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How to set personal goals and win over yourself

Setting and achieving personal goals is a journey filled with growth and celebration. It's about developing more and more of your immense potential.

Each person has a vast capacity for improvement, a unique ability to envision their best self and unique strengths to realize their vision. Embrace this process as you set sail towards your destination: your personal goals.

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Many associate goal setting with dullness or monotony, perhaps due to poor quality past experiences at school or work where it was imposed upon them. Yet, setting personal goals, and learning how to set personal goals, can be a highly positive and transformative exercise. 

Appreciating your capacity for growth

Before starting, I recommend reflecting on nature of your life. You are not a finite entity, but a dynamic being capable of learning new things, acquiring new talents, and improving on existing capabilities. You are change in progress...

Your goals are important for many reasons. Each one you set is an opportunity to extend your horizon, to reach for new heights, and to win in life through personal growth and self-improvement.

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When you set goals, base them on yourself at your best, doing what you love and excelling at it. Make note of your current strengths and how they can help you reach the outcome. Keep in mind that no goal is out of reach if you believe in yourself and dare to dream big.

Your strengths, connections, and autonomy

You are unique, possessing individual character strengths that play vital roles in setting and achieving personal goals. Recognize and reinforce these strengths while also identifying areas demanding growth and development. Use your uniqueness as an advantage, and bear in mind that the journey of personal growth is often unique to each individual.

Character Strengths

Relationships and connections shape our lives and our desire to progress. They provide insight, support, and often pose challenges that foster growth. Acknowledge these connections and envision how they align with, or aid in the actualization of, your personal goals.

Autonomy - your power to act on your own values and interests – is pivotal in the process of setting personal goals. Harness this autonomy and use it as a tool to drive your growth and goal attainment. Relish the process and adopt the spirit of "it starts from here, it starts from now".

How to set personal goals

Let's discuss how to set personal goals. There is a difference between a goal and a vague wish. Setting goals involves a systematic process that requires self-awareness, determination, patience, and consistency. Leverage your abilities and connections, and absorb every setback as a step forward, not a step back.

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SMART goals

Setting SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable/Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound – is a well-established approach based on the ground breaking goal-setting theory of motivation. Begin articulating your ideal future and ensure your goals are well-defined, quantifiable, realistic, resonate with your values and have specific timelines.

  1. Specific - Start by asking "What do I want to achieve?". Be specific with your goals. Replace vague aspirations like "I want to be rich" with explicit ones like "I want to save $10,000 by the end of the year."
  2. Measurable - Then gauge the measurability of these goals – "How will I know when I've achieved it?". Establish precise markers for tracking progress and celebrating small victories.
  3. Achievable - Next, assess the attainability of your goals. Stretch yourself, but ensure your goals are within the realm of possibility. An unattainable goal only sets you up for failure and is deflating.
  4. Relevant - Ask "Why do I want to achieve this and does it correlate with my values?". Your goals should always align with your personal or professional aspirations and resonate with what you hold dear.
  5. Time-bound - Lastly, set a timeline. When are you intending to achieve your goal? Having a timeframe creates a sense of urgency and offers a clear finish line.
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Keep your motivation flowing

To remain motivated, it's crucial to understand why you're striving for these goals. It's highly integral to your journey towards becoming your best self.

Is it about personal growth? Career advancement? Health and fitness? Financial security? Whatever the lure, always remind yourself why you're on this journey.

Here are some strategies to help you maintain your motivation:

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  • Chunk your goals - Divide your goals into achievable chunks or shorter-term goals. If your goal is to read 12 books this year, start by reading a few pages or a chapter a day. One step at a time. This kind of goal planning means that your small wins lead to big victories and provide constant motivation and a sense of progress.
  • Goal monitoring with accountability and flexibility - Choose a suitable accountability system. It could be a friend, a mentor, a journal, or an app. Monitoring your goal progress with regular reports and feedback keep you focused and honest. As you progress toward your goals allow yourself the flexibility to adjust, reassess, and redefine them as you develop.
  • Create a support network - When necessary, do not shy away from seeking help. Getting support is not a cry of weakness, but an acknowledgment of your humanness, and the fact is that we are more motivated when suitably connected. 
  • Perseverance through fear is key - Even if the journey becomes rocky, remind yourself of the importance of resilience. It is not the absence of failure that defines success but the ability to rise every time we fall. Let fear not deter you. Instead, adopt it as a sign of growth. Fear is often a reaction to the unknown. So, as you step into uncharted areas of your life, view the fear as proof of your courageous foray into personal growth.
  • Use the power of positivity to stay motivated - Flourishing is about positivity, embracing a life of value, and developing a robust mindset like a mountain. In this journey of setting and achieving personal goals, there will be setbacks. Anticipate them and confront them with positivity. Praising yourself and understanding that you are a precious treasure can be a source of motivation.

Balance, Gratitude, and Leadership

Do not let your pursuit of goals interfere with other aspects of your life. Remember, your happiness is the bedrock upon which your goals attain fruition.

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Appreciate what you have, the foundation for your progress. This will includes the people who support your growth. Celebrate your successes, however small, and use them to fuel future actions.

Leading by example by setting and achieving your goals not only motivates you but also inspires others and makes a difference in their lives. Strive to live your strengths and be a beacon for others.

Finally 

In conclusion, setting and achieving personal goals is an act of growth and self-improvement. It is envisioning your best self, digging in to use your unique capabilities, and courageously taking control of your destiny.

Remember, nothing is impossible once you set your mind to it. You decide how your story unfolds. And as you turn each page, remember to celebrate every stride, for you are your greatest masterpiece.

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