Effective goal setting is one of the most important and indeed exciting assignments that you can ever do. When you have goals that excite you every day and a clear roadmap to achieve them, you will have the power to change your life in a positive and lasting way.
Over the years I have tried many different goal-setting techniques. I have read dozens of books and countless articles about goal setting. Some techniques worked better than others, but most of them where like New Years resolutions, I always felt excited about my goals for a few days, and then I either lost interest in them or I forgot about them altogether. I have put together for you the exact system that I use every day to help me achieve all of my personal and professional goals. I totally believe that if you follow the easy to follow steps that I am going to share with you, you will discover what you really want to achieve in your life, and also how you can achieve all of your exciting goals and dreams.
I have found through years of trial and error that simplicity is key when setting goals. There is no need for a complicated system or magic formula, just a few simple principles that you need to follow every day.
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn said this about goal setting:
“I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change.”
Why set goals?
When you set the kind of goals that really excite you, and make you want to jump out of bed every morning. You will look at each day as being a step closer to achieving your dreams and your reaching your full potential. But just setting goals is not enough. Every year millions of people make New Years resolutions or make a wish as they blow out the candles on their birthday cake with the best of intentions, but usually these goals and wishes fade away and are forgotten about within a few days or weeks at the very best. The reason why is not in the setting of the goals themselves. It is in the lack of planning and action steps needed to achieve these goals. When you follow a goal achieving roadmap that will keep you on target and highly motivated, it is also when you will start to see exciting results and you will experience the feeling of being in control of your life and of your future.
I could have easily written thousands of words about why goal setting is important for you and how to set goals, but I wanted this article to be different, I want setting goals to be an enjoyable experience for you, and I want you to feel excited every day as you get closer and closer to achieving your goals. I also want you to start taking action and start to see results as soon as possible.
“People with goals succeed because they know where they are going.” – Earl Nightingale
Write your goals down
Ask most people what are their short, medium and long-term goals? And they will either look at you blankly or else they will have to think for a few moments before rhyming off the usual “have more money” “Loose weight” “travel ” or “be successful.” These are some good goals to have, but are they really their own goals? Or are they what society and the people around them have told them what they should want? The problem is that most people do not have a clear idea what they really want in life. They are programmed by society, the media and their peers to tell them what they should want. You are going to be different. You are going to know exactly what your goals really are, how to achieve them, and you will be totally committed and excited to achieve them.
“When you know what you want and you want it bad enough, you will find a way to get it.” – Jim Rohn
This exercise will take you around 20-30minutes.
The first step of successful goal setting is to write all of your goals down on paper.
Get a pen and write down as many goals as possible in just ten minutes. Let your mind wander, use your imagination, and really push yourself.
Write down whatever comes into your mind. Write down a word or a sentence, but just keep writing until you have at least 20 goals on paper. Try to think of all the goals and dreams that you ever had in the past. Remember, this is your goal list, not your friends, not the media; they are your goals, your dreams and your future.
You don’t have to be too descriptive; we will leave that for the another step. Just keep writing until you have at least 20.
Next go through your list and determine when you want to accomplish each goal. Write down next to each goal a 1, 3, or 5. The “1” represents if you want to accomplish it within 1 year, “3” = 3 years, “5” = 5 years.
For now we are going to focus on your top five one year goals. Write these goals down on a separate sheet of paper and title it 1 Year Goals. If you do not have five, look at your list again and pick from the list of three year goals until you have at least five exciting one year goals. Next, under each of your top five one year goals, write down a few sentences why you really want to achieve each goal? What will it do for you? And why is it important to you?
The next step is really important. To achieve your top five one year goals you will need to change some habits that you currently have. On another piece of paper write the title Who Do I Need To Become, write a short paragraph outlining some of the characteristics that you will need to change or develop in order for you to achieve your goals. Do you need to exercise more? Do you need to read more? Perhaps you need to watch less television? Perhaps you need to limit the amount of time you spend with negative people, and spend more time with positive and inspiring people? Think of the type of person that you will need to become so that you will achieve your goals. If you remain the same person as you are now, you will achieve the same results that you are currently getting.
The changes that you will need to make and the person that you must become usually does not have to be too drastic, sometimes all it takes is a few little adjustments in your beliefs of what is possible for you, your daily habits, and perhaps the people that you surround yourself with. Take a few minutes to really think of who you are, and the person that you want to become.
The next step is one of the most important steps of goal setting. Finding out what you want and why you want it is crucial, but if you do not follow through with action, you will never achieve your goals. Write Action Plan on another piece of paper. I want you to write down your five one year goals and the three action steps you are going to take for each goal to get you started. For example, it could be…
Open a savings account to save for…
Go to the car dealership and take a test drive in my dream car.
Get a catalogue for a world cruise from the travel agent.
Order books online to help me develop the necessary skills and knowledge.
Join a group of like minded positive people locally or online.
Purchase exercise equipment for training at home.
Spend more quality time with my partner or family.
Join a health club or start yoga.
Join the local library.
“Action is the foundational key to all success.”- Pablo Picasso
Every morning you need to read your Five One Year Goals and your Action Plan. I highly recommend that you read your Goals out loud. This way you will feel more passionate and enthusiastic about your goals and your future. Also, when you are journaling in the morning, you can write down what action you are going to take that day that will help you to achieve your goals. Repetition is key when achieving your goals. I read my goals every morning, I then write my action steps in my journal, I also have a copy of my goals on my phone that I read once or twice a day. I then like to watch videos or search for images on the Internet that depict my goals. You could also have your goals written on a piece of paper in your wallet or purse, this way you will see your goals every time that you spend money. The more ways that you can program your mind to stay focused and visualize your goals the better.
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe
Small Steps Will Get You To Your Destination
You now have your list of exciting goals completed, you also have your action steps planned out, and you are committed to read your goals every morning. So, how soon will you start to see results? The answer is simple; you have already taken massive steps to achieve your goals and dreams by getting this far. This in itself is a fantastic result. We already know that most people do not have any serious goals, let alone have them written down, or an action plan to achieve them. You are different, you have decided what you want, why you want to achieve your goals, and you are totally committed to achieve them. This is your first success. Well done you!
I learned the next important lesson many years ago. I used to beat myself up if I did not take massive action every day to achieve my goals, this did nothing to help me achieve my goals. Instead it filled my heads my head with doubts and I would have a negative mindset that I should give up, or that I had failed. When I learned that every action step taken no matter how small was a step in the right direction, I felt that every day was a success, and that every day was a step closer to achieving my goals. There are no written rules to what you need to do every day. If you just read your list of goals one day that is fine. If one day you take just one small action step to achieve one of your goals that is also ok. If you listen to a Meditation audio in the morning and you feel positive and confident for the rest day that is wonderful. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t take massive action every day.
Achieving your goals is an exciting and gradual process. It is going to take a few days to reprogram your mind and change your daily habits by reading and visualizing your goals. When you know exactly what you want and you totally believe that you are going to achieve your goals, something amazing will start to happen in your life. You will suddenly start to meet online or through friends the kind of people that will help you succeed, you will also discover the books and courses that will teach you the skills that you will need, and you will attract opportunities that will put you on course to achieve your goals. I also cannot emphasize strongly enough the power of a productive morning ritual.
Keeping on Track
To help to keep you on track to achieve your goals I recommend writing in your journal every day. Keeping a journal is a powerful tool that will help you review the action steps that you have taken, your learnings for the week so far, and all of your wonderful achievements. You can be as brief or descriptive as you want when you are writing about your actions steps taken and your learnings in your journal.
Some Action Steps Taken might include:
Listened to a Meditation.
Wrote in my journal every morning.
Exercised three times.
Read for 30 minutes every day.
Saved images of my dream holiday on my computer and phone.
Ordered two books online that will help me to achieve my goals.
Watched less tv every night.
Improved my eating habits.
Next, under Learnings for the Week, you can write down what worked for you and what you will do next week that will keep you on track.
I will get up one hour earlier every morning to fit in my morning routine.
I will leave my journal on the kitchen table to remind me to write in it every day.
I will spend less time using social media.
I will organise my lunch the night before.
I will set a reminder on my phone to read my goals every day.
I said it before that I really want you to enjoy this whole exciting goal setting process. I think that it is vitally important that you recognize and take credit when you either reach a milestone or achieve a goal. Every time you achieve a step that you made in your Action Plan put a tick beside it. When you achieve one of your one year goals celebrate. Go out for a meal to your favorite restaurant, or treat yourself to a day trip, go to the movies, or perhaps go shopping. The important thing here is that you reward yourself. The reason for this is that many of us forget to give ourselves a pat on the back when we achieve something in our lives. We often forget about all of the amazing things that we have accomplished. By rewarding ourselves we attach more pleasure to our achievements, which in turn will keep us motivated and it will make our achievements more memorable.
The Next Step…
Ok, so you have taken your three initial action steps to get you started to achieve one of your goals, what do you do next?
You need to keep going, you need to be consistent. You are going to make faster progress on some goals more than others, this is completely normal. That is when you need to update your action steps. As you complete one action step, you need to add another, and another and then another. You always need to have three action steps to take for each one year goal. This way you will stay highly motivated, totally inspired and on track with your goals.
So now you have the system, you have the enthusiasm, don’t wait until the end of the year! Start today to make the next 12 months Your Best Year Ever!
5 Ways To Know Your Self Worth
Focusing on your sense of “self” is very important in so many different ways. When you think about it, you are probably surrounded by the word “self” each day more than you realize. From self-care, self-esteem and self-belief to self-confidence, self-respect and self-worth, people are constantly trying to find ways to better themselves in different areas of their lives.
If you ask most people if they know their self-worth, they will probably be quick to say yes. But, if you took that question further and asked them how they know it, you will likely be met with some hesitation. The reality is, most people think they know about self-worth, but do not fully understand what it is or how it differs from other areas of “self”.
So, how can you truly know your self-worth? What can you do to increase it? What are your strengths, gifts and abilities? Let’s take a look at a few ways to have a better understanding of what really is your self-worth.
1. Don’t Judge Your Own Emotions
You can boost your sense of self-worth by accepting your thoughts and feelings. You might not always like them, and you might find yourself at odds with them from time to time. But, whatever thoughts and emotions come into your head, let them in. Then, you can work through them effectively. Emotions demand to be felt. It is how you respond to them that matters. Don’t ignore them and limit your true value. Embrace the wonderful unique person who you are.
Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy. – Robert Tew
2. Question Your “Shoulds”
When you think about the things you “should” do, it might leave you feeling unmotivated and overwhelmed. For example, if you say to yourself, “I should go for a run this evening,” and then you don’t end up doing it, how do you think you will feel? Chances are, you will struggle with some level of guilt. This can snowball into not feeling good about yourself and questioning how much that you value yourself and your self-worth.
Instead, fill your life with things that you “will” do. The word “will” implies that it is more of a promise and a commitment, rather than a burden. Saying “I will run a mile this evening” is much more motivating and allows you to prove exactly who you are and what you can do.
Anything is possible when you have a path, a plan, and a desire to take action. ― Dean Graziosi
3. Don’t Worry About the Acceptance of Others
It seems all too natural to worry about what other people think of us. Social media can make things even worse. If you find yourself constantly “looking for likes” or some kind of validation from friends, family, or even strangers, you are looking at your self-worth in the wrong place by looking through someone else’s lens and standards.
It can be hard to give up this habit. Everyone wants to be accepted. But, you won’t find what you are worth in the opinions of others. You have the power to see yourself for how great you really are. When you are able to internalize this power and recognize your true value and self-worth, you won’t put so much emphasis on what others think of you. You will get to know who you are, what you are really worth, and you can be confident in that.
4. Let Yourself Off The Hook
Many times, people cannot see their true self-worth because they are holding on to past guilt. Almost everyone has regrets. Whether you did something when you were young that you should not have, or perhaps you wronged someone in some way, the past is the past.
You need to learn to forgive yourself and let yourself off the hook. By holding onto that guilt, you will never be able to see what you are really worth. It will feel like a ball and chain holding you back. But, you have the key to break free, if you just give yourself the chance. If you would be willing to show someone else forgiveness and acceptance for their wrongdoings, you owe it to yourself to do the same. Give yourself a break.
5. Look at Your Gifts
If you are still having a hard time understanding your self-worth, take a look at your natural skills. Everyone has certain gifts in life. Your talents are going to be different from someone else’s – that’s what makes the world work!
Think about a few things that you are really good at. Or, something that you really enjoy doing. Go even further by creating a list of your talents and skills. They don’t need to be huge. In fact, writing a list of several “little things” can make you see just how important and valuable that you are. Take a look at that list whenever you are feeling down or devalued, and practice those talents and skills as often as possible.
By keeping these skills and talents of yours in mind, you can start to celebrate your self-worth. When you have a better understanding of your real value, you are more likely to prioritize other things like self-care, self-esteem and self belief. Each of which are different, but they are all connected in some way. But, it starts with knowing your self-worth. And, chances are, it is much more than you might think.
6 Signs Of A Strong Friendship
There is nothing quite like a strong friendship. Having someone that you can truly count on for anything and everything can completely change the way you think and feel. Unfortunately, far too often in today’s society, we seem to focus more on how many friends we have.
Or, worse, how many acquaintances we can keep in touch with via social media. But, having a true, strong friendship is something that cannot be replaced or replicated with lukewarm substitutes.
Are you already thinking about someone in your life who fits that description? Or, are you wondering if you truly have a strong friendship with one (or more) of the people who are closest to you?
While every friendly relationship is different and unique, there are some common factors associated with a strong bond and true friendship. Let’s take a look at a few of them so you can feel even more confident in your close friendships, and grow even deeper with the people in your life who truly matter.
1. Communication is Always a Priority
It is easy to talk to your friends when everything in your life is on track. Sharing laughs, light conversation, and exchanging stories are all important parts of a healthy friendship.
But, a strong friendship goes deeper. It allows you to communicate with that person, no matter what. That includes telling them about your struggles or anything you might be going through. It also includes communicating effectively when you are not getting along.
Through proper communication, especially when things are hard, you will build trust within that relationship. Going through difficult things together will make you stronger individuals, and stronger friends.
2. You Know You Are Equals
Almost everyone has known at least one person in their lives who seems to think they’re “better” than everyone else.
Strong friendships need to be based on equality. You and your friend should always be on the same playing field when it comes to who you are and how you are living your life. If you embrace your differences and do not see one as superior, you can take comfort in knowing your friendship is sincere.
Even the best of friends clash from time to time. You might have similar personalities, but no two people are exactly alike.
But, if you can still show your friend respect (and receive it from them) even in times of turmoil, your friendship will be stronger than any disagreement you might have. When someone chooses to respect you even when they are upset with you, it shows that they value your relationship more than their pride.
4. You Can Be Yourself
Do you ever feel like you have to put on a show for other people? Or, are you afraid to let your true personality shine through when you are in certain crowds?
A strong friendship is one that allows you to be yourself. If there is someone in your life who truly likes you for who you are, hold onto that friendship tightly! Most people spend far too much time pretending, whether it’s online or in-person. Someone who loves your quirks and uniqueness is someone who loves you, as a person.
Honesty is also a huge part of being yourself, and a huge part of a strong friendship. Friendships should be based on trust, and that starts with being honest. Telling the truth about how you feel and what you think is important. If your friend actively listens, appreciates, and comments on that truth, you can take comfort in knowing how secure your relationship is.
5. You Experience Joy
While a true friend should be there for you during hard times, the bulk of your relationship should be joyful and fun! Again, think about that person in your life who makes you smile. Is there someone who you are always happy to be around? Does thinking about your friendship cause your heart to race?
Strong friendships should absolutely be joyful. You should find yourself laughing a lot, and being completely at ease with one another. That person may be the first one you think of when you want to experience something new or go somewhere different, just because you know that you will have more fun with them around.
6. You Respect Boundaries
No matter how great your friendship is, no two people can be together 24/7. A great friend will understand that and respect your boundaries. Alternatively, they might be going through something that they are not ready to talk about. If you can respect those boundaries, it shows them how much faith you have in your friendship.
Many people are too quick to think the term “boundaries” as being negative. But, boundaries are completely healthy and necessary in a strong relationship of any kind. Having someone in your life who respects those boundaries understands what it takes to build upon that strength.
Having a strong friendship – even just one – can add so much to your life. Take a look at your current friendships. Is there one that stands out to you with these characteristics? If so, do what you can to continue to build and grow that strength, and make sure that friend knows how important they are to you on a regular basis.
6 Things To Remember When You Think That You’re Not Good Enough
Have you ever had moments where you feel completely inadequate? Maybe a specific situation comes up and you think there is no way that you would ever be good enough to do what is needed. Or, maybe you feel that way all the time and you can’t seem to get past it.
Thinking that you are not good enough and having low self-esteem tend to go hand-in-hand, but they are slightly different.
Thankfully, you can work on both of them by changing your thinking habits and banishing some of that negative self-talk from your mindset. Whether you think you are not good enough in certain situations or you have a hard time believing that you are good enough for almost anything, it doesn’t have to be that way forever.
Let’s look at a few things you should always keep in mind when those thoughts come in, and how you can start to convince yourself of your true worth.
1. You Are Not Alone
Thinking that you are not good enough can cause a lonely existence. You might not want to put your burdens on others, so you don’t talk about it. You might also think that everyone else is perfectly happy with who they are, and are confident in everything that they do.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The reality is, you never know what other people are fully thinking/feeling. What you can count on, though, is that there are so many others who feel just like you, and are constantly wondering if they are “enough”. Knowing that you are not alone can help you to work through your feelings without feeling so isolated.
2. You Have Your Own Skills
A common reason why people tend to think they are not good enough is because they don’t have a specific talent or skill that someone else has. But you probably have something that person doesn’t, too.
Everyone has their own abilities and things that make them unique. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, keep your mind on your talents and what makes you special.
“If you want to make a permanent change, stop focusing on the size of your problems and start focusing on the size of you!” – T. Harv Eker
3. You Can’t Be Perfect
Perfection is a fruitless thing to chase. Many people who question their self-worth do so because they are perfectionists.
But, if you set such a high standard for yourself, you will always be disappointed. Perfection doesn’t exist, and while you can strive to be your best, it is important to understand human error and limits. That doesn’t mean the things you do are some how “less” than great. But, striving for perfection is something that can make you feel inadequate.
4. You Are Worthy of Loving Yourself
Love tends to be the answer for so many things, including any pain or turmoil that you might be going through. Thinking that you are not good enough is an easy way to cause yourself sadness and pain. Those thoughts can quickly snowball and you might start to think about more negative things about yourself.
Instead of fueling those negative thoughts, choose love. Love is like a permanent band-aid for the pain that you are going through. It is a great way to comfort yourself, provide reassurance, and get a clearer picture of who you really are and all of the wonderful things that you can offer the world. By choosing self-love, you can start to see yourself in a more positive light, and push those negative thoughts away.
“We must fall in love with ourselves. I don’t like myself. I’m crazy about myself.” – Mae West
5. Mistakes Can Be a Good Thing
Do you ever find yourself feeling especially inadequate when you “fail”? While that is not uncommon, that word should really be removed from your vocabulary.
Everyone “fails” at times, because again, perfection is not attainable. When you start to consider anything less than perfection to be a failure, it is easy to beat yourself up and think that you will never amount to the things that you truly want.
But, when you start to view your failures and mistakes as good things and stepping stones, you can completely shift your perspective and realize that not only are you good enough, but you are also resilient and strong. Some of the biggest “failures” in history went on to be the most successful people because they learned from their mistakes. They looked at the things that went wrong and considered how they could change them.
It is important to use your mistakes as a way to learn and grow. When you are able to do that, you will find a greater sense of fulfillment when things finally come together and you get it “right”.
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordon
6. Gratitude Goes a Long Way
It might not always feel easy to accept and be grateful for who you are. But, it is incredibly important. Instead of thinking about the things you don’t have or areas where you are not “good enough”, choose to actively think about and pursue the positive. Focus on what you are grateful for. The more that you do that, the easier it will be to banish those thoughts of doubt and insecurity. I like to start every day by using my journal and begin by writing down three things that I am grateful for.
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” — Melody Beattie
Once you really start to think about it, you will find that you have more to be grateful for than you may have initially realized, and that way of thinking can help you to establish healthier, more positive thoughts about yourself that will last a lifetime.