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Proper Personal Goal Setting

Why does goal setting sometimes fail to work?

When people want things, situations or accomplishments, they often call these goals. Then they are disappointed when they don't get them. You can call desires goals if you want, but just naming your desires sure isn't effective goal setting. Good personal goal setting results in goals that have some or all of the following:

1. The goals are specific. "I want to be healthy" is too general. "I want to lose weight and walk three times a week," is much better.

2. The goals are measurable. Exactly how many pounds do you want to lose, or how much money do you want to make? How will you know (by what measure) if your relationship is better?

3. They're written. There is power in writing down goals. Writing makes them more real, and this influences your subconscious mind, especially if you review the goals regularly.

4. They're realistic. Even if it is possible that you could become an astronaut, if you're already 55, you better try for becoming a pilot for now. Goals that are unrealistic set you up for failure.

5. Good goal setting uses deadlines. You'll have that new job by when? Setting dates and keeping track of them really helps your progress.

6. Good goals become plans. Making a goal into specific steps makes it much more likely, and it is less overwhelming to take one step at a time.

7. They're motivated. Having the right reasons is a good start, but you should also learn how to re-motivate yourself, and reward yourself when you make progress.

8. They take into account personal factors. Can you really get what you want if you feel like you don't deserve it? Well, maybe, but good goal setting takes into account personal changes that are necessary or useful.

9. They're followed by action. One of the secrets to motivation and to getting where you want to be is to start with any movement towards the goal. Action begets action. Start slow if you must, but start.

10. They're not written in stone. Your goals will naturally evolve. Why would you become a doctor once you learned that you liked doing lab work better?

This last one is a tough one. Making an excuse or making a change of course are not the same thing, but to know the difference means you need a certain level of self-awareness. Develop that, then apply the keys to goal setting above, and you'll get to where you want to be.

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