Sunday, April 6, 2008

Developing Skills To Achieve Your Goals by Alison Stevens

When setting goals it is important not to sell yourself short. Always set a goal that will have meaning when you reach it. Setting achievable goals does not mean giving up ambitious dreams, instead it means setting intermediate achievable goals long the way. For example, if your goal is to lose, say, 30 pounds, then break this down into achievable steps of losing 5 pounds per month. More emphasis needs to be placed on setting smaller achievable goals and developing skills to achieve goals is an important step.

So, sit down and set yourself a realistically achievable goal. We've already talked about setting realistic weight loss goals so let's use the example of returning to the workforce. Perhaps starting back part-time would be one way of easing back into it. On the other hand, it may not be realistic to say, "I want to generate this amount of income within the next three months". It may be more worthwhile to say, "I want to be working three days per week at the end of two months".

If the goal is too large it will seem unachievable and you will become frustrated and give up.
That's why realistic goals are so important. Decide on realistic changes you need to make to your life. The key in setting goals is making sure that you are not making it too hard - and therefore setting yourself up for failure - or too easy for yourself.

In order for your resolutions to be effective, they need to be specific to you and realistic. Try running your goal by a friend or family member. They should be able to tell you if your goal is realistic for you or not. Goal setting, however, is not simply about wanting to do something; it is also about being able to articulate what the goal is about, and understanding what parameters you can measure your progress against. When applied to your personal and professional life, goal setting is about taking control of the way your life evolves.

All you objectives should have a clear time frame, be measurable, and realistically reflect your capabilities. A time line will help you visualize how you should be progressing towards your goal and where you need to concentrate your efforts. If your become dispirited in it is often because your expectations are unrealistic. Goals can be set that are impossible to achieve causing the person to repeatedly fail and becomes frustrated and give up.

All kinds of people - family, friends, work colleagues and society - can put unwarranted pressure on you which can almost guarantee failure. These people often do this in ignorance of your true goals and aspirations. So make sure that you are alert to outside influences that could restrict your ability to achieve your dreams.

Set yourself achievable goals and reward yourself as each milestone is reached and longer term goals are set. Aim to actively pursue your goal for a set time each day. Of course, to reach your end goal you will need to set yourself intermediate goals to get there.
Let your daily actions be a reward, not just an end result. Allow yourself to enjoy the journey and don't obsess about the future. Achieving your goals shouldn't be an ordeal; it can and should be pleasurable as you develop more skills. A final word about achieving your goals is to continue to focus on the outcome and never give up.

Alison Stevens is an online author and maintains The Goal Achiever Website to assist anyone who wants to discover how to set and achieve goals. Find out more about Developing Skills To Achieve Goals here

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