Setting Goals

By Audrey Marlene

Setting Goals - What Have You Learned?

Every December, as you attempt to get your momentum going for the New Year, there are some basic things that must be done first. Many of us may have achieved success in the past years and will continue just where we left off. Others may not have achieved their goals and are faced with some tough decisions. Some may be faced with uncertainty and unsure where to begin.

When at such a juncture, the best thing to do is to go back in time to identify the lessons needed to be learned. The experiences we have had good or bad are life lessons to guide us in making better choices for the future and setting better goals. Before you can get started you must do some retrospection to see what you have learned.

  • Look back to where you may have faltered. See how you could have made a better choice and envision the outcome.

  • Identify areas where you excelled. Think about the elements that went into your positive outcomes. Build upon these strengths and see this is as a positive attribute.

  • Identify areas where you struggled. Determine if you need help in this area or if you should abandon this idea. Decide the kind of help you need, maybe a consultant, taking a course, returning to school, or a coach.

  • Look back at the unfinished tasks. How important are these tasks to you? How can you make greater progress? Determine if you need help.

  • Look back on your emotional state of health. Are you certain you have the emotional stability to carry on? Is there something in your past that needs to be resolved?

  • Is there something you recognize that has prevented you from moving forward? Maybe an illness, addiction, or a bad relationship. If so, it's time to face the truth and seek the help you need.

    If you are truly serious about finishing off each year with a bang and become more effective at setting goals, you must do some retrospective work to right the wrongs, make better choices, or seek the help you need. Without looking back to what you have learned, getting started on the right path will be almost impossible.

    Indicate Your feelings

    Besides setting goals and looking back, one important element that can help to get you started is to decide right now how you want to feel this time next year. If you are feeling accomplished, you know you have a winning formula. Keep at it and keep fine tuning it so these feelings can continue. If you are feeling disappointed with the strides you made this past year, take a look at what caused you to feel this way.

  • Analyze the choices you made. Was it some poor choices that led to your feelings of disappointment? How could you have made better choices and what would they be? If you had made these better choices would it have changed the outcome and would you be feeling disappointed today?

  • What can you do today to avoid feeling disappointed this time next year? Make a list. If you are setting goals how do you plan to achieve that goal?

  • How do you want to feel this time next year? Do you want to feel accomplished, empowered? Write it down on a large piece of paper to be reminded each day of this. How do you plan to feel this? How badly do you want to feel this?

  • Indicate the things that interfere with your ability to feel satisfied, accomplished, or successful? How do you plan to cope with these elements that impede you progress?

    By knowing exactly how you want to feel this time next year and by working to eliminate the factors that deny you these feelings is the perfect way to get started on the right path. Identify Your Fears

    In setting goals it is critical that you look back on the past and identify the fears that seeped into your plans. By recognizing these fears you are better positioned to take action to overcome them. If you are unaware of the fears that held you back, they can continue to sabotage any plans you may be making.

    There are some fears that can actually motivate you to do extremely well. A bit of fear can instigate you to act and not just stand by complacently. However, there are fears that can undermine your efforts and paralyze you. In moving forward you must be mindful of the good versus the bad fears and work to eliminate the ones that work against you.

    Take a look at the fears that interfered with your progress last year. What were you afraid of?

  • Was it a fear of success?
  • A fear of making mistakes?
  • A fear of not being good enough?
  • A lack of self-confidence that injected fear and caused you to doubt your abilities?
  • A fear of making wrong choices?
  • A fear of being rejected?

    Get to know your fears. Write them down to bring them to your conscious mind. Think about the reason behind the fears. As you analyze your fears you are desensitizing them, while at the same time you are identifying ways of coping with the fears and finding solutions. Get the help you need to move past the stubborn fears to you can be prepared for setting goals.

    Once you are familiar with your fears envision them removed from your success equation and foresee how further along you would be in achieving your goals without them. This can give you the motivation you need to conquer your fears. Once they are gone you are ready to get started on a journey of great accomplishments. Procrastination

    You are now aware of the lessons learned in the past. You know how you want to feel this time next year and you've identified your fears. You feel ready to get started on a positive path of setting goals. However, there is one thing that seems to still hold you back that you cannot seem to identify. Could it be procrastination?

    Many goals fail to reach fruition or do not happen as quickly as you hoped soon after you have defined them. This is because we can find many reasons to procrastinate, which puts off getting started. Here are some reasons we procrastinate:

  • The goal appears to be overwhelming. The plan was not broken down into simple doable steps and appears to be extremely time consuming that you want to wait until you can rearrange your schedule. In setting goals you must take into account how much time is required daily to achieve them.

  • Setting goals outside of your expertise and you don't want to make the financial investment to get the expert help you need. This can delay you getting started. Before you proceed you must take into account your level of knowledge and seek the help you need before setting goals and making a commitment to your project.

  • You are observing the market trends to see if your plan has a chance. Before getting started you must do your research ahead of time before making a commitment to the goal.

    When getting started on setting goals you can often find reasons to procrastinate. The above are some reasons why people do. Examine your goals and identify any possible reasons that can cause you to procrastinate. Once you have and can work to resolve them you are in better positioned to begin.

    As you get started on your goals, I pray that you will achieve the kind of success you aspire to. Remember, that although society's competitive approach to accomplishing your goals is focused on "winning", it's important to not neglect your physical health, your emotional state of mind, and the importance of feeding your soul with spiritual food.

    Here's To getting started in setting goals.

    Quotes On Getting Started

  • "Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable."- Peter F. Drucker

  • "Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." - Carl Bard

  • "Vitality shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

    # "Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit."- Conrad Hilton

  • "Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone." - Robert Allen

  • "What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly." - Lao Tsu

  • "I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today." - William Allen White

  • "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi

  • "Yesterday ended last night. Every day is a new beginning. Learn the skill of forgetting. And move on." - Norman Vincent Peale

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