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Setting Goals in 5 Easy Steps

Updated on March 22, 2018

Steps for Effective Goal Setting

The 7 characteristics of goals:

Goals should be self-chosen- which means they should be something that you care about, are passionate about, or just simply something that you want for yourself. They should not be someone else’s goals for you.

Goals should be moderately challenging- which means they should be something that you have to work toward. If everything is handed to you on a silver platter, there would be no reason to make any effort.

Goals should be realistic- which means that your goals should be something that you can actually do. Getting my degree in human services is a goal that I can actually achieve, while buying a villa in Cabo San Lucas and becoming the president of Mexico is not a very realistic goal for me.

Goals should be measurable- which means, you should be able to see them. Saying that I want to “do good” in my course is too vague, whereas, saying I want to get a B on my midterm exam is a more defined measure of my success.

Goals should be specific- which means, your goals should be clearly defined. Saying I want a job close to home is rather vague, but if I specify that I would like to get a job working for Bartow County Government narrows the goal into a more specific and attainable goal.

Goals should be finite- which means that your goals should have a deadline. Saying that I am working on my degree is broad. It does not imply what type of degree or how long I am working on it. It would be better to state my goals as, I plan to have my bachelor degree in May of 2018. That provides a deadline that I can measure courses completed and final grades to courses needed and required GPA for graduation.

Goals need to be positive- which means the goal should be something to work toward that will improve your life. If the goal does not add to the quality of your life or situation, there will be little motivation to complete it.

5 steps to writing effective goals:

The steps to writing out effective goals should begin with your goal statement. Secondly, you would list the obstacles or challenges you expect to face in obtaining your goal. Then you would list the available resources you have or plan to have that can help you work through those challenges and put yourself in a better position to obtain the goal stated. You would then list the motivation for the goal. Your motivation can be whatever the driving force is behind achieving this goal for yourself, whether it be your family and making a better life for them by the financial gain of the goal, or personal, such as the sense of accomplishment you feel from achieving your goal after others told you that you could not accomplish it. Then lastly, you would review your goal statement after completing the lists of obstacles and resources in comparison to your motivation, and revise the goal statement.

5 Step Action Plan

Step 1- Tentative goal statement:

What is the desired outcome of your goal? What are you hoping to achieve or gain from this goal?

Step 2- List of obstacles.

List all of the obstacles, including work and family requirements that need to be considered when working to achieve your goals.

Step 3- List of resources.

Make a list of every resource you have available to help you in working tow

Step 4- List your motivation.

Your "Why"- list the greatest benefit from realizing your goal. .

Step 5- Revised goal statement.

I will do the work necessary to -Make this an action statement directly related to achieving your goal. .


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