Secrets to Setting Goals
Setting goals is important.
When we have a goal we are motivated to work toward something, to strive and move forward and not be stagnate. We also celebrate the victory of accomplishment when we achieve what we have set out to do. Celebrating a victory is a great feeling, isn’t it?
Sometimes we get so caught up in the day to day tasks of life that we forget to set goals. We forget the joy of working toward a larger goal when we are busy with crucial things like taking care of our kids, laundry, meals, chores around the house, and breaking up sibling squabbles. Big goals seem like a luxury now.
Would you like to add that luxury back into your life?
Think of a goal as a seed. A seed is usually a tiny thing, but it has tremendous potential if handled correctly.
Key elements in creating achievable goals
1. Know what is most important to you.
Before you even set a goal it is important to identify what you value and what is important to you.
When we have goals that align with our values and with what is important to us, we work harder and are more consistent in our efforts to achieve them. When our goals do not align with what we value or with what is important to us, we are not very motivated to work to achieve them. We will find it easy to make excuses for why we are not working to bring them into reality.
For example, if you value having time together as a family, setting a goal of sitting down as a family each night for dinner aligns with that value. You will be motivated to keep this goal since it relates to something that is important to you.
2. What is your why?
Figure out your why. Why do you want to create this goal? Why do you want to achieve it? Is your reason big enough to pull you through the times when you feel unmotivated and want to quit? What will your life be like when you have achieved it?
Sometimes the why is all I have when the end of my goal seems far away. I imagine the results I will have when I achieve my goal, even if I do not want to work on it right now. I consider the reasons why I am working to achieve my goal and these reasons push me forward.
Having a big why is especially important for the times when we do not see progress, when we feel like we are spinning our wheels and wonder if we will ever get there. Having a big why keeps us motivated and focused.
Put up a picture.
Put up a picture representing your goal where you can see it every day. If your why is your family, put up a picture of your family. If the accomplishment of your goal motivates you (like being debt free, having a decorated room, or going on a family trip), put up pictures representing what the accomplishment of your goal will look like.
If there is a particular place where you work on tasks related to your goal, place the pictures there so you have that why right or that result in front of you.
3. Create meaningful goals.
The next key is to create those goals.
Is there something you have always wanted to do? Have you felt God tugging on your heart to do something in particular? Spend some time praying and thinking about goals. Write your thoughts down. Give yourself time to let them sit for a day or two and then go back and review what you wrote.
If you are going to set worthwhile goals that you really want to accomplish, make sure you spend the time on this step.
Think of our seed/goal analogy. Picking the right seeds is important. If you want tomatoes, you will not plant cantaloupe seeds. Choose goals that are meaningful to you and ones that line up with the results you want.
4. Write down your goals.
Write your goal down. If you have more than one goal, write them all down. You can begin to work on one at a time or many at a time, it depends on you. Having your goals written down is the first step in making them become a reality.
Pulling it all together.
In setting goals that we will actually work to achieve, instead of merely wish for, remember the key factors: Know what is most important to you, determine your why, create meaningful goals, and write down your goals.
Remember that little seed. All these steps are ways to help us choose our goals wisely, plant and nurture our goals, and finally harvest the fruits of our goals. It takes time and persistence, but the rewards are worth it!
What goals will you choose?
You can read about achieving goals in the post, “Secrets to Achieving Goals.”