Monday, May 28, 2012

Setting Goals

I find the following statement to be extremely powerful.  "A goal without a deadline is just a dream" - Alex MacKenzie

How many of you have made the same New Year's resolutions over and over again?  Maybe each year your resolution is to lose weight or get out of debt or perhaps to get more organized.  These are wonderful things to aspire to but they are too vague to be goals.  This is why over 90% of people who make New Year's resolutions don't end up keeping them the entire year.  In fact, more than one third of them will break their resolution before the end of January.

Many people do not know how to set a proper goal.  Follow these 5 tips in order to S.T.E.E.R. yourself on a path to making your dreams become reality.

1. Specific - Your goals must be specific.  It is not good enough to say, "I am going to get my house organized".  It's too vague.  You need to make your goal more clear by saying, "I will organize the inside of my bedroom closet".  Do you see the difference?  Making your goal more specific will allow to to recognize when you have achieved it.

2. Time-Limited - As the quote above indicates, you need a deadline to achieve your goals.  "I will organize the inside of my bedroom closet by June 30, 2012."  You have now given yourself a deadline for meeting this goal and it will motivate you to get started.

3. Executable - Now you need to give yourself a clear set of actions that will help you to achieve your goal.  "I will organize the inside of my bedroom closet by June 30, 2012 by purging all of the clothes that I no longer wear and don't fit and by sorting what's left."  These are the actions that you need to execute in order to get this job finished.

4. Evaluable - By setting specific, time-limited and executable goals, you should be able to evaluate whether or not you have reached your goal.  You should be able to say, "Yes, I did it!" or, "No, I did not".  In our first example of, "I am going to get my house organized", how do you know when you have reached that goal? 

5. Reasonable - The goals that you give yourself must be reasonable.  If you have a large, walk-in closet that is crammed full with clothes, even some that you wore in high school, it is not reasonable to think that you can organize this space in a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon between grocery shopping and getting ready for a party in the evening.  Break your goal into smaller, more manageable tasks.  Perhaps you could organize one shelf at a time or one group of clothes (like tee shirts) at a time.  By setting reasonable goals you increase the chances of actually achieving them.

Now is the time to S.T.E.E.R. yourself onto the path of achieving your dreams.  Although I have stayed with organizing goals in this post, S.T.E.E.R. will work for any goal that you have, whether it is losing weight, saving money or even writing a book.  What goal will you set?  Feel free to share it.

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