Terri Levine

Article Summary:

A beginner's guide to personal goal setting.

Personal Goal Setting: A Beginner's Guide

Okay, you're reading this everywhere, hearing it from everyone – you have to set goals! That's all very well for those who know how, but setting goals isn't something we're taught in school – it's not something our parents always think to teach us. For many, it would be easier to learn Martian than to set a goal.

But don't despair – these tips should have your first goal up and running…

First, why do we bother to set goals? In a nutshell, goal setting helps you end up where you want to end up. It's like floating down the river in a canoe – you can just float along, doing nothing, no aim in mind, and you'll never really end up anywhere, or you can use the paddles, follow a map, and know that X marks the spot where you want to be.

  1. To begin – what's really important to you in life?
    Write down the things you want to accomplish before your time on the planet is up – list it all – the BIG dreams as well as the small. Make two lists – things you'd like to achieve within the short term, and something you'd like to achieve before you "leave".

  2. Next, take a close look at your lists and any goals you are not willing to really work at or make sacrifices for, cross them off.
    A goal should be something you have a burning desire to achieve. (You don't have to have the money or know-how now to bring your goal into fruition – you don't consider things like that at this stage.)

  3. Now choose one goal or aim from your two lists – one short term goal and one long term goal.
    It's important to have short term goals – they're easier to reach and help keep you motivated. One of your short term goals should actually be something that leads to the achievement of the long term goal!

  4. Now list the steps you must take to achieve the most important goal that you have on each of your lists.
    This is your "to do" list – things you must do to start you off towards the achievement of your goal(s). For example, you want to be a famous racing driver? First you have to have a driver's license – if you haven't got one, guess what your first short term goal is... that will lead towards your "big" goal!

  5. Every few months you should check your goals and your to-do list because things change, and as our lives change and evolve, so naturally, will our goals.
    It is okay to change your goals if your existing goal no longer suits you. Your goals and your to-do list are the map you follow while you paddle down the river of life. You know which way to go and how to get there.

  6. Choose a timeframe in which each step of your to-do list (your short term goals) will be reached.
    It doesn't matter if your reckoning is out – it is important to have something to work towards.

  7. Set goals that you personally believe there is a chance of achieving.
    Your goals should be realistic and attainable – you can start off small and as you "grow", your goals can grow with you... but whatever level you are on now, your goal should be something you believe is possible and be something you really want.

To help keep you motivated, stick pictures up around you of the thing you wish to attain – a higher education, a high-flying career, a pilot's license, a big house, be a famous movie star...

All successful people got where they are today because they had a dream... a vision... and it all started with a goal.

Terri Levine, MCC, PCC, MS, CCC-SLP, is the Founder of Comprehensive Coaching ? The Professional's Coach Training Program. A popular Master Certified personal and business Coach, Terri is also a sought after Public Speaker. She is the author of the bestsellers "Stop Managing, Start Coaching", "Work Yourself Happy", "Coaching for an Extraordinary Life" and "Create Your Ideal Body". She can be contacted via the web site at: TerriLevine.com or by telephone: 215-699-4949.

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