How to set goals? Like all things, its actually quite simple – once you’ve done the ground work, which is:
These are the foundations or the ‘rocks’ of your goal setting process. They set the direction for your goals, so it’s really important to put the time into working them out properly. And they are unique to you, which is why only you can do it.
Once you’ve worked this out, you can prioritize and set your goals! You’ve probably heard of SMART Goals, well ours are SMARTer , which guarantees your goals contain all the necessary components to maximise your goal setting success.
Goal setting is of course an on-going and dynamic process. Your priorities and therefore your goals will change from time to time (for example if you start a family) and when this happens, it’s important to sit down and go through the goal setting process again.
Also as you grow older and mature, your motivators and drivers will change so on-going review is necessary to make sure your goals are still relevant to you.
What you want when you’re 20 will not be the same as what you want when you are 40. But armed with these skills, it is a tool for life – no matter what stage you’re at or how old you are.
Get the ‘Big-Picture’ first
The first and most important step in how to set goals - what is YOUR ‘Big-Picture’?
This is one of those philosophical questions that go in the same boat as “What’s the meaning of life?" and "Why are we here?”, and you may never be able to truly answer it for yourself.
But if you want to try to define it, your ‘big-picture’ is your one guiding principle, your shining light, that forms the basis for all your decisions and actions.
If you were a company, your ‘big-picture’ would be the Vision or Mission Statement.
So, it is a statement outlining an idealised description of your life’s outcome. It will inspire you and create your target. It can apply to different parts of your life – your family, your career – and it is the end target that you want to achieve, and where your goals need to take you.
To help you work out exactly what your ‘big-picture’ is, think about your tomb-stone. Macabre I know, but your tomb stone is a concise summary of your life – what you have achieved, and how people remember you.
How do you want to be remembered? Of course, you may want to be remembered in several ways – as a career woman, family man, skilled professional – there are many aspects of your life that you need to consider. Too much focus on one aspect of your life could leave you feeling empty in another.
The classic example here is people who focus too much on their career driven by ‘empty’ goals of power, ambition and making money, only to neglect their family. Most of these people when on their death bed wish that they had spent more time on the ‘important’ things in life – an indication that they didn’t get a handle on their personal ‘big-picture’.
It’s a question of balance, and you’re the only one who knows the perfect balance for you.
You may not be able to put your ‘big-picture’ in words, but try to visualize what your life would be like if it was perfect in every way - this is your ‘big-picture’, and your goal setting needs to reflect it.
This is critical for how to set goals.