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10 Steps to Goal Setting

1. The Identification

By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know what you have to concentrate on and improve. When there is a target we feel driven to achieve it.

Decide specifically what it is that you want. Keep in mind your goals need to be challenging to reach.

The following questions may help you identify and set some goals:

· What do you want to accomplish in the coming years?

· What are some things which you find interesting?

· What are some things you really like to do?

· Is there one of these things you would like to learn more about, or do better?

· Are there completely new things you would like to learn to do?

2. The Writing

Writing down your goals turns them from a wish and dream into a reality. This is the first step in committing to the goal. Seeing your goal written down makes your thoughts tangible. You can see it. You can read it. This creates your commitment.

The best goals should be fully defined visions of what you want your new reality to be. To do this ensure your goals are written in precise, positive statements. The more specific, measurable and challenging the goals, the more motivated you will be to work at them, and eventually achieve them.

A goal must have a deadline. Without it, it is just a wish and dream. The deadline needs to be achievable, but not so far off in the distant future that there is no urgency attached to it. Set a deadline, put a date by the goal.

Give your goal a ‘control’ test. Do you have control over what you want to achieve? If your goal is relying on someone else to do something, or their performance, then it is not a goal. Reframe your goal to what YOU can control.

3. The Needs Analysis

Once you have identified your goals, think about what you need to achieve them.

· Where are you now?

· What do you need to accomplish the goal?

· What help or resources do you need?

· Where can you get the information, resources etc that you need?

Thinking about how you will achieve your goal will create sub-goals, which together lead to the accomplishment of the main goal.

4. The Benefits

Create a list of all the benefits of achieving your goal. This is an important step for when things get tough (and they will). When you are tempted to skip a day, session or task, you can look at the benefits of the goal and remind yourself of why you are doing it. It can take the hard out of the work, when you continually refer back to the bigger picture.

When thinking about the benefits think about:

· How will your life be different by achieving the goal?

· How will you benefit from achieving the goal?

· Who else will benefit from you achieving the goal?

· What would life look like if you continued without achieving the goal?

5. The Obstacles

Create a list of all the obstacles which may come up and hinder your progress. If you are aware of the obstacles, you can then make plans to overcome them. This limits the surprises which may throw you off course.

Once you have a list of all the potential obstacles. Put down everything that could possibly happen; we now all have a full appreciation of expecting the unexpected in recent times.

Next to each obstacle identify how you will overcome this obstacle.

· What do you need to put in place to prevent the obstacle from appearing?

· What do you need to put in place for if or when the obstacle does arise?

· What is your plan to navigate the obstacle?

6. The Action Plan

Goals don’t just ‘happen’. They require effort and planning. Every goal needs an action plan. Without a plan, a goal is still a dream.

Refer back to your Needs Analysis, and write down the steps you need to take to achieve the goal. These are all the sub-goals. Each sub-goal needs a deadline. Break these sub-goals down into the basic tasks required. By chipping away at the tasks and sub-goals enables you to work your way towards the main goal.

Each of these tasks and sub-goals will give you a sense of accomplishment, which helps maintain the motivation towards the larger goal.

Start at the main goal and work backwards to find the steps along the way.

7. The Sharing

Sharing your goals publicly with friends, family and colleagues puts your goals out there. They are spoken, which helps drive the reality of them. These people can hold you accountable to achieving these goals. They can check in on how you are going, provide support and encouragement, and eventually celebrate with you once you have achieved your goal.

8. The Action and Assessment

Aim to take daily action towards your goal. This is where your action plan comes in. Each day what one small action can you do that moves you closer to your goal?

It may simply just be thinking about it, or a simple act such as looking something up. The more you keep your goal front of mind, continually chipping away at it, the closer it will come.

Think of your goal as a 100km race. Even the smallest step forwards each day takes you that bit closer to your goal.

Goals will be constantly evolving. Things change. Life comes up. So it is important you continually check in on the goal.

· Is it still important to you?

· Is it still relevant to you?

· Do the timelines still work?

This is not an excuse to defer the goal. It is an opportunity to ensure you are still in alignment with it. Go back to The Benefits – do these still resonate with you? If so it is still the right goal.

9. The Celebration

Follow the steps above, make the commitment and you WILL achieve your goals. And when you do – celebrate! Celebrate the small daily tasks, and the sub-goals, not just the main end goal.

Goals can take a very long time to achieve, so celebrating the small wins along the way helps maintain motivation, and will give you a boost to stay the course.

Achieving the life we truly want takes immense effort. So it is incredibly important to celebrate when you achieve these things. Reward yourself for the successes.

10. The Evaluation

Once you have achieved your goal, or even a sub-goal the final step is to evaluate how things went. Here you can identify what went well, what didn’t go so well, and how can you learn from this for your future goals.

You may learn that:

· You need to make your goals more or less challenging

· You need to create easier goals leading into a much larger goal

· You need a better, more detailed action plan

· You need to ensure your goal is in alignment with your other goals

Continually assessing and reviewing your performance with your goals will enable your future success.

Goals are hard. But they will create the life you want. The end goal is only one part of the success. It is who you become whilst achieving the goal where the real gold lies.

If your workplace could benefit from a Goal Setting Workshop or Webinar, please get in touch, today.

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