Goal-setting is powerful because it provides focus. It gives us the ability to hone in on the exact actions we need to perform to achieve everything we desire in life. Setting goals provides long-term vision in our lives. Fortunately, the more powerful our goals are, the more we’ll be able to act on and guarantee that they will actually come to pass.
Here’s a closer look at practical goal-setting and how you can make it meaningful:
1. Evaluate and reflect.
The only way we can reasonably decide what we want in the future and how we’ll get there is to know where we are right now and what our current level of satisfaction is. So first, take some time to think through and write down your current situation; then ask this question on each key point: Is that OK or do I want more? Or less?
2. Define your dreams and goals.
One of the amazing things we have been given as humans is the unquenchable desire to have dreams of a better life and the ability to establish and set goals to live out those dreams. We can dream of better financial, emotional, spiritual or physical lives. We have also been given the ability to not only dream, but pursue those dreams—and not just pursue them, but the cognitive ability to lay out a plan to achieve those dreams. Next, prioritize those dreams. Which are most important? Which are most feasible? Which would you love to do the most? Put them in the order in which you will actually try to attain them..
3. Make your goals S.M.A.R.T.
The acronym S.M.A.R.T. means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-sensitive.
Goals are no place to be vague. Ambiguous goals produce ambiguous results. Incomplete goals produce incomplete futures.
Always set goals that are measurable.
One of the detrimental things that many people do—with good intentions—is setting goals that are so high that they are unattainable.
The root word of realistic is “real.” A goal has to be something that we can reasonably make “real” or a “reality” in our lives. There are some goals that are simply not realistic.
Every goal should have a timeframe attached to it. One of the powerful aspects of a great goal is that it has an end—a time in which you are shooting to accomplish it.
4. Have accountability.
When someone knows what your goals are, they hold you accountable by asking you to “give an account” of where you are in the process of achieving that goal. Accountability puts some teeth into the process. If a goal is set and only one person knows it, does it really have any power? Many times, no. A goal isn’t as powerful if you don’t have one or more people who can hold you accountable to it.
(Original article by Jim Rohn published in Success)