The Golden Rules of Goal Setting
Learn five techniques for setting effective goals
Would you set off on a cross-country trip without a map, a GPS, or even a clear destination in mind? If you did, you might have an interesting adventure. But there's also a good chance you'd wind up somewhere you didn't want to be! This is why it's so important to set goals.
Goals act like a road map for your life. They help you take control, and guide you along your journey so that your experiences are rich, satisfying, and enjoyable.
To accomplish your goals, you need to know how to set them. And there are five golden rules that help you do this.
One of these is to set goals that genuinely motivate you. Try to imagine working day in, day out towards a goal that doesn't excite you very much. It doesn't sound much fun, does it? If something isn't very important to you, chances are you'll give up before you achieve it. When you think about setting a goal, take time to analyze why it's so meaningful to you. If you're not truly excited about it, then it's probably not worth pursuing.
The next rule is to set "SMART goals." There are many variations of what SMART stands for, but in essence, goals should be:
- Time bound.
SMART goals work best because you can evaluate your progress objectively.
Another rule is to put your goals into writing. This physical act makes them tangible and real. They feel important. When you write your goals down, use the words "I will" instead of "I might," or "I would like to." "I will" rings with power and intention. You've set yourself a mission, and you intend to accomplish it.
The fourth golden rule is to make an action plan. By writing out individual steps, and crossing each one off as you complete it, you'll realize the progress you're making towards your ultimate goal. This is especially important if your goal is big and demanding, or will take a long time to accomplish.
The final rule is to stick with it! Remember, goal setting is an ongoing activity – not just a means to an end. Set reminders to keep yourself on track, and make time to review your goals regularly.
To learn more about the golden rules of goal setting, see the article that accompanies this video.