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How to Set Goals for Yourself

December 28th, 2016

With the New Year quietly waiting for us and just a short time away, figuring out exactly how to set some goals for yourself is essential. Whether you’re thinking about your New Year’s resolution or you’re simply ready to make 2017 your year, having some goals is what’s going to get you there. Setting goals can be tough. You’re not exactly sure where to begin or can think of so many things you want to accomplish that the list becomes overwhelming. If you’re just getting a start on setting your goals for the New Year and are feeling overwhelmed, here are a few ideas to help you set goals for yourself.

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How to Set Goals for Yourself

Try a writing exercise: Start by writing down where you are today in all arenas of your life, whether it be work, family life or social life. Next write down where you’d like to be 10 years from now according to each category. Now, look at both columns. Ask yourself what steps you need to take in order to get from where you are today to 10 years from now. Go ahead and write down those steps. You now have yourself a roadmap to your goals!

Be specific. Even though this can make for a long list of goals – it’s OK. When you have specific targets to achieve, getting there is easier than you can imagine. Think about what you want and why you want it – if you’d like to see yourself in a new job, for example, what type of job will it be. What’s your target date for making the transition from your current job to a new one? Can you even narrow it down to a specific company?

Be realistic. When you set goals, you’re working on target stepping stones, which will eventually help you reach your dreams. And, in order to make them happen, you have to be reasonable and realistic about each step along the way. Make your goals manageable with timelines that actually give you the opportunity to make it happen. Similarly, be aggressive – you want to push yourself, sometimes even a bit out of your comfort zone.

Make your goals positive. Everything you’re reaching toward should bring a positive addition or outcome to your life and it’s important to state that upfront. Rather than setting goals about things you need to stop doing, set goals that are things you need to start doing. Setting goals should be a positive experience that enriches your life and makes you want to strive for more. So, give yourself a pat on the back and think in terms of what you can bring to the table.

State your goals out loud. Want to be absolutely sure you get these goals done? Tell someone. Could be a friend, significant other, a colleague – whoever you feel comfortable discussing this with. But, get it out there. Speaking them aloud will make them feel real and you can be held accountable for actually taking the steps to achieve.

Are you thinking 2017 is your year to set some goals and really get after them? With a little forethought and a lot of fortitude you can do it.

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