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Looking to set goals the right way so that you’ll actually take action towards achieving them? Below I’ll share my easy and simple goal setting steps that even beginners can follow.
Have you noticed how basically every inspirational and motivational content you come across keeps hammering on the importance of goal setting?
Then you are probably asking yourself,
“How do I embark on this journey of setting goals without having any prior knowledge of it?”
If this describes how you feel, then don’t worry about it anymore, because this article will be providing powerful but simple goal setting steps for beginners. With this, you can embark on your goal setting journey with no worries.
Simple Goal Setting Steps
Goal setting is a very important and powerful process when you are considering your ideal future. If you want to accomplish something, you must set a goal for it. Setting a goal helps to give you direction, put you on track, and develop a level of commitment for what you want to achieve.
Also, knowing the right steps to follow when setting your goals irrespective of whether you are a beginner or not is very important and will help you go through your goal setting journey smoothly. You will also avoid some common goal setting mistakes that people often make.
There are various steps on how to set goals but most of the processes that are usually written in books or articles or put in videos do not give much room for beginners to learn from.
Whether you are trying to start a new business, trying to lose weight, heading on a new career path or a path to a better life in general, check out these simple goal setting steps to help you begin your goal setting journey!
1. Think about the goals you want to set and consider the most important goal to focus on
The first step to setting a goal is to think about the goal you want to set. This might sound obvious but you need to do so. Once the goals you want to set begin to pop up in your head, you need to sit down and ask yourself,
“What is the most important goal I should set and focus on now?”
The truth is that you have to prioritize and focus on the most important goal first because that is what matters the most to you at that moment.
If you are still confused about how to come up with the goals you want to set, you can choose from any of these:
A goal to; be healthier, get a higher educational degree, be happier, advance your career, start your own business, etc. It could even be specific, unusual goals such as; getting a flat tummy, going natural, or getting taller (haha, kidding, let’s be realistic).
You can also create a specific goal by yourself around these areas of life:
- Personal/spiritual development,
- Environment, and
- Contribution to society.
What you have to do is evaluate your life currently and think about what you want to change about it, add to it or subtract from it.
Also, while considering the most important goal you should focus on, you must weigh your options and determine if the resources you have at hand will suffice to carry out and accomplish your goal.
If you realize that the resources you have won’t be enough for you to achieve your goal, it is either you focus on a different but important goal on your list until you can gather enough resources to achieve the former goal. Or you find a way to adjust the resources you have at hand and make it work towards achieving your goals.
You must also consider the hindrances you would face along the way and determine how to tackle them.
Let us assume that you want to get a higher educational degree in order to get a better job, but you currently have a day job which would limit the time you have for education. However, you also need to keep the job because of your finances.
At this point, your major problem is time, so how do you tackle that?
Some things you can do to tackle the problem are; you may consider enrolling for a part-time study in order to keep at your current job while going to school. Or you may consider working for some months or years and saving up enough money to pursue full-time higher education.
2. Put your goal in writing
The next simple goal setting step to take is writing down your goal. Writing down your goal takes you a step further from wishful thinking to taking action. By writing your goals down, you are sending a signal to your brain about your commitment to achieving the set goals. This is why it is an important step.
You can decide to write out your goal on paper, a note pad, or a writing app on your laptop or phone. Just choose what works best for you and start writing.
3. Break down your goals into small processes to follow
Achieving a set goal involves carrying out a series of tasks that would act as a means to an end, therefore it is important that while writing your goals, you also need to specifically write out each of the tasks you have to carry out in order to achieve the set goal.
These steps make your goal smarter, clearer, and easier to achieve.
For example, if you set a goal to lose weight within 3 months, some steps you might want to write down to follow in order to achieve your goal are: Sign up at a gym and work out at least 20 minutes daily or run 5 miles every 2 days, eat less of fatty food, drink at least 10 cups of water daily, etc.
The main thing is to figure out the exact steps you need to follow in order to achieve your goal, write them down, and implement them.
It is also important that you set a deadline for every one of the small tasks that you will carry out in order to achieve your goal. Write it beside each of the tasks. Having a deadline will help you to be more committed and disciplined towards carrying out the tasks and achieving your set goals.
4. Determine your reason for setting the goal
You should have a “why” for setting a particular goal because this will be the driving force behind you trying to accomplish it. Having a reason for setting a goal also helps you to envision the picture of when you finally achieve it.
Identifying your reason for setting a goal also gives you a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment when you achieve the goal, unlike when you don’t have a reason. You might end up not feeling accomplished or fulfilled even after you achieve your set goal.
It is also very important that your goal should mean something to you and motivate you.
5. Create a picture of your goal in your head
You have to be able to picture the goal you are setting in your head, how the process of implementation will go, and what the final picture will look like when you eventually achieve the goal.
One way to do this is by building a vision board. A vision board is a physical visualization tool that helps you to see what you really want to do and how to do it. It involves creating a poster board where you paste or collage images and write-ups that you have cut out from different sources.
The basic idea behind creating a vision board is to surround yourself with cut out images or write-ups that project your ideal life. That is, what you want to become, what you want to have, etc.
Allow your imagination to run wild, use it to set creative goals and achieve them.
6. Put your intention into achieving the goal
The next simple goal setting step to take is to put your intentions into achieving your goal, and this can be accomplished by doing certain things:
- Meditation: This helps you to be mindful and focus your mind on the goal you want to achieve.
- Motivation: Motivate yourself, read or listen to content that motivates you, and surround yourself with people that motivate you.
- Create the right environment: Create an environment for yourself that aligns with your goal.
- Set a constant reminder for yourself: Put things in different places that will constantly remind you of your goals. It could be a file on your laptop screen, an image on your phone screen, a write up stuck to your mirror, etc.
The end goal of all these is to take steps and be intentional about working towards your goal and achieving it.
7. Start your implementation and stick to the plan
It is not enough to just write down your goal, talk about it, or envision it. You must implement it and take action because that’s the only way you can achieve it. One very effective way to start the implementation of your goal is by doing at least one thing daily that would bring you a step closer to your goal, no matter how little the effort may seem.
You must realize that consistency is the very key to achieving anything in life. You need to constantly do something towards achieving your goal.
Nonetheless, be careful not to overwhelm yourself with everything or so many things at a time. Instead, take it one step at a time and work on your goal every day. No matter how irrelevant or little the time you are putting into it may seem, just do it. But don’t forget that there is always room for improvement.
You should also set a deadline for achieving every one of your goals.
Life is indeed unpredictable and anything may happen to get in the way of your life. The implementation of your goals might begin to dwindle or you may be tempted to drop it along the way, but you must give it all it takes and stick to achieving it against all odds.
No matter what, always push yourself to stay on track. If you’re feeling unmotivated to work towards your goal, check out my post on how to get motivated to achieve your goals.
8. Reflect and Review your progress
Once you start implementing your set goals, take time to reflect, review, and measure your progress along the way. Reflecting on your progress helps you to learn from your mistakes and grow. Ask yourself if your plan is working right or if you have to do something different to make your implementation more effective.
For example, if you haven’t been meeting up with your deadlines for the goals you set to achieve, it could mean that you are not managing your time well. Or you are focusing more on the wrong or irrelevant things.
The review process will help you to realize this. Once you do, you will know that the next thing to do is to learn how to manage your time better and focus on the important things you have to do.
Reviewing your goal helps to hold you accountable for your actions or inactions and show you how you can improve. Keeping in mind that change is the only constant thing in life, you need to revise your goals and implementation plans from time to time. Add what is necessary, and subtract any irrelevancies.
9. Reward yourself
After going through all the processes above, you need to celebrate and reward yourself on your achievements no matter how little they are. Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done and don’t overwork yourself unnecessarily.
Normn Vincent Peale said, “All successful people have a goal. No one can get anywhere unless he knows where he wants to go and what he wants to be or do”.
Setting goals and achieving them can be a little bit tasking sometimes, but it helps you to become a better and happier person. You will feel more fulfilled and in control of your life than you ever did before.
By implementing the 9 simple goal setting steps highlighted above, you will be able to navigate through your journey of setting the right goals for your life and achieving them smoothly, even as a beginner!
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