Personal Goal Setting - some guidance
Personal goal setting is very important because it acts like a set of destinations for our lives. In many respects, it gives us something to shoot for, something to focus our activities on, and a way to measure our progress.
You've heard the phrase, "You've arrived!" or "When is it you'll feel like you've arrived?" These are a way of expressing achievement of goals - arrival at a destination.
A common trait among low achievers and individuals who often find themselves in trouble is a lack of goals. They are often aimless and focused on making it from one day to the next. And they do just that - make it from one day to the next. In a way, these people don't have much to live for simply because they have very low expectations of themselves, if they have any at all.
Sure, they'll blame their lack of success on external factors and say things like:
- There's nothing going on here.
- It's a one horse town.
- There aren't any jobs to be had.
- This place is dead.
- Here they roll up the sidewalks at night.
- Their idea of fun around here is watching paint dry.
But, if the truth were known, the factor that holds them back time and again is themselves and their refusal to engage in personal goal setting. After all, having a goal means you have to work at it, and some folks seem to be allergic to work. I admit, it can be hard - that's why it's called work.
Personal goal setting also means there is a chance of failure, and failure means losing, looking bad, being embarrassed, suffering humiliation, and other dreaded things. Many people don't recognize that those who set goals and try to achieve them are often looked up to and admired.
When you engage in personal goal setting, and truly try to achieve them, you might succeed. And, that's just about as bad a failure to some people. When you succeed, what will you do next for an encore? When you're on top, the only place left to go is down. What if you're a one trick pony? Isn't it better just to sit quietly on the sidelines and hope no one notices?
No, it's not. The better approach is to establish reasonably achievable goals, figure out how best to achieve them, and then sequence your activities so you're putting the pieces together in some fashion that will make sense.
Let's look at some personal goals that are reasonable and achievable by most individuals. These are general and long term goals.
- Live debt free and retire early.
- Become self employed and earn a substantial income.
- Accumulate one million dollars in assets.
How about a look at enabling objectives. In other words, the smaller steps that help lead to successful achievement of the general goal.
- employment and career
- reliable transportation
- education and training
- supportive relationships
Now, let's put these enabling objectives together in a sequence to show how personal goal setting can help us achieve success.
Either way, your life will change, and sometimes change can be challenging and a bit scary. So, the cowards stay put and the brave press on to achieve, guided by their goals.
The key to personal goal setting is to start with some reasonable goals and then establish smaller objectives along the way so progress will involve small successes which in encouraging, and then achievement of longer term goals which is very satisfying.