Goal Setting – An Introduction
Introduction to Goal Setting.
Getting Started The following practical exercise is designed to help you through the necessary stages of setting your short, medium and long-term goals. Follow each stage carefully. Many of the goals that you write down can and will be fairly personal to you. Do not feel that you necessarily have to discuss the contents of your sheet with anyone else, in fact it can be better not to, as others can inadvertently influence your choices and you will not end up with your true goals (e.g. Someone else may say “Oh! What on earth do you want to do that for?” – “Why would you want one of those?”). Remember, the main beneficiary of this exercise is you. Goal Verses Targets Sometimes there can be some confusion caused by the different terms “Goals” and “Targets”. The purpose, as we have already discussed, of this exercise, is to ascertain your personal direction. Therefore we assume the term “Goal” or “Personal Goal” to describe this. When discussing the levels and achievements of our business activities, we use the term “Targets”. This may seem clear to many, but it is worth clarifying as it is so important to not mix the two up during this procedure. Step one… Using the numbered sheet that is attached and as mentioned before, sitting in a quiet room with no distractions, brainstorm and write down on the sheet as many goals as you can, aim for the full 50. Do not limit yourself in any way, nor in number. Do not feel that anything is too small or unimportant to go on your sheet. Photocopy yourself another sheet if necessary. The goals are to span a time from the present day -10 years. Spend as long as you like doing this, although you should spend at least 30 minutes to do it properly. Think along these lines… What do I want to be? What do I want to have? What would I like to share? What do I want to do? What do I want to see? Where do I want to go?
Goal Setting – An Introduction
Step two… When you have your completed sheet(s), the next step is to decide a time scale for each goal. Without definite dates or times by which you aim to achieve the goals, they become meaningless. You will never achieve them and you will allow things to drift. Be realistic. An unrealistic goal is as bad as no goal. Next to each item in your list mark down whether the goal is to be achieved within/over the next year, three years, five years, or ten years. This is where you begin to form your short, medium and long-term aims. An example of a one-year goal might be to go on holiday in the summer. An example of a three-year goal might be to purchase a new three-piece suite for the living room, five years might be a new car and ten years a new house. What the goals actually are is up to you. These are simple examples to illustrate. These examples could all just as easily be the other way around –one year, new house three years, the furniture, five years the car and 10 years, holidays! They depend on your situation, wants and needs. They should not all be of a materialistic nature, try for a balance. Step three… In fact step three is designed to balance your goals. Carefully choose 4 goals from each of the four time scale categories on your list, so that you have a total of sixteen. E.g. four from the one year goals, four from the three year goals, and so on. These are now your Priority Goals. The ones that are most important to you. You now have a balance of short, medium and long term goals. This step is vital, for instance, if you have only long-term goals, you will not really work towards them, as they as so far off they seem far more unattainable. Like wise, if you have too many short term goals, achieving them may be to straight forward and so you will then sit back on your laurels and do nothing or you may become depressed as you have nothing to look forward to. A classic example of this is the astronauts involved in the first ever Lunar Landing. Landing on the moon was their goal for so long, that after they had achieved it some of them had psychological problems and depression, brought about by the fact that they no longer had any thing as involved to aim for! Step four… The last important step to perform is the most enjoyable! For each of your sixteen Priority Goals, write a short but detailed paragraph all about the item. For example if your goal was a new house, write where it would be, how many rooms it would have how it would be decorated with what features, how big a garden and in what design. In other words visualise your goal exactly and put it down in words. Some people find it useful and fun to collect photographs specifications and details that help them with this. This also serves to positively affirm the goal for them. When you have done this, if you have access to a computer, type up your goals sheet including the descriptions and print it out. Sign and date it to commit yourself to what you have written. Keep a copy at home and on your person to affirm its importance. Review the document regularly, it is your personal Mission Statement! Lastly, enjoy achieving your goals!