"Life is a journey, not a destination."
As this quote reminds us, life is ever evolving and changing for all of us. As we travel on life's road, let's take the time to consider what we want to accomplish along the way. In order to create the kind of career you want, it helps to have a clear picture of where you're headed, your personal mission. It's equally important to carefully plan how to get there—how to make your dreams come true, one day at a time.
Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. It focuses you, and helps you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the very most of your accomplishments. By writing down goals and objectives for yourself you are taking a big step toward making them happen. The next step will be to actually do these things, and keep a record. This is something you and your mentor can work on together over time.
Be Specific. What do you want to accomplish?
Make sure it is something you really want. To make it happen, you need dedication and commitment. Think about your goals and confirm whether you are willing to sacrifice the time and effort to achieve them. Also, weigh the achievement of your goal to the sacrifices that you will have to make to achieve it. If it's worth it, Great! If not, reconsider your goal.
Break up your goal into smaller sub-goals. If you have a large goal it is a good idea to break it up and make little goals that are easy to achieve. Breaking up your goals not only makes your goal list less intimidating, it gives you more motivation to succeed.
Think S.M.A.R.T. When setting goals, a good system to go by is SMART. Writing a blurb for each letter and recording it with your goal could help you focus on your goal in the future.
Specific/Significant: It is great to have a clear concise title to your goal, but you should also describe it in more detail. For example, "further my education" could be described with "Identify the schools that I want to attend and research why the programs are good choices."
Measurable/Meaningful: Try to write a goal that you can measure numerically. A goal can be much more motivating if you can track and record your progress, and see how you are doing.
Achievable-Action-Oriented/Realistic -Relevant: Can your goal really be done? Think not only about the goal, but about your personal circumstances.
Timely/Trackable: How much time will you have to put in on a regular basis to achieve this goal? How long from now do you plan to achieve this goal?
Reward Yourself. Give yourself credit for what you are accomplishing.
Categorize your goals. It is generally good to categorize your goals into areas of your life that you would like to improve. Some of the categories you can use are: Health & Fitness, Family & Relationships, Enjoyment & Recreation, Social & Friends, Financial & Career, Educational
Write them down! Probably one of the most important and most ignored steps to effective goal setting is to write it down! If you don't write your goal down, you will not remember it. Writing your goals and reviewing them daily will give your mind sub-conscious cues that what your writing is important, and will help you succeed.
Review Goals Daily. Writing your goals and then setting them aside to collect dust won't do much. It is important to review your goals daily or weekly. Think about them when you wake up every morning. Take a look at your goal list when you check your email/facebook/twitter. Think about what you could do that day to help achieve your goal(s). Also, when you are winding down for the evening, mentally go through your goals and think about 3 things you have done recently that have helped you in one area, or a couple of things that you would like to do soon to help you get closer to achieving your goals.
Get your family and friends involved. Let your family and friends know what you are doing and ask for their support, motivation and any resources they can assist you with.
It's important to track your goals success to know when you have reached them. It sounds simple, but it's important to track the progress you are making. There are several ways in which you can achieve this.
Gear Fire. (n.d.). 6 Killer Tips to Writing Effective Goals. Retrieved from http://www.gearfire.net/6-killer-tips-to-writing-effective-goals/