Updated: Nov 12, 2020
Planning to Live Your Life Your Way
Many people feel as if they're adrift in the world. They work hard, but they don't seem to get anywhere worthwhile. A key reason that they feel this way is that they haven't spent enough time thinking about what they want from life and haven't set themselves formal goals. After all, would you set out on a major journey with no real idea of your destination? Probably not!
Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn your vision of this future into reality. The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life. By knowing what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts. You'll also quickly spot the distractions that can, so easily, lead you astray.
Setting Lifetime Goals
The first step in setting personal goals is to consider what you want to achieve in your lifetime (or at least, by a significant and distant age in the future). Setting lifetime goals gives you the overall perspective that shapes all other aspects of your decision making.
To give a broad, balanced coverage of all important areas in your life, try to set goals in some of the following categories (or in other categories of your own, where these are important to you):
1. Family and Friends
2. Significant Other
6. Home Environment
7. Fun & Leisure
8. Personal Growth
9. Other categories to add could include "Security", "Service", "Leadership", "Achievement" or "Community".
Spend some time brainstorming your aspirations, and then select one or more aspirations in each category that best reflect what you want to do. Then consider trimming again so that you have a small number of really significant goals that you can focus on.
As you do this, make sure that the goals that you have set are ones that you genuinely want to achieve, not ones that your parents, family, or employers might want.
For example, instead of having "to sail around the world" as a goal, it's more powerful to use the SMART goal "To have completed my sailing trip around the world by December 31, 2027." Obviously, this will only be attainable if a lot of resourcing/preparation has been completed beforehand!
GREAT Goals are:
a) Outcome focused: Once you understand your WHY (and it's an enthusiastic WHY) you're 90% there!
b) In line with your values: The more a goal aligns with your inner or core values - the EASIER it will be to achieve. NOTE: We can achieve goals that don't align with our values but it's harder to do and less satisfying.
c) Stated in the positive: ie. "I want healthy fingernails" rather than "I want to stop biting my nails"
Specific (so you know exactly what you're trying to achieve)
Measurable (so you know when you've achieved it!)
Action-oriented (so you can DO something about it!)
Resourced (so it IS achievable) and
Time-Bound (has a deadline)
Focusing on the Outcome:
1. What is it that you really, REALLY want? Dig deep…
2. What is the SPECIFIC outcome you're looking for?
3. What is the PAIN for you of NOT achieving your goal?
Aligning with your Values:
4. Is this goal in line with your life vision/overall life-plan? (Don't know - what does your gut tell you?)
5. Is this goal in line with your values? (Unsure? Ask yourself what’s REALLY important to you in life - will this goal help you achieve more of that?)
6. Are the goals something YOU truly want, or are they something you think you SHOULD have or SHOULD be doing? (Tip: If it is a SHOULD, it may be someone else's dream…)
7. When you think about your goal does it give you a sense of deep contentment or 'rightness', happiness and/or excitement? (If so, these are good signs that it’s a healthy goal.)
8. If you could have the goal RIGHT NOW – would you take it? (If not, why not? What issues are there?)
9. How does this goal fit into your life/lifestyle? (Time/effort/commitments/who else might be impacted?)
10. Can YOU start & maintain this goal/outcome? (ie. Do you have complete control over achieving it?)
11. How will making this change affect other aspects of your life? (ie. What else might you need to deal with?)
12.What's good about your CURRENT SITUATION? (ie. What's the benefit of staying right where you are?) Then ask, how can I keep those good aspects while STILL making this change?
13. WHAT might you have to give up/stop doing to achieve this goal? (Essentially, what’s the price of making this change – and are you willing to pay it?)
14. If there was something important around achieving this goal (to help you succeed, or that could get in the way) that you haven't mentioned yet, what would it be?
15. WHO will you have to BE to achieve this goal?
16. Is your goal the right size to be working on? Too big? Break down into smaller goals. Too small? Fit into a larger goal.
17. What would be the MINIMUM/Super-Easy level of goal to achieve?
18. What would be your TARGET level of goal to achieve?
19. What would be your EXTRAORDINARY level of goal to achieve?
Resources - get moving:
20. What RESOURCES do you already have to help you achieve your goal? Make a list! (eg. things, support from people, contacts, personal qualities, knowledge, skills, money, time etc).
21.What RESOURCES do you NEED to help you achieve your goal? Make a list!
IMPORTANT: REMEMBER – GOALS are there to INSPIRE YOU not to beat yourself up with!
Tracey McConnell | Creative Capacities | Tracey@CreativeCapacitiesLLC.com | https://www.CreativeCapacitiesLLC.com | (928) 925-4020