One of the biggest issues regarding setting goals is to keep them at a high level. We all want to accomplish things in life. But setting goals that are too general is going to make it difficult to accomplish them. It’s also going to be difficult to measure how you are doing. The best approach is to break big goals into chunks.
Think of the chunks as action items. These actions are measurable units that you put to milestones. You need to set them up in a way that holds you accountable. Otherwise, they won’t get accomplished.
Write your goals and action steps down on paper. Put it in a place where you can view it every single day. It’s okay to record them electronically as well, although some people find it difficult to keep both the paper version and electronic version in sync. It’s personal preference. If you feel you can succeed with just one or the other, that is the way to go.
It’s okay to dream big with your goals but be realistic about accomplishing them. When you break your goals down into action steps and find they are not within your ability or skill set to accomplish within the specified periods, rework them until you find the right mix of actions. Making the goals and actions too difficult will set yourself up for frustration when not being able to accomplish them.
Evaluating how well you accomplish the action steps will go a long way in helping you meet the goals. The set of actions will get you where you want to be. If you find you are stumbling on some of your action items, determine why and see if you can get back on track. It is at this point you can recognize that you were too aggressive with the plan, and this will enable you to seek alternatives.
Move ahead with your actions and keep going. Understand that roadblocks are a natural part of the process. If something worthwhile was easy, you wouldn’t need to set goals to accomplish it, and everyone would be doing it. It probably won’t be worth it either. Overcoming obstacles give people a sense of accomplishment, and it can help us grow.
Setting goals is important. But creating action items related to those goals is the key to making them a reality. It is much easier to perform smaller chunks of work than it is to wing it towards whatever goal you are striving for.
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