How to Set Goals You Will Actually Achieve
I don’t know about you but I LOVE to set goals. YAY goals!!! I’m a dreamer and an idealist so there is nothing that I love more than sitting down and brainstorming out all the things that I want to get done today, tomorrow, next week, next next week, next next next week, and next week to infinity and beyond.
I don’t think I have ever had a time when I did not have a goal in mind. I am always working towards something. Always. But you know what I really suck at? Accomplishing my goals.
Oh, I am an idea generating machine and once I think of something another 50-11 somethings come following. But to actually follow through and finish those goals? Nah son. I start them, get bored, drop it, and then think of another goal to go after. Then I hurry up to get started on that new goal, get bored, drop it, and then think of another. That cycle continues and continues until I open up the guest room closet and out falls all of the projects that I started but never finished.
This craziness continued until I sat down and finally realized what my problem was with these goals. Why couldn’t I ever seem to achieve or finish what I set out to do?!
My problem was that I didn’t know how to set a good goal. I didn’t know how to set a goal that I could measure and actively monitor its progress. I didn’t know how to set a reasonable goal, either. And because of that, I struggled with completing them. It wasn’t until I learned how to make a great attainable goal that I began completing them.
Are you like this too? Do you suck at making good goals and suck even more at achieving them? Don’t make the same mistakes I made with setting up your goals. Let me help you. Here are three steps to setting goals you will actually achieve:
1.Write Out BIG, Detailed Goals
Be as detailed as possible when writing your goals and allow yourself to freely dream. Pray, ask God to lead you and write out in as much detail what you would like to accomplish. Let your mind go wild.
I’m a firm believer in creating goals that are both within reach and goals that are humongous. Go BIG or go home, right? Dream and write goals that are so big that once you get them, you know without a doubt that they are from God because there just ain’t no way that you could have gotten it on your own merit. Remember, no goal and no dream is too big for God. So be BOLD with this. Ask God to open doors that you never imagined opening and trust that He will. Remember, your thoughts are not His thoughts and your ways are not His ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). He can do exceedingly above anything that you have ever thought of or could ever dream of. So dream, really DREAM, knowing that He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).
2. Make Your Goals Measurable
Now that you’ve prayed on it and have written out your BIG goals in as much detail as possible, you are now ready to make them measurable. This is key; a good goal is a measurable goal. To make a goal measurable means that you have set goals in such a way that allows you to objectively assess it’s progress and whether or not you’ve met that goal. I think I’m making this sound harder than it is. Let me break this down a bit. In Jack Canfield’s book, The Success Principles- How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, he explains that in order to make your goals measurable, you will have to specify two things:
1. How much you want to accomplish and
2. By when you wish to accomplish it
So say you want to write a book. The measurable version of that goal is to state that you want to have 250 pages (this answers the ‘how much’ portion of the goal) written, edited, and ready for publication by May 31 (this answers the ‘by when’ portion of the goal).
Why is this such an important part of goal setting? It’s because having measurable goals gives you more of an objective accountability for your goals.
So going back to our example, if it is May 31 and you have 278 pages written, edited, and ready for publication, you know that you have not only met your goal by the deadline but you have also surpassed your goal. Quantifying your goals also helps you to continuously evaluate your progress. This then allows you to have an end number in mind so that while you are working towards that goal, you are able to periodically check in and make sure that you are still on target for meeting your goal. If not, this method helps you to re-evaluate what you need to do to get back on track or if you need to readjust your goal altogether.
3. Break Down your BIG Goals into Mini-goals
Now that you know how to make your big goal measurable, break your big goal down into smaller goals. I call these mini-goals. These mini-goals are action steps that you need to take to help you get to your big goals. They also help you build the confidence that you need to tackle that big goal.
So for instance, if you have big goal of getting a masters degree, your mini-goals may be:
Get 3 letters of recommendation by January 15
Write 1500 word Personal Statement by January 30
Submit 5 graduate school applications by March 1st
Enroll in 2 classes that are offered M-W after 5pm, by July 30
Study for 4 hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5pm-7pm…
Do you see where I am going with this?
Setting little goals is so important because it helps you develop the mindset that you need to accomplish the bigger goals. You develop your character, your attittude, confidence, and most importantly FAITH in God. When you can see God’s work in your life with the mini-goals, you gain even more confidence that He will come through with your big goals. It enables you to grow that mustard seed so that you can move that mountain.
Every little victory we have allows us to challenge ourself a little bit more and accomplish even bigger victories. So write out your big goals and be specific, make them measurable, and break them down. If you do this, I promise, you will be well on your way to actually achieving them.
Until next time, love like Jesus
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Graphic and content by Cefion