Goal Setting - A Roadmap to Your Success

Goal setting reduces your stress and greatly increases your chance of success.

Let's suppose that it is vacation time and you've packed the car and you are prepared to go! A road trip across the country.

As you pull out of the driveway and onto the highway, you start to leave your neighborhood and all the familiar things that you are used to.

Eventually you come to fork in the road that you are not familiar with.

Reaching for your map, you realize with panic that you left it at home.

"No worries" you say as you take a chance and turn right. You wind down the window and turn up the music. You are on holiday!

Unfortunately, you never reach your destination.

Many of us treat goal setting in much the same way. We have dreams of the way we want our life to be but don't have a road map for how to get there.

Goals are a road map to a successful life. Setting goals can aid your decision making when you reach a fork in the road of your life.

On your road map to success you have dream goals, these are your dreams without limits or constraints. They are your final destination.

Maybe your dream goal is to go on a trip around the world, become the best athlete in the world, have a successful business, or reduce your weight and become healthier.

Goal setting makes today's dream into tomorrow's reality by constructing long-term goals. In the road-trip analogy this is the trip across the country.

Setting your long-term goal, ask yourself "What you want to do?" or "What do you want to achieve?". See our goal setting activities, to work on long-term goals that reflect a vision of your success.

When setting goals it is important that your goals align with your values and beliefs. As a performance/sport psychologist, too often I have seen people who have spent years climbing the ladder of success, only to reach the top of the ladder and realize that the ladder is leaning up against the wrong building.

To ensure that you set goals that are important to you and contribute to your overall life success, it is important to set goals in different areas of your life.

Some of the common goals that people set are:

  1. Diet and fitness goals. Perhaps you want to lose weight, or put on more muscle or just remain healthy and active as you get older. Click here to see how you can achieve your diet and fitness goals.
  2. Family goals. With families increasingly pressured by time, setting family goals can result in more quality family time, reduced stress and better relationships with those that matter most. Click here to see how you can help you to achieve family goals.
  3. Financial goals. Do you want to achieve financial independence or ensure that you have enough put away for when you retire? Click here to see how you can achieve your financial goals.
  4. Career goals. Are you happy with your career? Do you want to improve your career successes? Career goals can maximize your chances of career success.

Your answers can be quite daunting, but setting short-term goals can make these much more achievable.

Short-term goals are usually set for periods of a month or less. If you think of a ladder. The top of the ladder is your long-term goal. Each step of the ladder is a short-term goal that moves you towards your long-term goal.

For short term goals, your goals should be SMARTer. SMARTer goals are an acronym for setting goals that maximize your success - they should be specific, measurable, action-orientated, realistic, time-based, emerging, and reviewed regularly.

In setting your short-term goals, you create an personal action plan, or a set of objectives to achieve your short-term goal.

In the road trip example, a short term goal may be to reach the destination for that evening, while the action plan would support that goal, such as ensuring the car has enough gas, that you take in the tourist sites (as you should enjoy the goal setting process) or that you have a map!

Without an adequate goal plan, your chances of success are less and in the road-trip example you may meander through a maze of roads to reach your hotel several hours later.

These goal setting tips can maximize your chances of goal success.

Goals are an active process, rather than a set and forget strategy. See how goal setting software can be beneficial to achieve your goals.

Likewise, research shows that goal setting for children can increase sport and academic performance, build confidence and self-esteem, and be an important skill that can be transferred to everyday living skills.

These long term goals and the values from which they are built upon are the bedrock for the goal setting process.

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