Setting Goals For You. Tips And Adviсes
There’s probably nothing that can be more important in determining your ultimate success than the skill of setting goals. Notice I said skill, because setting goals is a skill. As important as it is, it’s a skill that many people never learn. Sticking to your goal requires some attitudes that will attack the tendency to sabotage your own efforts.
First, let’s talk about what goals are and how we can set them. Most definitions of success say that it amounts to reaching the goals you’ve set for yourself. Of course, there’s no universal definition of success; many who you think have achieved extremely high stature hardly consider themselves successes. Yet many whose achievements are quite modest feel very successful.
The difference between the first and second person is that the first person has not achieved his or her goal, and the second has. So satisfaction or meaning in life comes from committing to a goal and relentlessly working toward it to completion. Many leave their lives to chance and then wonder why they don’t achieve success, or they consider others who have as merely lucky or as having some gift or unfair advantage.
But the fact is that unless you determine where you want to go, you will probably wind up somewhere else. Only then will you know that you’re not living out someone else’s goals or are stuck in some rut that you can’t change. Getting what you want in life is usually a matter of priority.
Remember: you can have practically anything you want, but not everything. So in setting goals, keep them realistic, but most importantly, find the time to enjoy what you have accomplished, because what you’ve already accomplished were yesterday’s goals. Chronic dissatisfaction can result when you have a tendency not to recognize what you’ve already achieved.
Keeping those things in mind, clarify your goals by asking what you want more of. That question can encompass any and every area of your life. When you’re thinking about your goals, some anxieties may come up, like the fear of failure and, what is even more sabotaging, the fear of success. In fact, those fears alone are the reason that manyresist setting goals that will help them to take charge of their lives.
So step one is once again to act as though you have no fear. Sometimes it can help to think of setting goals as though you were doing it for someone else and you didn’t have setting goals or be responsible for the outcome; you may need this degree of detachment to let yourself be the architect of your future. If you become aware of your fears, put them aside for a moment. We’ll get to them a little later.
What many people find helpful is to make up what I call a goal chart. You can take an ordinary piece of 8½” × 11″ paper or use a speadsheet on your computer or smartphone. Draw seven lines across and five lines down, giving yourself thirty-five blocks that you can fill in. Start at the top block on the extreme left, and write today. Underneath write, next week. Underneath that, next month. Underneath that, next year. Underneath that, five years.
Underneath that twenty years, and underneath that, life. On the top part, head the columns up starting with the second one over: goals for me. The next one, goals for my family. The next one, goals for my career, and put in the final column whatever may be left. It can be any pet project you have, a cause, or anything else in your life that you consider important.
Now you’re left with twenty-eight empty blocks that give seven different periods of time, starting with today and going through to the rest of your life, and columns where you can identify your goals for yourself, your family, your career, and perhaps something else. Put a general goal in each of these blocks. Setting goals for yourself could include some educational goal, getting married, buying the boat you’ve wanted, taking a certain type of vacation, or even retirement.
For your family, they could involve setting goals having to do with your children or others close to you. The third column, dealing with your career, can involve a job change, a promotion, or any career development that you would like to see happen. The fourth column can be anything else that you think is worth setting goals for. Think in terms of ideals, but make sure that these goals are achievable.
Most people find this exercise to be very enlightening. Some find it painful, because it conjures up self-doubts and fears, but at this stage, we’re just letting those fears go in one ear and out the other, acting as if we’re able to operate without them. If the spaces are not big enough for you to write what you need to write, use additional paper or spreadsheet columns, but the important thing is don’t let anything stifle you. Try to put something into each block.
Next I want to give you another exercise to help you to further visualize your goals. Visualization is perhaps the most powerful tool there is in setting goals, which are really visions. In fact, a law of visualization says you can’t consciously achieve what you can’t first imagine. Just about every breakthrough or achievement, whether in business, science, exploration, or any of the arts, started out as someone’s visualization.
This exercise can be done for any of the time periods on your goal chart. Find a comfortable place to sit down and relax. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing for four or five breaths. Now think about an accomplishment that you’re most proud of. Think of something that you’ve achieved that you may at one time have been full of doubts about, something you attempted in spite of your doubts, or something that you didn’t even know was difficult until you tried it. In any case, think of something that you tried and pulled off with as much success as you wanted, if not more.
Get in touch with the light and happy feeling that that image conjures up. Now, using your goal sheet as a departure point, pick out any period of time, whether it be today, next week, next month, one year from now, five years from now, or twenty years from now. Imagine yourself at that period of time having achieved all the goals you’ve set out for yourself.
Become aware of the feeling of satisfaction once again, and take a look around you and see what is happening in your life. See your situation with respect to relationships, career, finances, and children. Think about the hobbies you may be cultivating. What’s going on in that area of your life?
You’ve tapped into a place within yourself where you can go at any time to retrieve some invaluable data. What you’re visualizing is a result of having achieved certain goals that you may not even be aware of now, but seeing them in this context can help them to become much clearer to you.
You may want to do this exercise often and for different periods of time. Have a pencil and paper handy, and take notes. Imagine how it can feel during those periods. You have no anxiety, because the things that you may be anxious about now have worked out the way you wanted. What you’re doing is visualizing what is possible.
Open your eyes whenever you’re ready, and look at the goals you would like to achieve. At this point, you could even be experiencing them as wishes. If you stopped here, people might call you a dreamer, but it’s the next step that makes a transition between where you are now and where you want to be.
Now we’re ready to spend some time crystallizing these goals. Start looking at them one by one and break them down into smaller subgoals. Many who fail to achieve goals do so because they don’t deal with them in manageable pieces; rather they look at the entire goal as something that’s overwhelming. For example, if your goal were to become a lawyer, the first step is to collect information about law schools.
Look at brochures, fill out some applications, take interviews, study for and take the entrance exams, arrange your financing, and get accepted. Then, of course, there are many other subgoals that will come between the time that you are accepted and the time you pass the bar exam. Maybe your subgoal requires you to collect some information or talk to people who can help you to clarify what you have to do to reach your goal.
Getting support and information from other people is an integral part of getting ahead. Almost any successful person can usually point to a whole array of people who helped them to get there. But you are the quarterback, and nothing is going to happen until you determine the moves. When you start to get off track, see whether the goal needs to be changed or whether you need to just give yourself a push.
As with habits, sometimes it’s a matter of rewarding yourself for staying on track or punishing yourself for falling backwards. This may involve looking at the people you’ve chosen to be around you. Do your network and environment support your goals, or is it the opposite? Some people find it crucial to surround themselves with people who are more success-oriented and with whom they have some common goals.
In achieving and setting goals, it’s not the logistics that people have the most difficulty with. Instead it’s a matter of identifying and removing certain roadblocks. That’s where the work of positive attitude training gets even more specific. The two most self-defeating blocks are the fear of failure and the fear of success. Of course, the good news is that both of these attitudes can be overcome. But to the extent that you expect that you must always do well or you must do perfectly, you’ll probably experience your goal as overwhelming.
You may then fear failing to reach it, and if so, you may not even try. The trick is to turn both success and failure into win-win situations. Of course, if you win, you’ve met your goal. That one’s easy, but how about if you fail? Let’s look at what failure means to you. Do you tell yourself that you’re less of a person or that you are unworthy of succeeding? As we saw earlier, if you’re putting yourself down, you’ll try to avoid that feeling of failure at all costs. Instead, consider adopting some new attitudes about failing.
Often failure is the short-term price you pay for long-term success. Unless you’re too busy downing yourself for failing, there’s a ton of information to be learned each time you fail. Practically every successful person I’ve talked to has pointed to their failures as being the very vehicle that somehow, often inadvertently, gave them their formulas for success. I believe that failure is our best teacher!
Much learning comes from trial and error. Sure, life would be great if we could find a way to eliminate the error part, but it’s rare to find a successful person who didn’t have to display the courage of getting up off the ropes a few times before success kicked in. Failure also makes you appreciate success more when it comes. Chances are if you’re determined to hang in there long enough with realistic goals, success will come. Sometimes failure is necessary for letting go of an unrealistic goal.
Next to the fear of failure, the most common reason we sabotage our goals in the fear of success. Now you might ask, how can anyone fear success? Isn’t that something we all strive for? Fear of failure is much easier to understand, but if you’re good at defining goals yet don’t seem to reach them, it’s possible that you’re fearing success itself. The fear of success is really the fear of failure in disguise.
You fear that once you get to the next level, you’ll fail, so it’s dysfunctionally easier not to get there at all than to get there and fall down. Then when you don’t achieve the goal, you simply tell yourself some version of, “I never got to it.” For some, in the short run, this is an easier pill to swallow than trying and failing. Sometimes you even blame your own ineptitudes, circumstances, or lack of luck for not having gotten there, but the real culprit is the fear that you will get there.
Fear of success may kick in when you feel too guilty or unworthy to get what you want, or when success means giving up some kind of security that you now have. As we will see later on when we talk about making major life changes, many have found that success in one area of life leads to a crisis in another. A major promotion can become a family crisis if the entire family has to relocate, for example.
Fear of success is really a form of higher-order problem, one that brings with it secondary gains. Imagine yourself really succeeding. Be as specific as possible and become aware of the feelings that come up for you. If you can get into that visualization frame of mind, where you can literally see the sights and smell the smells of success, and the emotion that comes to you is one of anxiety, guilt, or doubt, then the fear of success is probably what’s holding you back.
This is just another attitude, so once you recognize it, you can start working vigorously to change it. Here are some more positive affirmations that can help you to turn that attitude around: “If I get to the next level and fail, I won’t fall part.” Success and failure are all personally defined terms. “If I try and I’m satisfied that I made every effort, I will not pin the failure label on myself. Even if I do fail, and the word failure is appropriate, at most it can only be applied to the task at which I failed, not to myself as a person. I am as deserving as anyone else of the success that I’ve envisioned for myself.”
When setting goals, it’s important to make your life as balanced as possible. As we saw earlier, success isn’t the whole answer either. It’s important to cultivate relationships with the people that you care about the most and to work toward making them allies rather than adversaries in whatever you’re trying to achieve. This way success, when it comes, will positively impact your relationships rather than paradoxically make you more estranged.
In addition, you’ll be much more assured of support, rather than having the people around you seeing your success as a threat or obstacle in their lives. The manner in which you set and reach your goals will test you as perhaps nothing else will, but once you’ve mastered this skill, then you can truly say that you’ve taken your life into your own hands.
Positive Attitude Training
How to Be an Unshakable Optimist
Michael S. Broder, Ph.D.
Read more here
A Four-Inch-Long Penis Is More Than Adequate