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Setting goals in your life and in your career can be very powerful and very effective. Writing them down will increase your ability to meet them.

In 1979 the MBA programme graduating class at Harvard University were asked,

‘Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?’

Ten years later this class was tracked to see how much they were earning. They were split into three groups.

Group A which represented 84% of the class had set no goals at all

Group B and 13% of the group, had set themselves goals but not written them down, ten years later were earning TWICE as much as group A.

Group C which equalled just 3% of the group had set written goals and were earning TEN TIMES as much as both groups A & B put together!

In this article we share some of the golden rules for setting goals for yourself, that have been gathered from successful goal setters from around the globe.

set and reach goal concept

1. Be Careful What You Wish For!

We need to be very specific about what we actually want in all areas of our life. For example it might be great to earn heap loads of money and have a great career but are we sacrificing other areas in our life. This might include not seeing your children grow up because you are working long hours or you don’t reserve enough time for your partner or hobby.

It pays to make a list of all the important areas that are important in your life and be very specific about what you want and need.

2. Make Sure You Will Know When You’ve Arrived

How will you know when you’ve arrived at your goal? How will you judge that you have reached your desired outcome? What will it look like, what will you hear and what will it feel like? If we don’t do this it’s difficult to say we’ve done it. We need this to gain that sense of achievement and satisfaction that reaching the goal gives us.

3. Give Yourself A Stretch

We often gain the highest amount of satisfaction when we achieve a goal that requires some effort on our part. Many dreams are like this and it will depend on each individual whether it is stretching enough.

4. Check That It Meets Your Internal Values

Sometimes in our rush to meet our goal we put ourselves in situations that go against our values as a person. For example we might work for someone who has different values and we are expected to comply with those. If you have ever found yourself in this place, you will know that after a while it becomes so uncomfortable that you have to leave. So before you say yes do what you can to see whether your values are aligned.

5. Believe It To See It

We often say, ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’. In this case you need to believe that you can achieve it before you move forward. This is about commitment and determination. It is also about making your goals achievable. Seek out examples of inspirational people who have achieved great things against the odds. As you will probably know many athletes use visualization techniques to meet their goals. They literally see the result in their mind’s eye before it happens.

6. Take The First Step

This step is very important. A goal is only a wish list if you don’t take action. This first step signals to your brain that the journey has begun and is very motivational, especially if you have put this off for while.

7. Let Go Of The Journey

Many people get upset that the path to their goal is not exactly as they planned and give up too easily. If you read about people who have reached their objectives in life they will often tell you that there is likely to be ups and downs and deviations from the original path. By keeping your goal in mind, you are able to adjust as required. It helps if you develop a flexibility of behaviour in this respect whilst keeping your eye on the end goal.

Once you have committed to this first step you will be surprised what opportunities come your way. If you haven’t read the book or seen the DVD called ‘The Secret’ we highly recommend it. It talks about the Law of Attraction. Basically it explains how the brain will focus on opportunities once you have set your goals. This helps it filter out what it doesn’t need. This is like when you buy a different car. All of a sudden everybody seems to be driving the same car as your new one. It shows how when our brain zero’s in on a particular thing that it notices similar things. So start setting your goals today, write them down and commit to make it happen.

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Posted by Sean McPheat

Sean is the founder and MD of international management development firm MTD Training,  he is widely regarded as a leading authority on modern-day management and leadership. Sean is a bestselling author, and has been recognized for his own business building skills through the British Business Awards and has been featured in the Who’s Who Of Britain’s Business Elite. Click here to follow Sean online.

One Comment

  1. Every goal needs action.Action determines the result.Truly first step is the step needs to be taken to start any journey.Thanks for sharing.

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