The 411 on Selecting and Achieving Your Goals

By: Eva Gregory

Achieving goals is a step by step process, with making a decision about what to accomplish being just a part of the whole process itself. So how does one select the appropriate goal?

Take for example the college student who must decide on a major by his or her junior year. Once upon a time when so few people were pursuing higher education the decision about what to major in was often a family decision. The choice was made by the determination of how best a degree would serve the purposes of the family and/or the community. Of course gender played a significant affect on the available options. But today just about anyone can major in, study, or become anything they want. Talk about your bevy of choices, definitely not an easy task. High school, freshman and sophomore years are supposed to be “trial" years in which a student is exposed to enough different subjects and careers from which to choose, but many students still have a difficult time making a decision. Take a second and think of all of the people you know who are unhappy in their current jobs. Pay particular attention to the people who you know should not have chosen their current careers. Granted, sometimes circumstance and necessity play a huge factor, but when choice is involved the current trend is that a very small percentage of individuals are happy with their choice. Is it possible to change? How does one go about narrowing the playing field before they make their choice? The key is taking the time to become familiar with yourself and carefully outline your goals with clarity.

Goals are incredibly individualized things. While two people may share the same goal, their motivation, anticipated result, and path will probably all vary.

Whether you write them down or envision them, the first step is to determine why you are creating a goal. What will it do -- create for you, or change for you? The answer to the question will let you know if you’re on the right path. See, if a goal will create less free time for you, and your spouse is currently commenting that he/she never sees you, then this could be a conflict. However, if it will in the short term take more of your time, but free-up 50% of your time in X months, then you and you spouse may be able to come to an agreement.

Next determine what your goal(s) actually are. If you have several goals classify them and narrow them down. Will they assist you financially? Will they help you achieve better health? Will they nurture your spirit? Will they celebrate your passions? Is there a seemingly natural way to pursue them? For instance it would seem likely to begin with yourself and branch outwards towards goals that you have less control over. For example, focusing on your spirit (something you control), before you tackle a new career (which involves yourself and others). Especially since a calmer, focused spirit will make it easier for you to achieve your financial goals. A long list of goals may seem like an insurmountable task. However, once they are classified you may find that some may be eliminated altogether, others may be better focused on at a later date, and some may be combined with others for greater clarity. It’s not the length of the list, but your ability to concentrate on the goal to make it a reality that is the key.

Once you have determined the why and determined the what, next determine how, which will also answer where it will be accomplished – the action, duration and location. Will you accomplish an exercise goal by hiring a personal trainer or by purchasing a video or DVD? Will you pursue your education through distance learning or classroom education? Any of these means are an acceptable way to reach a goal, but a method that will bring success to one, may not bring success to another. While you are determining how, don’t forget too schedule the duration. An indefinite amount of time is too wishy-washy. So set a time frame. Remember to take your views into consideration. If you have difficulty making long term commitments then signing up for a lifetime gym membership could be a tad intimidating, while if you are detailed and organized a six month or longer workout program may be just what you’d excel at. It is important to determine what will work best for you. The more individualized the plan, the higher the rate of success.

Goals are unique. They can be set, modified, implemented, and even stalled. But the key to goals is you – the individual. Parents have goals and dreams for their children, but while they can put them on the path it eventually becomes up to the individual to carry on with the journey. Change is always possible and can begin with the tiniest of steps. Each tiny step will bring you closer to where you want to be. Embrace the possibility, crave the potential, and celebrate your decision. When you know the decision was made with you in the forefrontBusiness Management Articles, you’ll know that it’s in line with your passion.

Motivation
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