Setting life goals may seem easy. However many pitfalls have to be avoided to succeed, Can you do it? Discover how.
Setting life goals has been discussed on many blogs, in a multitude of books and during hundreds of seminars. But are you sure that you know everything about setting goals?
Last week I showed you that talking about goals can be challenging if you do not know the basic terms and misuse them. Today we will focus on setting your life goals.
The next year and beyond will be an opportunity to achieve significant success in your life, provided that your goals are set correctly and you act to pursue them. Are you ready to set your goals? Let's start then.
What Is Your Overarching Goal of Your Life?
Before you set any goal, think if it is overarching. I mean the fact that this goal has a critical impact on your total life. For example, your goal is "to be happy (and define what it means) and fulfilled", and"to enjoy peace of mind and the state of enlightenment".
Then, there are overarching goals concerning your health, work and finance, relationships, spiritual life and fun. Have you any goals set here?
Overarching goals are like life directions, the main pathways you are walking on in your life. They may be the consequence of your mission statement and things in which you are involved throughout your life.
Examples: "To be fit and independent at the age of 150 and beyond" or "to be financially independent". Remember to specify the amount of money or what you can afford for the money you will have.
What about harmonious and peaceful relationships - with your partner, friends, family members (e.g. your parents)? The relationships based on mutual respect, care, love, understanding and acceptance? Think of it and set it as your life goal.
Then you have your career, place of living and so on - in the next 30 - 50 years time, depending on how long you want to live.
Beware: Set Your Life Goals in Writing
It also applies to your overarching goals. Preferably, use handwriting rather than typing on your computer, although you can print your plan later as well. Why writing in a journal or in a calendar is so important?
You involve your mind, especially the subconscious one, in the process of setting your life goals
Your journal is available for later, even if your computer is broken or you have no phone
You can check your progress regularly and make changes if necessary. Any achieved goal will be your driving force to go the extra mile.
By handwriting, you program your mind to work on the goal more efficiently.
You are more committed to pursuing your life goals because the process of writing engages some of your senses, e.g. sight and touch. if you read your plan aloud later, the sense of hearing is also involved.
Apart from your journal, diary, or optionally Word file on your computer or phone, use sticky notes in physical and digital form and carry them everywhere with you. Be focused on your goals all the time - both the overarching ones and their sub-goals. More about this technique next week.
How to Set Your Life Goals
Follow the process step-by-step in writing. Start with brainstorming what you want to achieve in the t future, based on your current situation and the dreams you want to fulfil.
1. Define Your Starting Point
Describe where you are now. How can you describe your health and fitness? What about your career and financial status? Think of your relationships and fun. And last but not least - your spiritual growth (e.g. how you have mastered the values of light, e.g. forgiveness).
List Your Challenges
What are you struggling with now? Brainstorm and write down your challenges. Debts? Divorce or abusive relationship? Health problems? Being unfit? Difficulty to accept your life lessons? Being too crass so that people avoid you? Being stressed out, unable to recharge your batteries?
List your Current Achievements
Take the diary of this year. If you have your goals written here, the task will be easier now. But if not, do not worry. You are to list twelve achievements (one per month). If you are more ambitious, try listing fifty-two. Here are some helping questions:
How much have you improved your fitness?
Have you lost some weight?
Have you been promoted at work and now are making more money?
What have you bought (a new car, house, computer, clothes)?
What about your holidays - what have you seen?
Are you more disciplined, and organised than last year?
Have you improved the quality of your relationship with kids/spouse/parents?
List Your Dreams
Now look at your achievements and current situation. What would you like to achieve? What can be better next year/ in five years? What would you like to experience/see/feel? Brainstorm and list twelve dreams, also about twelve items.
2. List What You Want to Achieve
Now scan your notes: the starting point, challenges, achievements and dreams. You also know overarching goals. Brainstorm again - list fifteen to twenty things that you want to achieve. Do not classify your goals according to the time yet.
3. Test Your Desire and Motivation
Have you got your list? Test how much you desire and motivation to pursue each written goal. Continue your written analysis. Answer the question:
Am I willing to pay any price, make any effort, bear and grin any discomfort to achieve this goal?
First, write yes or no, then cross out all goals that are rejected. Then make a short list of the remaining goals by marking them from 1 to 100 (where 1 means "nearly no commitment, someday" and 100 "totally committed").
Test Your Motivation
Next, sort your remaining goals from the highest number to the lowest. Leave 10 goals with the highest score and do another test. For each of them, list five reasons why you want and five reasons why you do not want to work on each goal.
Weigh each argument on the positive and negative side according to its importance Add up the scores separately on the positive and negative side and find out the balance. All goals with positive balance are yours and viable to achieve because you will be motivated and committed enough to pursue them.
4. Choose 10 Goals to Work On Next Year
To make things easier, this article will focus on yearly goals. but knowing your overarching goal, you can set long-term goals as well. If you have more than ten goals that have passed the tests of commitment and motivation select the top ten.
However, make an effort to choose the goals concerning all four areas of life: health, career, relationship and yourself.
5. Define a Starting Point to Each Goal
You have done this step above, brainstorming your recent achievements. But go the extra mile and be more specific here. You can also write a short paragraph describing your current situation for each goal.
6. SMART and SWOT Your Life Goals
Sieve each of the ten goals through the SMART test. Evaluate each of your goals: is it specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable and time-oriented? Should a given goal not be SMART, redefine it. Learn more about how to SMART goals.
Now SWOT your goals. For each of the ten goals, list three strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Learn more about how to SWOT your goals.
7. Set the Deadline for Each Goal
We are talking about one year: "by December 31st next year" or "within the next 365/6 days". Yearly life goals should also be chopped into quarters and months, so define what you want to achieve during these stages.
8. Define Your Possessed and Missing Resources
These are mostly your strengths listed above. But you can list more skills, funds, knowledge, assets (like a property or a car), and helpful people here now.
Now check what else you need, knowing your weaknesses. What skills, knowledge, funds, assets, and connections do you need to overcome obstacles and achieve your goal?
9. Define How You Will Replenish the Missing Resources
List the actions you have to take to replenish your missing resources. What do you need to learn/buy/invest in? Who do you need to meet and build a relationship/business connection?
10. Define the Obstacles
You know most of them from your challenges list. Now it is possible to add more items, specific to a given goal. Obstacles can be physical, mental, or emotional or result from a lack of resources. More about obstacles next week.
For example, you might live in the countryside with a poor internet connection, be afraid of taking risks and have too few business connections to start a successful e-commerce.
You will find the biggest obstacle, concerning most or all of your goals. Make it a priority to overcome this obstacle.
11. Define How You Overcome the Obstacles
Use your current strengths and focus on them, appreciating any progress made to pursue your goals. Most articles on this website give you examples of tools that you can use to overcome obstacles. For example how to overcome any challenge or how to master your thoughts. More topics are available on the Blog tab.
12. Pay the Price
There is nothing like a free lunch and you have to pay the price to achieve your goals. Next week I will write more about making an effort so stay tuned to Awaken Happy Life.
What is the price? I will list some categories here: overcoming your fears, shortcomings and flows, making some effort to earn more money, meeting more people, learning new skills, and being disciplined and committed to your goals. You need to invest some resources (time, money, energy)
The Most Important to Follow
It is not a bonus tip, it is a must to be successful in any area of life:
NEVER GIVE UP - no matter what happens, you are on the right track.
You have the whole Universe to help you. Even if sometimes your goals are not achieved at once, as you planned, it is okay as well. And never beat up yourself for failures. they teach you something as well. More about persistence will be written in my next article.
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In a Nutshell
Setting goals can be challenging at times. Nonetheless, applying the system described above can help you achieve success. Good luck with planning the next year and let your goals be achieved fully. With lots of love and light,
Vicky is an experienced holistic writer and coach who inspires, motivates, and encourages everyone to become the best version of themselves - physically, mentally, and spiritually.
The content of Awaken Happy Life is published for educational and informative purposes only. It does not substitute medical or any other professional advice. Please seek professional care if you believe you may have a condition. The author of Awaken Happy Life is not liable for any consequences of applying any piece of advice published on this website by the reader.