Setting Goals
8 Things You Must Know

Setting goals doesn't have to be difficult if you keep in mind the following guidelines.

Setting Goals Effectively

1) Write it down. The simple act of writing down your goal is so important because it takes it out of the realm of your thoughts and gives it a concrete physical representation.

You can then compare it with other dreams/goals and create a detailed action plan.

2) Goals are tools. Remember that goals are just tools. A goal is a well-defined target that gives you clarity, direction, motivation, and focus.

The real purpose of a goal is to inspire you to move toward the life that you want. To help you grow into the person you need to be to live that life.

A goal is not an end in and of itself, it is just a means to an end.

3) Make it positive and toward something you want. There are two ways to describe a goal, toward something you want, or away from something you don't want.

You'll sometimes find that it is easier to think about what you don't want rather than what you do want, but it is very important to convert these goals into their positive and "toward" counterparts as you define them.

4) Balance big dreams with small goals. One of the characteristics of high achievers is that they think big.

At the same time, it can feel overwhelming to face a huge dream when you don't even know where to get started.

That's why you need to break down your big dreams into small goals that are more realistic and believable from where you are now.

People assume that big dreams are more motivating than small goals, but small goals that are in the near future can be very motivating, particularly if you can tie them to a larger dream.

5) Your small goals should be SMART. You've probably heard of the SMART acronym for good goal statements.

While this acronym is very useful and valuable, it is applicable mostly to your smaller intermediate goals, rather than your larger distant dreams.

You can learn more about setting smart goals in this article.

6) Use different types of goals. There are three main types of goals: outcome, performance, and process, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

For best results, use the three types of goals. Outcome goals give you direction and a target to aim for, performance goals give you motivation and measurable results, and process goals help you focus on improvement & mastery.

7) Make sure they are your goals. You'll be much more motivated to achieve goals that are truly yours, rather than goals that are imposed on you by someone else like your parents, spouse, or society.

8) Strike the right balance. You want to strike the right balance between setting goals that are too difficult and goals that are too easy for you.

One way to get the right amount of difficulty is to incrementally increase it as you go. This is useful for performance and process goals.

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