you accurately follow the route, recognize milestones and ultimately, reach the final destination you most sincerely desire.
There are several critical steps you should consider before actually setting your goals that will help you to stay on track and motivated through the entire process of setting and attaining your personal goals:
1. Make sure the goals you establish are what you really want – not just something that sounds good or something someone else wants for you.
When setting goals it is very important to remember that your goals must be consistent with your values. Knowing and explicitly understanding your core values will go a long way in helping you to know what it is you really want from life, as well as realizing your own potential.
2. Understand that goals are not mutually exclusive.
Develop goals in several different areas of your life, but understand you are an integrated person – and as such, you goals should be integrated and aligned as well. Some key areas to consider: Family, Friendship, Financial, Professional, Spiritual, Ethical, Health & Fitness, Leisure and Personal Growth & Development. Setting separate, but aligned, goals in various areas of life will focus you on living a balanced life.
3. Think about goals in a positive frame.
Work for what you want, not for what you want to leave behind. A significant reason we need to write down and examine our goals is to help move our motivations from the subconscious to the conscious. Expressing our goals in a forward, positive frame positively influences overall outlooks and promotes personal growth.
4. As you consider your goals, don’t hold back.
In order to reach your potential in life, you need to dream and then make it real by transforming those dreams into goals. Make your goals BIG. Your goals should challenge you. Easy, small goals are not motivating (we are not discounting milestones to a bigger goal) – but big scary goals are. If your goals don’t excite and scare you at the same time, you’re probably aiming too low. You are far more likely to hit what you are aiming for if you have a designated target – so you might as well aim high. Decide what you would do if you knew you could not fail – dream, fantasize, use your creative imagination to facilitate your goals … Make them worthwhile, make them impressive – make them mean something to you!
5. Consider goals that fire your emotions
One of the biggest success drivers for goal attainment is choosing emotionally charged goals that focus, motivate and empower you to keep your eyes fixed on the prize – regardless of circumstance – without ever faltering… The reality is that some days will be better than others. Sometimes you just won’t feel like making the effort you need to attain your goal. It is the big ‘why’ that will keep you going on those not so good days. Understanding the reasons for specific goals adds emotion and commitment to the process. The bigger the reason, the greater the motivation. More about this next week…
As you can see, much more should go into effective goal setting than simply picking goals and systematically working toward them – although that, of course, is a key component to goal attainment! Over the next few weeks, we will be discussing some guidelines and methodologies for personal goal setting, as well as the process and maintenance plan behind achieving your goals. I hope this initial step has been helpful and given you some motivation to think about your personal goals and creating a plan to achieve them!
Are you prepared for your journey toward personal goal fulfillment?
I would love for you to engage the discussion and let us know what you think is important in preparing to create your personal goals. Please feel free to contact me at Sheri.Mackey@LuminosityGlobal.com or by visiting our website at www.LuminosityGlobal.com. Check back next week for the next installment of Leadership Across Boundaries and Borders.