The fall is about new beginnings. The kids are back at school starting a new year, the air is crisp and clean and hope is in the air. We are able to look forward to new challenges, new opportunities and a fresh start. Fall is also the perfect opportunity to think about your goals and what you would like to achieve this year.
Brian Tracy is one of America’s leading authors on the development of human potential. He said this…”If I had to pick the #1 key to success, it would be…self-discipline. It is the difference in winning or losing; between greatness and mediocrity.” Of course, this statement can be applied to almost anything and is especially true when it comes to goal setting. Most people don’t set goals for 2 reasons: 1. they don’t know what they want, and 2) they are afraid of “failing” if they don’t achieve their goals. Which is it for you? Success is intentional and unless you choose what it is you want, you have to be willing to accept what is. Setting goals helps you know what you are working towards and even more importantly, what you have accomplished.
Whether you are looking to optimize your overall wellness or tackle a project at work, below are some goal-setting tips that may help you find that sense of fulfillment we all crave.
1. Create Clarity. Set aside some quiet time, alone or with a friend, colleague or professional, to really get clear on what’s important to you and why. Most people can come up with generic things that they want such as happiness, financial independence, good health, etc. but defining what each of those things means to you is important and will help provide the motivation required to make significant changes.
2. Be Patient:. If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, lacking structure or direction, recognize that change requires time, so be kind to yourself and give yourself the space needed to make these changes. You may also expect the process to be easy and your life to change dramatically when you achieve your goals. Depending on the desired change, it could take months or even years before the change happens. Be patient and understand your goals are going to take time and effort.
3. Understand Your Core Values. Make sure you have a clear understanding of your values. Without a strong set of core values, passion is weak and commitment is soft. We are more likely to lead our lives from the outside in, rather than the inside out. When our values aren’t in focus, our energy is easily scattered. Core values provide a context for continuous growth and development that takes us toward our dreams.
4. Visualize Your Dreams. Start visualizing or dreaming about what you want. Most of us don’t actually do this but rather narrow our focus to what we think is possible for fear of failure. Challenge yourself to think big. What would that look like?
5. Write Them Down. Once you have your dreams, write them down in the present tense. To turn your vision into concrete goals, start breaking them down so they become manageable action steps. It may help to devise a weekly, monthly or quarterly plan to ensure it doesn’t become overwhelming.
6. Create a Picture. A picture is worth a thousand words. Create your own vision board to connect your goals deeply into your subconscious. Pictures that are meaningful for you and trigger strong emotions will help to solidify your goals and provide a visual reminder for you.
7. Hold Yourself Accountable. Finally, in order for your goals to turn into accomplishments, you need to take action and to be held accountable. Research indicates that having an accountability partner increases your chances of reaching your goals by 95%. Life is full of opportunities. Whatever stage you are at, there is always more to learn, more ways to grow and more to do.