How to set goals

I started writing a series of articles on small goal setting and making todo lists, but I realized many of us have no idea how to set goals. There are a lot of things in life that we are expected to do but no one showed us how to do it. Goal setting is one of these. I didn’t even realize how much I had to learn about goal setting until I read this article from Psychology Today by Dr. Will Meek Ph.D.

Doc Meek sites John Norcross is a researcher that has been studying goals and change for many years, and defines a goal as a) identifying something that you want and b) are willing to stick with a course of action to achieve. Doc says

This is different from a “value,” because a value is something we find important, but does not have a specific course that we are committed to. For example, you can value being healthy and make some choices that are in line with that, but a goal related to health would be to “lose 10 pounds by December 31st.”

To start with he has some questions to ask yourself about your life:

In the big picture, what do you hope to experience and accomplish? In what ways do you want to improve your mental and physical health? What bad habits do you want to change? What relationships patterns do you want to improve? What skills do you want to learn? What other things have you been thinking about changing?

Wow those are some heavy and necessary questions. Your answers may change as your expectations and experience grow. Make sure the answers are first about you and not someone else. Then make sure they are realistic, achievable, worded positively, and lastly make sure that they are specific. Wanting to be “happier” or “a better person” is great but hard to achieve because of how vague they are.

Now that you have your goals you need an Action Plan!

You have your goal statements but now what are you going to do with them:

1.You need a way to measure them

2.set a time frame you want to achieve the goal in

3.list what you are already doing that is already on that path

4.what are the next logical steps to achive your goal

5.what new skills or information do you need to achieve your goals

6.where can you get support?

One place you can get support is right here! Click here to see membership options. Members will be getting some follow up information on The Art and Science of Making Todo Lists and Eating an Elephant One bite at a time: The Power of setting small goals.

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