Goal Setting for Success

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Sometimes in life we feel like we’re at a stand still. We’re going nowhere or we find we haven’t gotten to the place we thought we’d be at this stage of the game. We may want to make a change, but we’re not sure how. The first step to success is to set goals and to take action toward achieving them. When you have concrete goals to work toward, you’ll find you’re no longer spinning your wheels and will be more likely to make lasting changes in your life.

Be Specific

Sit down and brainstorm some changes you’d like to make in your life. Would you like to start your own business? Well, you can’t simply say, “I will start my own business.” This is too vague. You’ll need to identify the kind of business you want, who will buy your product or use your services, how you will get started, when you will implement your plan, who will help you, etcetera.

You’ll also need to be sure your goals can be measured. How many clients will you need to be successful? How much money will it take to get started? What will your profit margin need to be in the first year? This may seem overwhelming at first, but the more you can identify, the clearer your goals will be. With clarity comes greater chance of success.

Get Real

Be realistic in your goals. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to think small. It simply means that it’s important to set goals that are attainable given your individual circumstances and resources. You may need to be creative to come up with ways to get the resources you need. Just be sure you’re not setting your goals too high. Sometimes people set goals that are beyond their reach as a means of self-sabotage. It’s a common defense mechanism based in fear.

Break It Down

Decide when you want to achieve your goal. Better yet, break your ultimate goal down into short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals. This will help you to keep things in perspective and to celebrate small achievements along the way. In addition, you’ll want to be sure your goal is timely and relevant to your current life. If your goal is not congruent to what’s going on at the time, you’ll easily lose interest.

Goal setting doesn’t have to be a chore. It can be a very inspiring process, as long as you structure the process in a way that has meaning. Write down your goal setting strategy and take time to evaluate each step along the way.

Do you have any goal setting tips? What’s worked for you?


Great advice! Do you have any suggestions on books that talk specifically about goal setting and offer several examples?

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