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Setting Life Goals Effectively

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					Setting Life Goals Effectively
Setting life goals effectively can ensure that you continue to move
forward in life despite setbacks. With that in mind, here's a challenge
for anyone who has recently lost a job: Instead of letting yourself focus
on all of the negative aspects of job loss, challenge yourself to use
this time as an opportunity to grow.
Determine where you want to go from here and commit to coming out of a
career crisis in a better situation that you were in before you lost your
job. Here are several tips for setting life goals:
Your goals should be positive
State your goals as something you are moving toward, not something you
are moving away from. For example, instead of saying, "I never want to
work for a micromanaging boss again." try, "I value independence, and I
will ensure that my next job allows me to work independently." It's much
more motivating to work toward a positive goal than to allow yourself to
remain focused on past negativity or disappointments.
Ensure that your goal is specific
If your goal is too vague or general, you won't know when you have
actually accomplished your goal. For example, if you goal is, "I will
improve my job searching efforts." how will you know if you have
accomplished that goal? If, on the other hand, you goal becomes, "By
Friday, I will tell five business contacts that I'm job searching and ask
them to pass on any job leads they may know about." Then you have a
specific goal, and you'll be able to measure whether you accomplished it
or not.
Challenge yourself
When you're setting life goals, they should be achievable, but a bit of a
stretch. Avoid setting yourself up for failure with goals that are not
realistic, but at the same time, challenge yourself just a bit. Set goals
that you feel you can achieve but you know you'll have to push yourself a
bit to make it happen.
Consider short term, medium term and long term goals
Remember, goals can be short term (I will call five business contacts by
the end of the week and let them know I'm job searching) medium term (I
will find a rewarding job in my field in the next six months) or long
term (I will be financially independent and able to retire when I'm 60).
Often it's helpful to establish long term goals first. That way, you can
work backwards and ensure that your medium term goals contribute to
achieving your long term goals and your short term goals contribute to
your medium term goals.
This strategic approach to goal setting helps to ensure that you are
actively moving your life in the direction you choose. Seeing the big
picture of achieving your long term goals, can also help you to stay
motivated to achieve your smaller goals because you know they are leading
to something bigger.
Set congruous goals
That just means that if you set several goals, you should ensure that
they are compatible with each other. For example, I recently read a
magazine article in which the author detailed her goals for the coming
year. Her goals (among others) were to lose 15 pounds and to learn to
bake all of the delicious cakes and cookies that her grandmother used to
make.
Now, this author may have more self control than I have, but for me,
losing 15 pounds and becoming and excellent baker are two goals that I
could not work on at the same time. I would be sampling all of my
delicious creations, and the goal of learning to bake like grandma would
completely sabotage the goal to lose 15 pounds.
Once you have determined your goals, review them to ensure that they
support each other. It's counterproductive to set goals that are not
congruous. You'll just be setting yourself up for failure.
Know your values
What are your core values: independence, achievement, security,
recognition, freedom, commitment? When there is a discrepancy between
your job and your values, you run a high risk of career burnout. So, when
you're determining what to do next in your career, consider your values
as you set your career goals.
There is no denying that job loss presents challenges and stresses, but
it's not an insurmountable setback. Setting life goals can help you to
gain the focus you need to move forward in a positive direction. Commit
to yourself and your goals and you can survive and even thrive after a
layoff.
Lisa McGrimmon is a career counselor, author and entrepreneur who has
helped over two thousand clients achieve their career goals. If you'd
like to learn exactly how to manage your career and gain enormous control
over your future, visit Career Choice Guide. For more tips on choosing a
career and effective career goal setting strategies, please visit her
site.

				
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posted:10/12/2010
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