Goal Setting: 5 Simple Steps

Jeff Herring

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One of the things that frustrated me while in school was that most of the psychology books specialized in complicating things. It's the same with many self-help books as well. I always wondered why relationships, change and meeting goals couldn't be made much more simple.

To that end, here are five simple steps to making goals attainable:

Write it down

We all carry around in our heads great ideas, intentions and goals. The problem is that is where they often remain - floating around in our heads, taking up space and never being acted upon, much less realized. If you really do want something to happen, write it down. In fact, the simple yet powerful act of writing down your goals automatically increases the chances of meeting them. This is because even the weakest ink is so much more powerful than the strongest memory.

Another advantage to writing down your goals is that you now have them in front of you. Reading your goals on a regular basis can motivate you and keep you on course each day. We all have full days with lots of distractions. Having your goals right in front of you allows you to focus on the activities that push you toward your goals and tune out the distractions.

Break it down

This is the first place people often get stuck. You've set some attractive goals. Then you look at how much has to be done and how distant the goal seems to be, and you stop there. Break down your goals before you break down.

Many of the things we do on a regular basis are broken down into smaller chunks. A week has seven days, a day has 24 hours, an hour has 60 minutes and so on. Even a pizza is cut into slices and then eaten a bite at a time. Take your goals and break them down into small, manageable pieces that can be handled one at a time, a day at a time, a week at a time, and so on.

Take small steps

Here's the second spot where we tend to get stuck. Now that you have broken down your goals into manageable pieces, begin to take one small step at a time. As you begin to take and complete small steps, both your confidence and motivation will grow. Most people don't begin. You begin.

Take the next step

This is the third spot where people tend to get off course. You get off to a good start and then fail to follow through. Ask yourself “now that I have accomplished this step, what's the next step I need to take?" Then either take that step right away, or at least get started on it.

This builds your momentum and can carry you through to the completion of your goals.

Take one more step

This is sometimes called “going the extra mile, " and it's the major difference between winners and champions. Winners take all of the steps listed above. Champions take an extra step, run one more block, lift one more weight, read one more page. When you don't believe you can take one more step and then do, that's when you become a champion.

So, here is what I'd like to invite you to do:

Choose a goal you would like to accomplish, write it down, break it down, begin to take small steps, take the next steps and then take the extra steps.

Then enjoy what you have accomplished.

For more tips and tools for achieving your goals visit Tools for Successful Living


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