No matter what you’re going for in your life, having a goal is an essential part of the process. When you have a goal, you’re more focused, you’re more motivated and you’re clearer about where you’re going.
Making decisions about what’s important in your life, where you want to go, and who you want to be – is easier when you have a goal, because if you’re honest with yourself you know in your head and in your gut if a particular choice is leading you towards your goal or away from it.
When you don’t have a goal – a roadmap, life can be aimless, stagnant, or even self-destructive.
Here are the Top 10 Qualities of Your Next Winning Goal:
- Fun. When the game is fun, the goals get done. Whatever your goal, make sure it’s something you can enjoy working towards. Find a path to the finish line that makes use of your strengths and gives you opportunities for connection, fulfillment and joy.
- Realistic. Your goal needs to be realistic and not too lofty – a marathon runner aims to run one mile, 26 times. Use your track record of meeting or not meeting previous goals as your guide. Not meeting your goals has as much to teach you as meeting them – instead of giving up, break the goal down further.
- Personal. Goals need to be something you want to achieve, based on your own passion and vision. If a goal is something you or someone else thinks you “should” do, it’s not your goal. It MUST be YOUR goal. Own it.
- Concrete. Your goal needs to be tangible and definable. “I’m going to spend more time with my children,” is an admirable thought. “I’m going to spend 30-minutes reading a bedtime story to my children every night,” is a goal. It’s defined and it’s measurable.
- Revered. Achieving a goal is cause for celebration. Too often people swing from berating themselves for not working hard enough or letting themselves off the hook, to shrugging off their accomplishments because they’re too busy chasing the next goal. Recognize your hard work – and note that you’re making progress.
- Extraordinary. Eleanor Roosevelt implored, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Your goal should be outside of your comfort zone, outside of your job description, outside of your daily routines and rituals that you’re going to do anyway. We set a goal when we want to do MORE or do better.
- Flexible. You may need to shift and adapt your goals if you find you’re consistently off track. How can you think outside of the box and still get where you want to go? Don’t let one setback derail your entire plan. Be prepared to take a step back, assess the situation and get back in the game – perhaps with a revised plan. Don’t quit.
- Applied. You can only turn your passions and dreams into reality by setting and reaching your goals. Make this new effort part of your everyday routine. Apply to how you think and what you do – and it will change the way you feel. Decide what you want, what you’re going to do to get it, write it down and start doing it. Don’t take it lightly, live your life “on purpose.”
- Top-of-mind. Goals need your attention, or they can be easily obliterated by daily life; other things will inevitably become more important and take over. Make your goals fit in with what you also want to do for your family, career and community, so that you’re not choosing between them. This is important – YOU are important.
- Shared. Goals need to be spoken out loud, committed and shared. When someone else knows what you’re trying to accomplish, you give them the opportunity to support you. And for them, you’re a living role model of inspiration, passion and purpose.
If your previous attempts to improve yourself have failed, go back to the drawing board and make sure that you’re working towards the right goal. Once you set a winning goal for yourself, the road to change becomes clear.
You have the power within you – right now, to change your life. The first step is to change your mind – about who you are, what you want, what you’ll accept in your life – and what you want to achieve.
Let’s work on this together. Let’s take this journey side-by-side.
Live your life with purpose – and on purpose.