Goal Setting

Why is goal setting important?

Have you ever asked yourself where you expect to be with your life in 10 years time? If you don’t know where you are going, how do you know which direction to go in? How can you appreciate and enjoy it when you get there? If you just stick to the same routine on autopilot, living from one day to the next, you will continue to obtain the same results and experiences. 

Tragedy doesn’t lie in not reaching your goals, tragedy is when you have no new goals to reach.

Creating the content of your life is like going on a shopping trip. How many times have you been to the supermarket without a shopping list, only to return with bags of things you didn’t really need and having forgotten half the things you wanted? If you go to the supermarket with a shopping list, you’ll come home with everything you need (or a close alternative). Goal-setting is like writing your life’s shopping list and is paramount to success. It can be unbelievably life-changing.

It’s sometimes hard to think about what your heart really desires because we are so conditioned to put other people first and not to be selfish. A fantastic exercise to help you to express your true ambitions is to imagine that you are a child looking forward to Christmas and writing a wish list for Santa.

Children never consider the possibility of not being able to have something, as they have no concept of the costs involved. Absolutely anything is possible and your size, weight, academic capabilities, family and confidence levels are all irrelevant. The key is NOT to think rationally, and that way you will be less hesitant about saying what you want. 

How to set goals

Because goals are so vital to happiness and success, you must WRITE THEM DOWN. Take a piece of paper and divide it into two columns. In the first column list 50 things (it can be more but not less!) That you want to do, own, learn, achieve, visit or change. Include everything that you’ve ever dreamed would happen to you in your lifetime. In the second column set yourself a time limit and specify what this is next to each of your dreams, for example, within one year, within three years, within five years, within 10 years etc. 

On another piece of paper create a separate list for all of your ‘within one-year’ goals, leaving a few lines between each. You can create motivation by visualising the rewards of your effort clearly.

To increase your confidence and motivation, think about the things that you have already achieved in your life that you once thought were really challenging, frightening or couldn’t do. Choose five of your best achievements and write them down. You now know anything is possible as you have achieved huge goals already.

Imagine you are at the bottom of a ladder, your goal being at the top. Forget about the number of rungs of the ladder’s height, just consider what the first step would be. The more rungs you climb, the more your confidence will grow. Once you have identified the first step, which may be as simple as a phone call, looking something up on the Internet, or going to the library, take this first step right now.

The great thing about creating a goal list is that it is not written in stone. It can change as both the years and your personality progress. But what does happen when you start to make your aspirations visible by writing them down and remembering to read them regularly is that suddenly your dreams become a reality. 

Start setting goals today with these top tips:

  1. Begin by writing your goals down. You need a clear vision of exactly what it is you want to attain. The simple act of physically getting things down on paper is the first step to achieving them. Use our Goal Planner to get started.
  2. Choose goals that inspire you, that will lead you to a happier way of life.
  3. Break your goals down into a series of steps. This not only makes them more manageable but will stop you from becoming overwhelmed.
  4. Be both persistent and consistent. It is normal to feel frustrated if things do not go to plan immediately but stay focused on where you are heading and why.
  5. Visualise the end result. Picture yourself coming out the other side. Imagine what it will feel like when you hit your target. Keep this image clear in your mind and don’t forget to reward yourself when you get there. 

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