You might be wondering what the difference is between your vision and your goals. Your vision is your overall picture or image of what you want your life to be. It encompasses the big things in life that you want to accomplish. It is what you want your legacy to be. It is the dream for your life (short-term and / or long-term). Your goals on the other hand are specific and measurable actions and activities that will help make that bigger vision become a reality. Goals differ from projects and activities because they have a specific outcome in mind that improves or enhances on a situation.
Here are a few tips on how to set your goals:
Make your goals very clear and with a set outcome. Don’t just say “I want to make more money” or “I want to be skinnier” or “My goal is to spend more time with family” or “I want to take a trip somewhere exotic”. Your goals should be more specific like: “My goal is make $500 more a month” or “My goal is to lose weight and be healthier” or “My goal is to have more family nights set aside for fun family activities” or “I want to take a vacation to Tahiti”. Do you see the difference it makes in being more specific with your goals? It helps you begin to turn a wish into something more tangible.
Set a date for when you want to reach the goal or when you wil. How will you know when you have reached your goal? What will change in your life or situation? Let’s use some of the example goals mentioned above and make them measurable. “My goal is to make $250 more a month by June and $500 more a month by Dec so that I can have less debt and less stress.” My goal is to lose 40 pounds and to be in good enough shape to run a marathon next year.” “My goal is to schedule 1 family night each week set aside for fun family activities and consistently be doing this by March.
Make your goals realistic but also something that stretches you. While we may have big dreams and goals, it’s important to take an honest look at our lives, our habits and our responsibilities to determine whether our goals are truly realistic. Let’s look at “My goal is to work my business 10 hours each week” for this example. When you consider your work schedule, the kids schedules, your spouses’ schedule and all the extracurricular activities you are involved in, is it really possible to devote 10 hours a week on your business? If not, then start out smaller with this goal. You could start with “My goal is to work my business 5 hours each week ” or maybe “My goal is to set aside 2 hours 3 days a week to work on my business”. Then as this becomes more routine and you settle into new schedules, you can increase your goal to 7 hours, then 10 hours a week. The bottom line is don’t set yourself up for disappointments and failure. Be honest with yourself about what you can accomplish.
Time – Be sure you create a time frame or deadline to reach your goals. Instead of just saying I want to accomplish all of these goals by the end of this year, start working on 1 or 2 of them and set a deadline to reach a couple of them by the end of the quarter. Some of your goals will be daily goals, things you need to every single day to make sure you reach the bigger goal. “A goal without a deadline is just a dream.” – Napoleon Hill
Break your goals down. Goals are great but you have to take it a step further and break your goals down into activities. Then begin focusing on the different activities you need to do each day, week and month to reach those goals. Those daily activities and habits will need to be done consistently in order to achieve the bigger goals and end results you are desiring.
Now that you have a clearer understanding of how to set goals, it’s time to actually write down your goals. Click here to go to Part 2 of this article to continue the process of goal setting!
Do you have any other tips to share about goal setting? Feel free to comment below!