Goal setting: How to set goals and achieve them
When we think about our lives we tend to ask the same questions: What do I want? Am I happy? What does success mean to me? The question we often forget to ask is: How am I going to achieve my goals? The answer is smart goal setting.
This is an edited and updated version of an original article by Christine Funk.
How to find the path to a successful future through goal setting
Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint what exactly we would like to change in our lives. Sometimes asking yourself what we want from life isn’t the solution. If you are finding yourself in this situation, you can also figure out what you want by doing the exact opposite: Think about what you don’t want. Brainstorming with the following questions will make it easier to visualise your goals.
Think about these questions and write down your answers for future reference.
Questions to help you find what you don’t want:
- Which parts of your life would you like to change or eliminate?
- What personal traits would you like to change?
- What problems and pitfalls would you like to prevent?
- What bad habits or personality traits would you like to get rid of or avoid developing?
- Is there anything else that you know you do not want in your life?
When you are done, review your answers. Often, you can easily identify the things you want from these questions. If that does not work, try turning each answer into a positive.
It is often far easier for us to work towards a positive outcome rather than strive to remove a negative one.
Example: “I want to eliminate working as a wage slave in a nine–to–five office job.”
The negativity surrounding this statement could lead to a decrease in ambition towards achieving the goal. This example could be far more successful by being easily turned into a positive statement:
“I would like flexible working hours” or, “I would like an independent income.”
Now answer one positive question:
- What do I have in my life which I like and want more of?
Now that you have come closer to figuring out what your goals in life are, it is time to take conscious action towards accomplishing your dream.
The best way to achieve your goal is to start thinking and acting like a winner. Try the following exercise:
Close your eyes and visualise yourself after accomplishing everything you wanted. Take a few moments to create a detailed picture in your head of yourself having achieved the goal – add as many benefits for yourself as you can think of. This is what is known as creative visualisation.
It might help you to take notes or draw pictures of the things that come to your mind.
- How does that image make you feel?
- When analysing the image, did your life change for the better?
- What benefits did you get from achieving this goal?
If you can’t visualise the final outcome of your goal, you probably won’t achieve it.
This exercise is designed to show you how you want your life to be. Positive thinking is key to any accomplishments: Positive beliefs in turn lead to amazing results. Once you can visualise and feel positive about your future, you are ready to start working on your goal.