Goal Setting Steps that will get you moving right away

-   By James Stevenson   -

Simple steps that work (again and again)

There's a few simple goal setting steps I can share... that if you practise consistently can be very powerful and effective to causing achievement. Although they sound simple, continuing a regular goal setting practise in relation to personally meaningful goals is far from easy.

But, you can start today. Read the steps below and decide what you want to do. Practising these 4 steps like a cycle, and making that cycle gradually become a habit, you're sure to make great progress. 

The 4 steps are:

  1. Set some goals that are meaningful to you
  2. Decide on at least 5 action steps
  3. As your goal starts and you get feedback, this is a crucial time. Keep your eyes and ears open and be ready to adjust your goal until it has the impact you want
  4. Schedule some time for reflecting on how the whole process went 

It's such a unique thing... what makes us tick! I think experiment! Experiment! and Experiment again! Find the various ways that create the most positive dynamics in you! I'm really hoping you can do it!

1. Set some SMART and short-term goals

Einstein quote about goalsIs your life tied to a virtuous goal?

So step one of my 4 simple goal setting steps is... Set some goals. 1 or 2 short term goals, that which is your most immediate problem or most obvious desire.

Follow the smart goal setting guide as closely as you can.

Any other goals you have, put them on your longer term list. A hint: Changing career is probably not likely to be a short term goal (achievable in 2/3/4 weeks). But completing some training might be.

Reading a book on the area you wish to move into might be. Arranging a meeting with an industry expert might be. Use the SMART technique so you set naturally motivating goals. 

2. Decide on action steps

A good goal will have you taking action. Certainly more than you would've without the goal. Making a list of actions (as many as you can think of) that exist between you and your goal is a great habit to get in. Think of it as like goal planning. I often do this with my clients but ask them to write each action step on a post it note. Then, I ask them to stick each post it on an A3 piece of paper. As I ask questions they create more and more action steps and also move the post it notes into some kind of order, until a plan materialises. You can certainly do this activity yourself when deciding on steps to your goal.

When a plan or way forward becomes clear, when the steps that need to be taken are decided or known, will power that may not be typical of you, can suddenly appear. Each time you create this dynamic, the idea that you actually do have strong willpower develops and confidence blossoms. 

3. Adjust goals if necessary 

Maraboli QuoteIs your road bumpy? Where is your bumpy road leading to?

Sometimes I'll set a goal and when things don't go as I hoped I'll kind of forget the goal... (and with it the failure in my attempts to achieve it). It's like I slyly pretend it never existed. This denial, or avoidance, whatever it's called... will often lead to me avoiding goals in general for a while... Not good!

The trick is, I think, is to have your radar on from the beginning... Setting a goal and kind of expecting the unexpected. Being ready to see how it goes and adjust quickly (rather than feeling like it's pointless and reacting with avoidance).

If you start and find yourself thinking "I've been too strict on myself or this isn't working out well" that could be the time where reflection and adjustment is a really REALLY great victory! Huge respect to anyone who can set a goal, and adjust and continue, and adjust and continue, and achieve.

4. Reflect and re-set goals

Once you reach or don't reach your goal, it's so important to reflect in some way. To write about how it was for you, or to talk it through with someone. One of my favourite authors says "awareness is curative". Knowing what's happening in itself can be motivational. 

Even if you feel you need a break from all this challenging yourself stuff... I'd suggest still re-setting your goals. A break can be a great thing, rest and revitalise. BUT, I reckon best practise is to set goals while factoring in your break. This will mean even while resting, or on holiday, the creative juices may still be running in the background and ideas may pop up that surprise you.

If you keep re-visiting these 4 simple goal setting steps and continue the cycle as best you can, expecting inevitable challenges, you will very naturally become an master goal setter. Which means being the master of your life. 

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James Stevenson is the owner of WiseGoals.com. Living in the UK, but also working internationally on-line, James is also a highly qualified, experienced, and accredited trauma-aware wellbeing coach at TraumaAwareCoaching.co.uk. He works with clients in a future focused and solution orientated way by exploring what the good life or a flourishing life might look like for them. Harnessing that motivation, obstacles that come with trauma like the toxic inner critic, self-blaming, self-judgement, fear and avoidance, anxiety, depression, and intense and confusing emotions are worked through. More about James here

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