Setting goals can be a powerful ritual for you in terms of self-esteem and professional development. I think the overall purpose of achieving goals is what achieving the goal will make of you as a total person.
Goal-setting also provides focus, shapes our future and gives us the clarity to hone in on the exact actions we need to take to get the outcomes we truly desire. Goals are exciting because they provide focus for our lives and careers. They cause us to stretch and grow in new ways that we haven’t in the past. Goals cause us to change some things about ourselves for the better in order to accomplish things we may have previously thought not possible. They cause us to change and to grow.
That being said, here are three powerful components you might consider as you set your goals.
The goal needs to inspire you. Some people will be inspired simply by making a decision to set a goal. But, once we get to the third component, action, you are going to need the goal to provide you with inspiration, energy and some excitement. Building in inspiration helps you create the needed energy to take action. It works so much better than carrots and sticks, otherwise known as rewards and punishments. You can find inspired through other people you know or have heard about. You may be inspired by being “the first” to accomplish something or being the first one in your company or first one in your peer group or the first one in your family. I have heard so many people say “I’m the first college graduate in my family” and I bet you have also. Other things that can inspire you are quotes, books, articles, stories or songs. The source of your inspiration for your goal is not as important as it’s ability to inspire and create energy within you. Where is this goal taking you if you successfully execute it?
It’s true that human beings have the potential to achieve almost anything. At the same time, when setting your goals, you want to make sure you start at least within the realm of believability. Your goal needs to align with the beliefs your already possess. For instance, if you set a goal of losing 200 pounds, but deep inside you, your belief system doesn’t really support that goal, you’ll never make it. For this reason, it’s important to run your goals through your current set of beliefs and make sure you truly believe you can achieve it. For the example I gave about weight loss, perhaps you start with 10 pounds and then check your beliefs, if that seems doable, go to 20. If that seems doable, go to 30. The moment you start to pause or hesitate, you are reaching the limits of your beliefs. Your goal can be just a tad under that point or just a tad over it, depending on your pain tolerance and energy level. Above all, make your goals believable to yourself. When setting your goals, can you find the belief in yourself that you have the ability to accomplish them?
When setting your goal, you are going to need to think about the actions you will need to take in order to meet the goal. Sometimes, people set goals without thinking through exactly what can get them started on the path of hitting the goal. You don’t have to think through ALL the steps to the end, but you at least need to know the first few. Momentum creates momentum. If you can get going as soon as possible and create the initial forces necessary to get you headed in the right direction, then you can accumulate some wins to push you forward to victory!
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