What is Goal Setting?
Goal setting is a subject that alters people’s lives forever. Once you master the skill of goal setting you can achieve almost anything you want to. The following information and exercise/s will help you on the path to understanding what goal setting is and how to use it to successfully achieve your dreams.
After this exercise, you will have the basic skills to design your own future.
“A life best lived is a life by design” – Jim Rohn
“ Live a Life you would LOVE to live” – Mary Morrissey
We start the process by getting you to use your imagination. What is the life you dream to live?
Tapping this resource of imagination is focused on your future, thinking about the rest of your day, tomorrow and what your life will look like when the time comes for reflection on what you have achieved.
Dreams are like magnets – they pull. The stronger your dreams are, the more purposeful they are, the bigger they are the stronger they pull.
They pull you to take the actions necessary to achieve these dreams.
Dreams written down are called “Goals”.
Powerful Goals have three main components;
1. They must be inspiring
2. They must be believable
3. They must be goals you can act on
NB: You do not have to know how you will get there. Part of the adventure of life is the journey, the discovery and learning. If you already know how to get there, then your dream maybe too small, dream big!
Getting Started -Your Future ‘Mindmap’
To get started I want you to paint the picture of what your life would look like when you come to your final days. You want no regrets and you want to live the life you designed. This is the starting point for your personal goal setting.
Below is an example of my very own mind map. Yours may look very different and that is cool with me.
This top level map describes what I want to achieve in my life. It starts with the centre of my universe – my family (whanau). For me, at age 53 this is my major driving force. However, it also includes the things I want to personally achieve.
At this level, it lacks detail but does provide the guide for me to follow as I dive deeper into each of these top level goals. It also is the starting point for me to consider the things I really want to achieve in life.
I find it very powerful to see my plan on one piece of paper like this it helps me focus while I work on the individual goals and action steps I need to take to achieve my dreams.
Exercise 1 – Build your own Mindmap
Step 1. It starts with you evaluating and reflecting on where you are right now and where you want to be in the future. In the case of this Mindmap we want you to take that future right to the end of your life. Spend some time (alone) reflecting on what you would like your friends and family to be saying about you during your first day on earth. What is it you achieved with your life? How satisfied will you be? What is it that made your life what you wanted it to be? What were you about?
Then start putting pen to paper or if you would rather find magazines or print images from google to create your own personal image board.
At this stage, we are working at a very high level not too worried about the how but definitely thinking about the WHY.
You are more likely going to need to set aside time on a regular basis the work on this top level map and over time it will become clearer on what you really want it to look like. All this means is the initial map may change as you further reflect and evaluate what you want. It is important to get started and let momentum help the process evolve.
Step 2. What are your dreams and goals (future only) What do you want to achieve? What values do you want to live by? What sort of person do you want to be known as? What do you want – not what someone else wants you to be. These should come from your heart and soul. They are unique to you and come from who you were created to be and gifted to become.
Exercise 2 – SMART GOALS
Once we have drafted our mind map we want to start applying the rules of goal setting to help us succeed. The next stage is to evaluate each goal using the SMART system. Take each goal and create a heading on a new piece of paper. You should have separate sheets for each goal.
We are now going to start working on defining each goal.
SMART means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time- Sensitive.
Specific – Don’t be vague. Exactly what do you want?
Measurable – Quantify your goal. How will you know if you’ve achieved it or not?
Attainable – Be honest with yourself about what you can reasonably accomplish at this point in your life while taking into consideration your current situation. This is the stage where you might set a task to learn more about how you are going to attain this goal e.g. “signup with a personal trainer, to learn more about getting fit” may lead to you setting new goals after you have learned from this trainer.
Realistic – It’s got to be achievable, real and practical.
Live a Healthy and Happy Life (TC Short Example)
I will retain my weight at 80kgs, each healthy food’s each day by planning out my meals and shopping on a regular basis to ensure I have healthy food to eat. I will weigh myself each week to ensure I maintain this weight or take necessary actions. (Weekly Action – plan out my meals and buy food for the week). (Weigh in Day – Friday)
I will walk a minimum of 30 minutes every day and during this time I will smile and be thankful for all I have in my life, including my wonderful family and friends. (Record distance and time in Journal).
I spend 20 minutes every day by myself meditating. I will go to sleep before 10 pm each night and get 6-8 hours’ sleep before I start the next day.
In the Summer of 2017/18, I will start to Surf again.
I will get regular health checks and continual learn new ways of being happy and healthy. (further Action – set appts in my diary).
I will subscribe to and read about how to improve my health and start to help others around me so we live a healthy life together. (Further Action, research books to read).
COMPLETE THIS EXERCISE FOR ALL OF YOUR GOALS.
NB: Part of your journey might be discovering the answers, so you may not be able to fill in all the blanks yet, you may create new blanks to fill in as you discover, learn and grow. Is this not what life is all about?
Once you have these Goals written down then you hold yourself accountable. You check them weekly, monthly, and annually. Each day you action your daily plan by writing down your goals for the day, starting the planning session by asking yourself this simple question.
“What am I doing today, to move me closer to my dream?”