Set goals to inspire you

This is a perfect time to set goals

Happy New Year! The purpose of this blog is to provide helpful info and motivate you to achieve more in your life.  Although this info may  not be new to you, hopefully it is arranged in a way that helps you take more control of your life.  The main goal is to motivate and inspire you.

Most of us try to have New Year’s resolutions but as soon as we fail to keep our resolution, our attitude usually is “Oh well, maybe I’ll try again next year.” Instead I would suggest that you set up goals that help you set direction for your life.  In football there is a “goal line”,  and “goalposts” which serve as visual images to motivate your team to score.

Similarly, in our life you should strive to have goals which serve as “goalposts” to keep us moving in the right direction.  Goals can be set at anytime but usually the beginning of the year is a likely time to start.  Other times may be on your birthday,  the beginning of a new semester if you are in school, starting a new position in your career, or beginning a job search.

How do you set goals? There is no clear cut answer. Various terms, such as dreams, goals, objectives, tasks, or plans are often used to refer to this goal planning process.  Some writers may make various distinctions between all these different terms.  In general when starting this process you want to go from more vague or general ideas (dreams) to more specific items (objectives, tasks) that you can accomplish which might resemble a to-do list.

Others have proposed different ways of thinking about goals.  One idea I find useful is to ask yourself, “Where do I see myself one year from now?”.  The difference between where you want to be and where you are now can help establish your goal.

Some writers encourage you to focus on just one goal while others encourage you to set goals in various areas of your life.  I prefer the later method.  I usually set goals in areas of my professional development, health & fitness, spiritual/ personal development, and financial goals.  Do whatever seems to fit your needs.

Try to keep your goals positive rather than focus on the elimination of something negative in your life.  For example, rather than have a goal of not overeating, have a goal that you will eat more vegetables.  In most situations a positive goal will be clearer to follow than a goal where you are telling yourself not to do something.

One way that I have used is to start with a stack of index cards. Write 1 potential goal on each index card. Just start writing as many cards as you can.  Then begin to sort the cards and see if certain themes appear.  By the end of this process some goals hopefully will emerge.

Do not obsess on getting this process perfect. Otherwise you will never start. At some point you want to write your goals down.  Put them down on pieces of paper that you might have in your pocket, or on restaurant napkins. Get a special notebook. Type them into your computer. As Nike reminds us in their ads, “Just Do It.”

Disclaimer

The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the psychology profession or any professional organization. The comments made here are not meant as a source of psychological  advice for your specific condition or situation. Those seeking psychological or coaching advice for their specific issues are advised to consult with their psychological professional or seek out their personal coach or psychologist. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

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