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Goal setting
“A goal properly set is halfway reached” ~Zig Ziglar

I must admit that I’m a bit cliché. I sit down every New Year’s Eve to do some annual goal setting, hoping to make positive change in my life. But, after several years of doing this, I started to notice that my resolutions were always the same.

Eat healthier. Save Money. Exercise and Meditate Daily.  My list goes on and on…

I always had such great intentions, but I just wasn’t getting the results I had hoped for.

So, what gives?

Related: Smart Goal Setting - Goals on Track

When I reevaluated my goals, I found that I wasn’t really setting myself up to succeed. I was not only trying to change entirely too much at once, but my goals were not very specific or measurable. I decided to change my goal setting strategy by narrowing my focus to one goal and creating a solid action plan.

Since doing this, I have had remarkable success at achieving my goals, one goal at a time. So, if you find yourself in a similar situation, with a long list of last year’s goals still seemingly unaccomplished, then try these simple and effective goal setting strategies.

1) Narrow Your Focus

Start by making a list of what you want to achieve in your life. Then, spend some time reviewing your goals to determine which specific goal would benefit your life most, right now.

Even if you find several areas of your life that you wish to change, it is really important that you focus only on one goal at a time. This will ensure that you are able to put in the attention, effort, and motivation necessary to achieve your goal.

2) Make Your Goal Performance Based

Outcome based goals are often dependent on external factors which are out of our control. These goals can actually demotivate us by leaving us feeling like failures when external circumstances do not change.

Performance based goals, on the other hand, are based solely on your potential, motivation, and efforts; they are completely in your control.

3) Create a Goal Statement with Positive Language and Measurable Terms

Write down what you hope to accomplish using only positive language. Avoid words like Don’t, Won’t, Can’t, No, Never, Stop, etc. These words will only reinforce limiting beliefs and behavior. Focus on what you are going to do, rather than what you aren’t going to do.

Make your goal statement as specific as possible with clear and measurable terms. For example, if you want to lose weight, make sure your statement includes the precise amount you wish to lose by your specific deadline.

4) Create a Timeline

Your final deadline should be included in your goal statement. You’ll then want to break your goal down into precise increments. Create sub-goals with separate deadlines, so that you can easily track your progress by marking your milestones along your way to the finish line.

5) Create an Action Plan

Determine exactly how you are going to achieve your goal. Write down the necessary steps you must take in order to achieve it. Use your timeline to help you create time-centered to-do lists that will help you stay on task.

6) Visualize Your Success

Spend 2-3 minutes each day visualizing your success. Visualize what your life will be like once you have achieved your goal. Make your visualization as specific and realistic as possible.

Consider creating a vision board with positive statements and images that bring your goal to life. If you are an auditory person, try describing your visualizations using descriptive language and affirmation statements.

7) Journal Your Progress and Reward Yourself

Make sure to write down all the steps you take towards achieving your goals. Reward yourself for each milestone you reach. This will help keep you motivated along the way.

8) Be Forgiving and Leave Room for Error

Remember that you are human, not a machine. It is quite possible that you will make a mistake and that is okay. Leave room for error in your action plan.

Don’t push yourself too hard, nor beat yourself up if you aren’t getting the results you want as quickly as you’d like.

9) Be Patient, But Persistent When Goal Setting

Successful people have remarkable amounts of perseverance. They have the ability to push through their obstacles, no matter how challenging that might be. They do not stop until they have what they desire.

Be patient and forgiving with your deadlines, but never lose sight of your goal.

10) Hold Yourself Accountable

Follow your action plan and hold yourself accountable. One of the best ways to do this is to find external support.

Ask a friend or family member to do periodic check-ins with you to keep you on track. Consider joining a support group where others are working towards similar goals. Hire a life coach to help you create a personal goal setting strategy and ensure that you stick to your action plan.

I hope that you find these goal setting strategies effective at manifesting your desires and achieving the success you deserve. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it most certainly was built. Within you, you hold the power to accomplish all of your dreams, one goal at a time.

What goal setting tricks do you use to achieve results? We’d love to hear in the comments!

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