How To Set Goals - Design Your Life (Part 3)

Design Your Life

Part Three in our Design Your Life Series is learning how to set effective goals.  
(Parts One and Two are here and here in case you 'd like to catch up!)   

Live by design, not by default.  Studies show that there is a correlation between success and writing and sharing your goals.  How you write them down affects your chances of success as well.  When choosing what to write down, choose positive words.  Instead of writing, "I will not get mad at my brother anymore", try writing, "I will choose nicer things to say to my brother when I feel angry."

Write out your goals and post them throughout your home so that you can view them several times a day.  The bathroom mirror, the refrigerator, and on your bedroom door are three practical suggestions.  You may even want to put them in your car, too.  Seeing your goals in writing several times a day keeps them always on your mind.   

Set a start date

"I will begin making healthier eating habits by drinking no more caffeinated drinks starting on January 15th."  "I will watch less TV and movies starting on January 12th."  "I will do ten sit-ups a day beginning this morning."  Setting a starting date makes your plan clear and gives yourself motivation and accountability.

Be specific

Being specific leaves no room for "what ifs".  "I will loose weight" is a good goal, but is so generic that you could stop trying after loosing only one pound!  Instead, try inserting a positive, specific goal:  "I will lose five pounds by the end of this month."   If you are trying to improve upon your emotional state, you might write, "I will purposefully dwell on praising my Lord for His blessings instead of dwelling on my disappointments by quoting Scripture". 

Have a plan of action

A plan of action states how you will fulfill your goals.  "I will read my Bible through this year by reading four chapters a day."  Stating your plan of action determines how you will follow through with your goals.  When you get discouraged and want to fall back into old bad habits, you can read your plans of action and be renewed in your vision to accomplishment.

Be positive

As I stated previously, writing your goals in a positive manner helps you to visualize your success.  When you read your goals daily you want to feel uplifted and encouraged, not beat down by being reminded of your short comings.

Be challenging

When setting a goal to design your life start with small steps so you can have a sense of accomplishment when you complete a step.  Starting off with one push-up a day for 31 days before moving to the next step is attainable, yes, but unrealistic and not challenging.  Deciding to declutter your home for 15 minutes a day is attainable and challenging.  Writing one letter a week to a friend is attainable, yet more challenging than setting a goal for you to write one letter a year.  

Be complete - set a completion date 

Setting a date to achieve a goal allows you to feel good about accomplishing your goal and then move forward to the next level.  You are more likely to keep moving forward in your desired direction if you reach a goal in the desired amount of time set on paper.  "I will write and publish an eBook by March 2012" is more likely to happen than "I will write an eBook".

Six easy steps in how to set goals: set a starting date, be specific, have a plan of action, be positive, be challenging, and be complete.  The next step is to get started!  Grab a pen and paper and start making notes.  Next, I will talk about common mistakes and obstacles in goal setting.  Then we will be nearing the end of our Design Your Life Series!  

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this and how you are setting goals to design your life!

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Preparation - Part 1 
Types Of Goals - Part 2 
Common Mistakes - Part 4

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