We hear about goals and goal setting all the time but why are we not successful in reaching them?
Most people do not set goals, they just dream about what they want. They set New Year’s resolutions but at the end of the year they generally have not accomplished much. This blog is going to dissect the goal process and provide tools to overcome the problems. Other blogs exist that expand many of these items even further.
Dreaming is not a bad thing. It provides a starting place. So to start goal setting, start writing down all the things you would like to achieve or accomplish. Just write them down, in no particular order on a sheet of paper, in a Word document, or even better, put each on a 3X5 card. You can do this over several days so it does not get boring.
Next arrange them into eight categories: Physical, Mental, Social, Family, Financial, Spiritual, Hobby, and Work or Career. Once in this form, prioritize each of the eight categories. Which area do you feel is most important or necessary for you to do? This exercise gives you a springboard for your goal setting. You can always add to the items or you can take away from them.
Now prioritize the eight areas. Which ones are more important to you than others? This gets a little sticky because we may feel that one particular area always needs to be at the top, but if that area is one you are doing well in, then it can be lower in the list. As an example, Spiritual goals might be considered as one that always has to be on the top, but if you are doing well in this area, you can put others above it. It may be that your financial situation needs lots of attention and you need to work on it.
So at this time you have your eight areas and items under each of the eight areas to consider. Now take your top three areas and prioritize the items that are in each. This ends up with possible goals to consider. You pick the top 4 or 5 to now really focus on, so put an indicator by each of these to guide you for the planning of these goals. You might ask if you could choose others and the answer is that we can generally only focus on three things. During the year, you will make progress on many of the other items just because, so do not worry about planning for everything. That is too much work and ends up being a discouragement.
Now we get to the heavy planning. If this is worth doing, and you really want to succeed, then you need to do some heavy planning for the top 4-5 items you have.
At the end of this blog is a link to a two page Plan of Action form or (Click Here)that will assist in this process.
When you start on a serious goal, you need an accountability system, people who will help and encourage you. Select a few to hold your feet to the fire so you can make progress. As an example, let’s say you are trying to lose weight and you are serious about it. You can select a coach at a gym, have someone to go with you, or enlist others to communicate regularly. You could even give a few regular progress reports to your group or other person. There is a place on the Plan of Action form for you to write their name.
You should identify the obstacles you will encounter and build into your plan steps to overcome them. Doing this in advance is really smart to do and helps you build your confidence in overcoming them.
Every goal needs a deadline or time to complete different steps. Write these on the Plan of Action form and remember that if you miss a goal time frame, you simply revise it. Do not get discouraged about it.
The Plan of Action form is very self-explanatory but there are a few items that can make a very big difference.
1. Affirmations. Telling yourself quotes or phrases that will reinforce your thinking. If you are needing some help, see the www.lftf.org webpage and click on the box “Need Some Inspiration?”
2. Visualization. Get some poster board or use a bulletin board or in some way, get pictures that represent your goals. It could even be a piece of cardboard. Put this “Visualization Board” in a place you look at every day. This is so powerful. The power of the mind is so awesome.
3. Graphs. Making a graph for your most important goal creates a feedback loop for your progress. You will have a tendency to want to make the graph look better, so your progress will improve. Do not question this technique. I have seen unbelievable things happen because of this.
So you spend lots of time on all of this and you have still not accomplished what you want. If so, it is time for an evaluation. Did you pick the right goal? Is the goal realistic? Have you created what is necessary to accomplish it? Do you have too broad of a goal? Can you break it down into smaller goals? Talk to your accountability partner or a trusted advisor and get their input.
Last, pray daily about your goals. Are all of them in alignment? Do they fit your value system?
Good luck as you start your journey and have fun and celebrate each success as it happens.
There are two short videos that relate to goal setting.
The first is one about Kyle Carpenter and how he had to overcome insurmountable obstacles. See it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqaZoeWJ0gk
The second is at www.lftf.org. Click on blog and scroll down to the graphic titled “Survival Run.” This three minute video is an example of the results of planning for goal setting.
Click on the button below to save and/or download the Plan of Action worksheet.