Thursday, June 13, 2013

Basic Steps to Goal Setting

A goal is a dream upon which one acts.

The First Step in goal setting is to decide which dream you'd like to turn into a goal and eventually a reality.  Then figure out if this goal is:
  • Short-Term - something that can be accomplished within a day or week
    • Daily or Weekly To-Do List
  • Intermediate - something that will take longer than a week but typically a couple months
    • Canning or preserving items from your garden
  • Long-Term - Buying a house or going on a dream vacation
A daily To-Do list is a great way to keep each day organized as well as break down tasks to reach your goals.  To make a long-term goal managable, break it down into intermediate goals, then into short-term goals and then list each task on the daily To-Do list.

Once you incorporate a daily To-Do list, guesstimate more time than you think a task will take.  Then mark down how long the task actually took.  This will help you more accurately schedule your time in the future.

For example, you put down "Dust the house" and allow 10 minutes but the task actually takes you 20 minutes to go through the whole house.  Now you've thrown off your schedule and might get discouraged.  But if you had estimated 30 minutes and were done in 12 minutes you can realistically schedule probably 10 or 15 minutes in the future knowing that the time frame is real.  You've also found 18 minutes in your original guesstimation so you can work on something else or move on to your next task.

Another example of reaching a long-term goal is let's say you want to read 12 books in a year.  Your intermediate goal would be to read one book a month.  Then your short-term goal would be to schedule pockets of time to read throughout each day.  Or, as in the example above, you have 12 minutes left over from another task to slip in a few extra minutes of reading.

Stay flexible and realistic because life has a way of throwing curve balls.  There will be days that you will accomplish everything on your To-Do list and that's AWESOME!  Then there will be days that tasks will need to be carried over for one reason or another.

Make out your list at the end of each day so that you're ready to go in the morning.  Start each month looking over your long term goal and each week revise your intermediate goals for the month.

The Second Step is to share your goals with your family or a close friend.  These are the people who will encourage you along the way and will also help you stay accountable to your progress.

Ensure that your goals are attainable.  Saying that you want to win the lottery is nice but it's not a quantifiable goal.  Oh sure, you can buy lottery tickets every week but how are you able to track your progress of getting closer to your goal?

Let's say you want to lose 10 pounds in a 30 day period.  You don't have any control over the scale if you simply step on it each morning.  You do, however, have control over what and how much you eat each day or how much exercise you do.  Tracking your food and exercise is quantifiable and realistic thus making your goal attainable.

The Third Step is to set a start and end date for your goal.  Let's take another look at the weight loss example; you know you want to lose 10 pounds in 30 days, now let's put a start date and count out 30 days from there.  Now you have a goal and a time frame within which to work.

Prepare yourself for challenges that will pop up from time to time.  In order to stay committed to your goal, make periodic checks to ensure it is still viable.

Create a Visual Board and place it somewhere you will see it everyday.  You can also take a picture of your Visual Board and send it to us.  We will post it so that others can keep you believing in your goal.

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