The Six Skills of Goal Setting

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Stagnation in life is sometimes debilitating. When we don’t have a clear direction or even motivation to do things, it is easy to get apathetic and become paralyzed with feelings of “being stuck” in life. One helpful way to get out of this rut is to set some goals.

When we have a clear purpose and stated goals to guide us towards that future, it will motivate us. With a clarity of vison for our desired future, we start to build confidence and excitement to move forward. Then, as we see progress in our goals, it will enable us to capitalize on the momentum and grow.

There is a plethora of articles and information on how to set goals, therefore, if you are interested, you can search it on the internet. I am just going to give the basics and then you can adapt it in order to achieve the future that you envision.

Here are 6 skills (DESIGN) that you can work on in order to help you set goals in your life so that you can move forward towards your destiny:

  1. D – DEFINE your purpose or your desired future. It is always important to know where you want to go or where you want to be. First, start there and then work backwards by setting up goals to achieve that desired future. Therefore, questions like: “what do I want to be?” “where do I want to be in 5 or 10 years from now?” or even “what do I want to do with my life?” are all helpful. It is really connected to your values and the kind of person that you want to become.

Next Steps: Take some time to get away from all distractions and just dream about what your desired future would look like and answer the question, “why do you want to do it?” Don’t forget to write it down.

  1. E – EXAMINE where you are and some of the obstacles. One of the reasons why we are not able to achieve our goals is because we don’t have realistic goals. It is imperative that you know where you are currently by understanding your strengths and weaknesses. Also, we need to do a better job of examining and diagnosing some of the obstacles that hinder us from moving forward. Therefore, before you can set some goals, it helps to identify some of the barriers that are holding you back. Another helpful area to think through is determining your level of willingness to pay the price in achieving your goals. Too often, we are stuck because of fears or even our love for comfort. But when you are determined to count the cost and make the sacrifice, then you will proceed with greater confidence. Don’t choose comfort or convenience over change.

Next Steps: Ask yourself some hard questions and then write out a “declaration” of what you are willing to do to reach your goals. Then share it with someone. Some of the questions to ask yourself are: “What is hindering me from reaching my goal?” “Why don’t I have my desired goal already?” “I am willing to do whatever it costs to reach my goal?”

  1. S – SET-UP S.M.S. goals. When we are able to set-up a clear path for achieving our goals, then we will be able to revolutionize the way we grow and advance in towards our goals. The SMS that I am referring to is: Specific. Measurable. Set-time. Goals without specificity, measurability, and time sensitivity will usually fail. Therefore, we need to first write down specific steps towards what we want to achieve. Secondly, we need to make sure that the goals are measurable by determining whether we did or not. Lastly, it should have a clear deadline.

Next Steps: With the goals that you have set forth, come up with a SMS steps for each one.

  1. I – INCREMENTAL steps. It is easy to try to do more than we are able to do and then get discouraged. This is why some goals seem impossible, but when you are able to break it down to smaller goals, then it is more manageable and achievable. For example, if you want to do 40,000 push-ups in one year, it might appear difficult. But if you break it up into 110 push-ups a day, then it is easier to take steps forward. It is all about doing things in an incremental way so that we are slowly arriving to the destination, rather than achieving everything at once. Don’t forget to celebrate the small wins along the way. Also, in order to move incrementally, you must remember that framing the goals with a positive perspective is better than a negative one. For example, if you want to lose weight, instead of saying, “I’m so fat, I want to lose weight!” you should say, “I want to be healthier, therefore, I will eat healthy!” or “I want to exercise to have more energy and stay fit!”

Next Steps: Look over your goals and see if they are framed in smaller goals that are achievable and realistic.

  1. G – GET GOING. Sometimes the reason for not achieving our goals is because of our laziness; and this can be connected to our desire. We have to want the desired future badly enough for us to make the appropriate changes in our lives. This will require discipline. We will not pay the price unless the purpose or the goal is something that we really want and is important to us. Just knowing the purpose is not enough. We need follow-through. Therefore, working on our goals is really an avenue for us to work on our character. Don’t forget that it is a process.

Next Steps: Write out a schedule for each day and then find ways to reward yourself with breaks when one goal is achieved.

  1. N – NETWORK with others to help you. There is something powerful of being surrounded with people who care for you and want to help you. This is why stating our goals to others, indirectly, helps us to do what we say we will do. Also, get people to journey with you and even try to do it together. Accountability is such a big part of achieving our goals. See it as a partnership and push each other to higher levels.

Next Steps: Find at least two people to keep you accountable. Give a progress report every 3 weeks so that you can stay on target.

It is easy to go through life without a clear direction or steps to move forward. This is why so many of us feel stuck and frustrated that we are not advancing in life. But there is hope. We must take action to set-up goals and to take small steps towards reaching our destiny. Therefore, remember that we must have a clear DESIGN by doing:

  1. DEFINE your purpose or your desired future.
  2. EXAMINE where you are and some of the obstacles.
  3. SET-UP S.M.S. goals.
  4. INCREMENTAL steps.
  5. GET GOING.
  6. NETWORK with others to help you.

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