When it comes down to the practical exercise of setting goals, there are a few simple things to bear in mind about powerful, effective goals – the type of goals that will happen:
• They must be in tune with your core values and they must be personal
• They must be specific. If you are going to go after what you want, you need to know exactly what it is that you want.
It’s a bit like doing an Internet search on Google; if you type in something vague, you’ll end up with a lot of useless options. Be specific. If you want to retire in five or ten years, set a financial goal for your retirement, or a place you want to retire to – or what you want to be doing. You may want to have $2,000,000 worth of assets in 5 years. Or you may want to have that dream home that you’ve always wanted, described in detail.
Personally, I think the dream home example would be the more effective goal, for two reasons:
1. It includes other people and lifestyle aspirations – which may harness the power of your needs and core values; it’s positive
2. It’s something you can visualise or imagine in detail; it’s vivid.
This is another great motivator. With all my talk of goal-setting, it’s important to recognise that setting personal, positive, specific and concrete goals can be uncomfortable.
After all, by being personal, you’re letting go of other people’s values and expectations, perhaps courting their criticism or resistance. By being positive, you’re letting go of the pessimism and limitations that have given you a perfect excuse for non-achievement in the past. By being specific, you’re ruling out a vast spectrum of other potential options, and having to commit to something. And by being concrete, you’re investing your passion in something – and courting disappointment if you don’t get there.
Goal-setting is just a first step outside your comfort zone. And there will be others. The good news is that your comfort zones expand — which is how life gets to be an adventure, not a safe cage to hide in.
>>> Coming Next: The Benefited Goal