Key Considerations for Goal Setting

Michelle Velan, Founder of Wondersource

When it comes to setting goals, where do you start?

Goal setting can feel like a big and overwhelming task, which deters most people from even getting started because they don’t know where to begin. There are a few simple hacks to get started.

Start Big
One way is to think of big long-term life goals such as buying a house, making a certain salary amount or visiting 50 countries before you’re 50. Once you have those grand ideas, work backwards by breaking down these goals into yearly, monthly, and weekly steps. Anything from putting certain dollar amounts aside to networking events to widen your job prospect circle. If this feels daunting, then…

Start Small
Grab a notebook and write down specific areas of your life you’d like to focus on such as career, family, friends, and health. Write down what these things look like for you now and what you want them to look like in the future. Prefer to approach this from a more energetic space? Focus on the concepts of joy, love, meaning, movement, play, and self-awareness.
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King Jr

Once you have a place to start from, use these 4 steps as the guidelines

1) Set SMART goals and write them down
Create specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timed goals and write them down. Also, write down why these goals are important to you. The more specific, the more likely you are to achieve them. Getting this clear allows you to know when you’ve succeeded. It is important to think of ambitious goals that excite you and encourage you to strive, but they cannot be unrealistic. For example, if you are short and have never enjoyed playing basketball, it is unlikely that you will make it to the NBA. Goals should also be relevant, meaning they are aligned with your values and beliefs.
2) Eliminate bad habits
Take an honest look at yourself and identify bad habits that could keep you from achieving your goals. Do you overbook yourselves with unnecessary meetings leaving no time for critical thinking? Do you leave hard tasks for the end of day and don’t complete them? We all have bad habits so take some time to identify them and create a thoughtful plan to eliminate them.
3) Cultivate self-discipline
The more self-discipline you have, the more likely you are to achieve your goals, especially when things get hard. Figure out if you’re a morning or evening person and set aside time to work on your goals during your peak hours. Have you found more focus when eating healthily, getting enough sleep, meditating, practicing gratitude or exercising? Prioritize those things to keep you energized.
4) Create mini goals
Breaking down goals into long and short term buckets keeps you from overcomplicating the process. Weekly and daily goals ensure you’re staying on track and shows you actual progress toward reaching your goals. An effective planning method may be taking time on the weekend to reflect on what went well, what didn’t and what needs to be followed up on from the previous week. Then, plan for the week ahead taking into account everything you learned from the previous week. Goal setting has many benefits: greater clarity in decision-making, more effective use of time, increased focus, motivation and likelihood of achieving our dreams. If you want to live a more meaningful life, goal setting is a must.

Next week we’ll dive into how to achieve the goals you set.

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