7 Strategies for Effective Goal Setting
The Best Time to Set Goals Was Yesterday, The Second Best Time is Now!
Where are you going?
Where do you want to go?
Many people are unable to answer these questions because they’ve never thought about them. They get up and go about their lives like they have no choice about what they do. They just float down the river of life and go wherever the current takes them. That will not get us where we want to go, assuming we even know where that is.
Many people don’t have goals. This may be hard to believe, but it’s true. Goals are essential to success!
There are many different ways to set goals. We should pick a way that feels comfortable to us and use it. Goal setting is a simple process, but it requires that we know ourselves, which makes it more complex.
Here are 7 simple strategies for setting effective goals:
Ask our parents, friends, lover, teachers, or others what we should do. This method assumes that these people have our best interest at heart. If we ask an accountant what we should do for a career and he says to become an accountant, it may not be solid advice. This strategy may not provide us with our goals but someone else’s, and we can’t live for someone else.
Look at our past and see what we have done before. Determine what we are good at and what we are not good at. Determine what we like to do and what we don’t like to do. Have you ever been so absorbed in an activity that the time passed while you were not aware of anything else? You were in a zone where you were completely content and immersed in what you were doing. We should pay attention to these experiences because they tell us something important about ourselves.
Using our past experiences, we can pick out a course of action to take in the future. Remember, we can change it along the way if necessary. The weakness in this method is that our past may not have given us broad enough experiences to make an informed decision.
However, this strategy may be better than strategy #1 because at least it helps us identify what we like or want to do instead of what someone else thinks we should do. Remember that when you set your goals, you are looking for what you were designed to do.
Brainstorm with some friends. Just throw out ideas with no judgement or evaluation of the idea. Write them all down until we have exhausted our imaginations. Then we can go back and start categorizing them. For example, divide all the ideas into three groups; good ideas, okay ideas, bad ideas. We’ll need to establish some screening criteria to determine what defines each category. The advantage of brainstorming is that we get to consider things that we might not otherwise have even thought about.
Take a talent inventory or aptitude test. These are tests that show what abilities we possess. There are many free tests on the internet. The test might show us something that we didn’t know about ourselves. We may discover a hidden talent.
Hire a life coach or therapist to help sort out what it is we were designed to do. This may take some time but the most important thing is not when we figure it out, but that we do figure it out before we die. It would be a shame if we lived our whole lives never knowing what it is that we wanted to do. The right coach or therapist can make a world of difference and save us a lot of time. We need to make sure we are confident that our advisor is competent in helping us discover our talents. This is easier said than done.
Pray and meditate on what it is that we were designed to do. Prayer is asking God for help. Meditating is listening to God for His answer.
Remember that God designed each of us for a special purpose before we were even born. As humans, it is our responsibility to God and to ourselves to find out what that purpose is and then to do it.
We need to be patient if we have trouble figuring out our purpose today. Perhaps we are not ready to know yet. Perhaps we will find our purpose while we are busy learning who we are. It has taken me thirty years to write my book. It is part of my purpose but I was not ready until ow.
If you do’t believe in God, then try mediation. This simply means sitting with no distractions and thinking about nothing else. You may wish to think, “If there was a God, what would he want me to do with my life?”
There is one more strategy you’ll want to read and understand… Strategy #7. In our next article, we’ll talk about Strategy #7 and a 30-Day Challenge to get you going.
This is an excerpt from my book Attitude Determines Destiny. In it you will learn how to get the most out of life by changing your attitude and making personal changes…changes that can lead you down a life-long path of personal growth.
As a motivational speaker, I conduct seminars and workshops based upon the ideas in my book. I will entertain and inspire your audiences, and I can customize my topics to fit your needs and desires.