I think that most people would agree that the people who have goals are more successful than those who do not have any.
So many people pay lip service to the topic of goal setting. Few actually talk about setting the mood. Goals are not something you just throw together like a grocery list. Goal setting requires time and thought. Here is a simple 4-step exercise that will have you creating clear, defined goals in 60 minutes or less! All it takes it 4 sheets of paper, something to write with, and a willingness to open your mind!
Step 1: 10 – 15 Minutes
Take a blank sheet of paper and title it “Values.” Then spend some time writing down everything that you value. There is a great website that has a list of several hundred values to start your mind thinking in the right direction. After the time is up, stop doing this and move to Step 2.
Step 2: 10 Minutes
At the top of another blank piece of paper, write down “lifetime goals.” Let your imagination run wild! Think of places you want to visit, sights you’d like to see, career and personal milestones, and even awards you’d like to win. This might include traveling to Australia; getting a degree; living in an certain size house, etc. There are no rules to this brainstorming exercise – simply make a list.
Step 3: 15 Minutes
On another blank piece of paper write down what you would do if you had six months to live. This might seem morbid, but you’d be amazed at the things that bubble to the surface. Some of us may have only six months to live; however, we may not know it yet. List everything that you would do if you had only six months to live. Part of the purpose of this exercise that I found works well for me is that it brings the truly important into focus. Often, I find things that I would do if I had only six months to live that are not listed on my lifetime goals.
Step 4: 15 – 20 Minutes
Finally, on the last blank piece of paper write down your goals you want to accomplish in the next 12 months. After doing the first three steps, you will find this step much easier than you would have before. One word of advice. Don’t rush it. Look at the other pages and see if there are any goals that can be achieved in the given time frame. Earlier this year, I realized that I was much closer to seeing France or Italy than I realized. I want to make it happen now!! Once this list is complete, you will have your focus for the next year! Wasn’t that easy?
You will find that investing the time (and paper) will reap far greater rewards than the shortcut method of jotting down the first things that pop into your head. Goals should be carefully considered and placed into proper context in order to be truly effective!