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How To Set Goals

Estimated Lesson Time: 4 minutes

There are many goal setting strategies available and, just as expected, some strategies work well for some people, and other strategies work better for other people. I cannot stress enough the importance of using a goal setting strategy that works best for you. This usually requires adapting a general strategy and removing the steps you see little value in and/or adding steps of your own.

I will list all of the goal setting steps that are used to make up the strategy I have found works best. You can either adopt mine as is or create your own strategy by using some or all of the steps listed below. Have fun with this!

Brainstorm. Before you choose a single goal to set and focus on, use a blank sheet of paper to write down as quickly as possible all the things you want in the following categories: Artistic, Career, Educational, Ethical, Family, Financial, Mental, Physical, Pleasure, Social, Spiritual, and any other. There is no need to include detail here. Once you have created this list, prioritize each of the items on your list. This will allow you to begin immediately focusing on the potential goals that are most important to you.

Goal Setting Steps

  1. Identify your goal. Pick the goal you will be setting and write the goal in positive terms as if you have already reached the goal. For example, “I weigh a lean, mean 170 pounds.” Make sure your goal is quantifiable, that is, do not simply say “I want to be lean.” Write your goal with as much detail as possible at this time while remaining flexible. For example, on your way to purchase a red Ferrari, if you find that you like the silver Ferrari much better, then buy that one.
  2. Put your goal to the test by asking questions. Is this really your goal or someone else’s goal? Is this goal bold enough? Do you honestly believe you can achieve this goal? If not, why? List the limiting beliefs you have and change your beliefs. Does this goal conflict with any of your other goals? How would you feel 5, 10, 20 and 50 years from now if you never achieved this goal? Would it really matter? Having asked and answered all of these questions about your goal, do you still want this goal?
  3. Set a “maturity date” for your goal’s achievement. It is important to have both long and short-term goals. Set the exact day that this goal will be achieved.
  4. Identify the obstacles you must overcome in order to achieve your goal. Who or what will be an obstacle for you in the process of pursuing this goal? How can you overcome these obstacles?
  5. Identify the people, groups and organizations you need to work with in order to achieve your goal. Must you rely on others to meet this goal? Or perhaps with help from others this goal can more easily be met?
  6. Identify the skills and knowledge needed to help you achieve your goal. What can you learn that will help you achieve this goal?
  7. Ask yourself if you are willing to pay the price in order to enjoy the benefits. A goal is a goal because of the effort it takes to achieve. Is that effort worth it to you? Are you willing to overcome the obstacles, work with the people, and acquire the skills needed to see this goal through? Are you 100% committed to this goal?
  8. List benefits of achieving and reasons why you are committed to your goal, and visualize yourself having already achieved the goal. What pain will you experience in your life if you do not achieve this goal? Here you create enough leverage to convince yourself that you must absolutely reach your goal. It is this step where you turn the want into desire.

Repeat the steps above for each of your goals. Once you do this, you will have created a clear strategy for the achievement of your goals. Tomorrow, we will conclude this three-day section on goals with the most important aspect of goals, which is the achievement of them.


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 Some discussion questions (some may not apply to this lesson):

  • Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
  • Do you have any interesting stories related to this lesson? Do tell!
  • What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)
    From the Course:
    Personal Development
    Year To Success
    Bo Bennett, PhD

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