5 Steps To More Effective Goal Setting

Reach Your Goals

In viewing some blogs this evening I noticed a few people were bummed out about their inability to reach goals. I thought this information might help.

1. Start With Short Term Goals

If you set a large, long term, goal, for example, making $25,000 a month, without setting small goals you’re likely to become discouraged quickly. Set small, daily, goals and review your goals each day. Don’t set your short term goals for more than 90 days, any longer than that is a long term goal.

2. Your Goal Must Make You Stretch

If the goal you set is easily reachable without you working hard to achieve it, it’s not much of a goal. Set your goals where you’ll have to push yourself to get it done. It’s OK if you fail, what matters is that you tried.

3. Make Your Goal Believable

Do you believe you can achieve your goal? If you don’t, you won’t be willing to pay the price to achieve it. Make sure that you see yourself achieving the goals you set for yourself.

4. Put Your Goal in Writing

If it’s not put in writing, it’s a wish, an idle dream. While you don’t want to make a goal inflexible, you don’t want it to be so flexible that it means nothing. As the saying goes, "If you don’t know where you’re going, you never know where you’ll end up."

5. Build Your Goals Around Your Activities

A common mistake is to build your goals around reaching a particular number that might be hard for you to control. When I was reflecting on my goals here on OpTempo I realized I had done this myself in my November goals. Instead, you should build your goals around activities you control. For example, I shouldn’t have a goal of having 100 RSS subscribers by the end of the month. Instead, I should set goals that focus on what I will do to gain more subscribers. Setting your goals this way prevents disappointment when outside factors interfere.

What do you think? Do you have any goal setting tips you would like to add?


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Comment by Saedel
2007-11-15 21:33:30

Nice tips.

I would also suggest “set a deadline”. Deadlines push people to work and not to procrastinate. I’m not sure though how it would fit with your last suggestion.

Comment by jfc
2007-11-15 21:47:06

Hi Saedel,

That is the idea of setting a small daily goal and reviewing this each day. That puts a good solid deadline on it, today. So if you commit to reaching the daily goal you’ll find the longer term ones easier to reach because you’re steadily making progress toward them.

The last one has to do with what you use as your metric for determining your goal. It needs to be something that you can reach without depending on the actions of others. For example, a salesperson would want to set a goal for the number of cold calls they would make in a day but not the number of sales they would make.

2008-07-13 14:18:48

Setting short-term goals, rather than long-term ones, is very hard for me. I realize however that without short-term goals, my long-term goals are in fact merely long-term dreams.

Comment by Goal Setting Nick
2009-02-16 17:15:22

Goal setting is a very complex thing. Much more than most people realize. The main thing that most people need in their goal setting is to have an excruiatingly clear end result in mind for anything that’s going to take any length of time to complete. The best way that I’ve found to do this is to use the “Perfect Day” technique where you think and visualize about what would be your perfect day to help you latch on and see the end result that you’re going for.

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