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10 Goal Setting Tips

Part 1: Goal Setting for Achievement Instead of Disappointment


"I'm going to lose twenty pounds." "I'm going to sell a lot more this year." "I'm going to live a healthier lifestyle."

If you're setting goals like these, you might as well be writing them on little slips of paper and tossing them into the fireplace. This kind of goal setting is good for a little amusement on New Year's Eve, but not much else. It's goal setting for disappointment, not for achievement.

You see, goal setting isn't just an exercise that you can finish in five minutes; goal setting is a process, a route to achievement. Learn how to set goals that you can and will actually achieve with these goal setting tips.

1) Choose goals that are worthwhile.

You would think it would go without saying but lots of people set meaningless goals - and then wonder why they don't feel any sense of achievement. Remember that the purpose of goal setting is to move us forward and spur positive change. If a goal doesn't have this motivating, transformational quality, don’t bother with it. You'll just be disappointed.

2) Choose goals that are achievable stretches.

The fact that goals have to be achievable is standard goal setting advice. Pretty well everyone knows that there's no point in setting a goal that you will never be able to accomplish. All you'll do is get frustrated and abandon it. Less well known is the fact that goals need to stretch you in some fashion. If a goal isn't engaging, you'll get bored and abandon it. (See 3 Rules for Setting Business Goals for more on this.)

3) Make your goals specific.

The big problem with the sample goals I've used to open this article is that they're vague. To decide that you're going to lose twenty pounds, for instance, is nice, but provides you with no guidance for doing that. Think how much easier it would be to accomplish this goal if you knew exactly what you were going to do to lose the weight. So when you're goal setting, use a goal setting formula that gives your goal a built-in action plan. You'll start accomplishing more than you thought possible.

4) Commit to your goals.

You need to dedicate yourself to accomplish the goal you have chosen. That's why writing your goals down is a common goal setting tip; it's the first step to committing to achieving your goals. But you also have to realize that accomplishing a goal is not an overnight process and that you are going to have to work regularly at transforming your goal into an accomplishment. And you have to set aside the time you will need to work on your goal.

5) Make your goal public.

Making your goal public is a goal setting technique that is really effective for many people. Think of organizations such as TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) and their weekly weigh ins. Knowing that others are going to be monitoring your results ensures commitment to the goal and is extremely motivating. You don't have to join an organization or broadcast your goal on a Facebook page to make your goal public; having a goal buddy, a single person interested in your efforts, can be just as effective.

Continue on to the next page to read five more goal setting tips...

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