Goal setting and personal planning are skills that have to be learned, developed and honed to perfection by repeated use. One common question about goals setting and personal planning is: “Where do I start?”
Start with a finished picture
You might be tempted to start at the beginning – after all it seems logical, and it is good advice in many circumstances. The beginning is you next step, so you set some goals for the next step you want to take.
The problem with goal setting and personal planning is that setting one short term goal at a time does not work. You have to know where you are going before you even think about setting out to get there.
The first thing you need to do is to set aside some time to yourself to really think about what you want. Take a pen and a piece of paper and write down what you really want. It may help you to think about the 5 things that you most want to do in your life.
Now you have a picture of where you want to go. Like all great works of art, you need to add some emotions to the picture. Ask yourself “Why do I really want these things”. Write down your answers. Be honest with yourself, if you really want to make $100,000 to prove yourself to your in-laws, say so.
Choose one dream to achieve
Look at the whats and whys you’ve written down, choose the one objective that you know you really want the most. This is the one to work on.
Start building a picture of what your life is going to be like once you’ve achieved this goal. Be imaginative, engage all your senses and your emotions. This is the dream that you want to achieve.
Set aside some time each day where you can have some time to yourself. It could be before you get up in the morning, it could be at a break in your work, early mornings and late evenings are usually the best. Run your dream through your mind to remind yourself of what it is you want and why you want it.
Now it’s time to set goals and get going
This is an article about goal setting and personal planning right? You’ll be glad to hear that you are now ready to set some goals. Pick out 3-5 steps that you are going to need to take to achieve your number one dream. Write them down together with a date when you are going to achieve them – these are your goals.
The final step that so many people forget is the simplest of the lot. Just get going! Take action. Don’t agonise over the minute details of how you’re going to get there, you can figure that out as you go along. As Mike Litman said “You don't have to get it right, you just have to get it going”
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Kevin John has spent many years helping businesses owners, aspiring business owners, and private individuals to develop the understanding and skills needed to achieve the success that they want.