Successful Goal Setting

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Do you make New Years Resolutions?

I prefer not to, but I do find that a new year brings on feelings of a fresh start and is a good time to set new goals. Both personal and professional goals can be made using a few simple strategies in order to achieve success. Have you ever set a goal and found yourself struggling to achieve it, resulting in feelings of failure? If you said yes, you are not the only one. Many people set goals that are not appropriate for them and are unachievable, leading to failure. Follow my 6 simple steps outlined below and you’ll be on your way towards successfully achieving your goals!

1. Relevance
Set goals relevant to you and the current time in your life. Take time to think about what you really want to achieve. Is this really what YOU want to achieve? Do you see yourself following through with this goal? Or is this something that others want you to achieve or that society is telling you to achieve? Sometimes we need to spend some time thinking our goals through to really determine what those goals look like and if we are willing to commit ourselves to achieving this goal. Finally make sure your goal motivates you enough that you are excited to work towards achieving it.

2. Specific
Now you want to make sure to set specific, clear and concise goals. You want to be sure you know when you have achieved this goal. If your goal is vague and generalized then spend some time clarifying that goal, which may include developing several smaller, more specific goals that clearly define your ultimate goal.

3. Measurable
Ensure your goals are measurable. You want your goals to be precise, increasing or decreasing something by a specific numerical value or percentage. Also include time lines and dates to define when you want your goals achieved.

4. Attainable
Make sure your goals are attainable. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Set up goals so you can be successful, but at the same time ensure that they are motivating and challenge you, these goals bring the greatest rewards.

5. Action Plan
Now make an action plan. Set up small, short-term, well-defined goals that lead up to your ultimate goal. Now put a timeline in place with both short-term and long-term goals in order to motivate you to start now. When goals are too big or too far away from being achieved you will not know where to start and get discouraged. Be sure to define a clear pathway to get you to your goals!

6. Rewards
Make up a reward system for yourself for achieving your goals. Even the small goals should be rewarded. This can be as simple as making a chart that you put a star on when goals are achieved. A visual rewards chart helps to keep you motivated and reminds you of what you have already achieved. These rewards don’t have to be of a financial value and should not reinforce any negative behavior, ex. if your goal is to quit drinking coffee, do not reward yourself with a cup of coffee, instead choose your reward to be a nice quality tea you enjoy. Many people reward themselves with the behavior they are trying to reform, like rewarding themselves with a treat when they are trying to lose weight. Make sure to use a positive reinforcement as your reward, one that keeps you on track to achieving your ultimate goal.

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