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Setting Goals for Yourself

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Wow! People really struggle with setting goals.  I am by no means an expert at setting goals but I believe that I have a simple, yet effective method for setting goals.  This method can be done quickly and without having to use a long process.  It can be done in writing, or it can be a quick 5-minute thought process.  Follow the concepts I outline and you will be creating goals that will lead to wins.

First, decide WHAT you want to do.  This is the first step and the most important step.  Visualize what you want to accomplish.  What does the finished product look like?  It can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.  Write it down, or think it out.  It doesn’t matter.  For example, earlier this year Brandy and I decided to get out of debt.  So the WHAT of our goal is to get out of debt.

Write it down, or think it out. It doesn’t matter.

Next, explain WHY you want do the WHAT.  The WHY is the specific reason that you have set out to accomplish the WHAT.  It is important that the WHY be specific and that it is special to you.  It needs to be specific enough that you can explain your WHY to another person.  It has to be special to you because when you explain the WHY to someone else they have to be able to sense your urgency, passion, and excitement.  So back to my personal example, Brandy and I decided to get out of debt because we want to be able to raise our daughter and future children in a home that will provide them with the things they need and want without being in fear of not having enough money or having to live from paycheck to paycheck.  The WHY of our goal is our family livelihood. 

Then, decide HOW you will accomplish the WHAT.  At this point you are deciding the steps that you will take to accomplish the WHAT.  Are you noticing a trend here?  Everything ties back to the WHAT!  Make sure that your HOW is realistic and that it is something that can be measured.  For example, don’t just say you’re going to read a book.  Write down the name of the book and by when you will read it.  Brandy and I are reading the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey, unfortunately we did not set a specific date that we would finish the book by.  However, when school finishes for both of us we will recommit to finishing the book.  In addition to being realistic and measured, make sure that your HOW is related to things that you like to do and that you are good at.  I like to read, therefore reading the book is something that I will enjoy doing.

Are you noticing a trend here? Everything ties back to the WHAT!

The HOW is closely related to the WHEN.  You will attach a WHEN to every HOW that you create.  This is crucial and will ultimately lead to you being able to accomplish your WHAT.  The WHEN should be realistic and reasonable.  For example, my goal to debt free is within the next 5 years.  It would a terrible idea to make it a WHEN of 30 years from now.  By then I would forget what the goal is.  Also, make sure that your WHEN does not defeat you.  So do not make it so soon that it defeats your momentum.

Finally, assign the WHO to the different parts of your HOW.  You will own a majority of your WHO, but in some instances it may require other people in your life.  God put people in our life to help us through it.  Use your resources and don’t be afraid to ask for help.  My WHO includes Brandy.  The WHO of one of my professional goals includes a direct report, and another individual.  These two men are helping me by teaching me something that I don’t know.

God put people in our life to help us through it.

So simply put, design your goals around the following model: WHAT, WHY, HOW, WHEN, WHO.  The order is also important and is a logical sequence of how our mind processes information.  This model can be used for simple goals, weekly goals, daily goals, long-term goals, personal goals, or professional goals.  I use the model daily when planning out my day.  It is simple and leads to quick victories that lead to momentum.  Who knew setting goals could be so easy?

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Written by theheadcoachmanager

March 17, 2011 at 8:43 pm