Personal Goal Setting

Video Transcript

Learn how to set effective personal goals.

Do you ever feel that you're lacking direction, or that you're not achieving everything that you could be? If so, you'd probably benefit from setting goals.

A goal is a clearly-defined personal objective – something that you want to achieve within a specific period of time. 

Goals are powerful motivators for developing your career. They improve self-confidence too, because you can use them to measure your achievements.

To start setting goals, brainstorm what you would like to achieve in different areas of your life, such as your career, education, family, or personal finances.

Set your large-scale goals first – these are the ones that you hope to achieve over the next 10 or 15 years. Then break these down into smaller goals, which will move you towards your lifetime goals, when you achieve them. 

Write your goals down too – they'll be no good to you in your head, where you'll likely forget about them. And don't scrimp on the details. If you set precise goals that include dates, times, and amounts, you'll be able to measure your achievement, and get a sense of satisfaction from it.

It's also useful to keep your day-to-day goals small and realistic – otherwise you won't feel that you're making progress.

An effective way to make goals more powerful is to use the SMART mnemonic: S is for Specific; M for Measurable; A for Attainable; R for Relevant; and, T for Time-bound.

Once you've achieved a major goal, give yourself a pat on the back – then review your existing goal plan, and adapt it as you see fit.

Did you achieve that goal too easily? If so, make your next goals harder. Or if the goal took too long to achieve, make your next goals a little easier. 

Keep tweaking your plan as you work on your goals, and as you move towards your vision of your future.

Now, read the article that accompanies this video to learn more about goal setting.

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Comments (12)
  • Over a month ago Midgie wrote
    Hi mabelm,
    Good approach to goal setting! Even with the bigger more challenging goal, if you focus on a smaller one that takes you towards that bigger end goal, that is a more positive way of approaching things! Little by little, people do achieve their goals!

    Midgie
    Mind Tools Team
  • Over a month ago mabelm wrote
    people always set a goal that very difficult ,and then they could not go on .Thought the goal is so beautiful.They can not reach it .Maybe They need to make the next goals a little easier, I think the import thing is that people can persevere.
  • Over a month ago Michele wrote
    Hi ester2016,

    You make a good point about setting personal goals. It is true, your personal goal may change as new opportunities come your way or when you discover that what you originally had planned for yourself has shifted. Still, it is important to have a vision of who and what you want to become. If you create interim goals along the path, you will continue to grow and develop.

    Michele
    Mind Tools Team
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