Goal setting for your personal growth is one of the most rewarding tasks people can do. Do you know what you want to be in five years? Do you know where you want to be in 3 – 5 years?
You want to develop your own big picture of your future life. Success is personal. Are you on the correct path to reach your goal? Do you know what you want to accomplish this year, within 6 months and today?
While some might feel they don’t like to set goals, it is important for everything from health and family to wealth. This encompasses all factors for personal growth.
A goal should be thought of as similar to a map and directions to some long destination. The wrong decisions lead to wrong or unfavorable direction and can make the trip much longer or even impossible. You want your GPS to be accurate.
Goal setting process
Your goals are your personal goals. If you have a business or career you may be trying to use it for the wealth and financial freedom you desire or just something that makes you happy. However, all of these are the means to an end in your own personal goals.
They should be measurable goals, but I argue against smart goals. Smart goals are good and important for short term accomplishment. Do not use or set them until you have long term goals and a plan in place. In the longer term, you need to allow flexibility. As you learn and gain experience revision is often useful and sometimes necessary.
Big Goals and Life Change can Take Time
If you are after some big personal goals over the next 5 –
10 years, you are working toward something that you don’t already know well.
That is, if as you work towards it, you will find attributes of the new career
or business that you may not like or just don’t want to do. That is, just like
you had ideas and dreams of a future career in high school, college and later,
you changed your mind. Either your likes and dislikes changed, or your
understanding of the career changed.
Decide a reasonable time frame for your goals. In some careers, 5 years is more appropriate while other careers may only take 6 – 9 months. Choose according to the career or goals you are setting, either 5, 7 or 10 years. Anything shorter than 5 probably indicates you are aiming too low for a real life change. This complete change might include a new career, getting out of debt, i.e. debt free, owning a home in a location you want to be.
Let’s say you use 5 years for your goal endpoint and you have a big picture of what you want your life to look like. Review your likes and dislikes. This should be a list just like a list of pros and cons for something you might decide to do.
Big Goals are the Ultimate Satisfaction
The ultimate objective or long term goal if a true breakthrough, will not be easy. You will almost certainly need to develop new skills and become familiar with new technology. If you didn’t need new skills, you could step into the new career almost immediately. I’ll get more into that in the episode on comfort zone and how to do it.
The steps for a goal will have many very satisfying parts. You may go through a series of positions or promotions that give you knowledge, experience and credibility. If planned well, your financial position and wealth will greatly improve.
A goal that is broken down in small pieces also will be easier to accomplish. However, if an end or final goal is easy, the competition will probably be extremely high. Competition will also be the highest for the most glamorous goals.
There are some things you do not like to do but will be necessary to achieve your goals. If you are aware of them up front, you can understand the importance and weigh them as part of overcoming obstacles.
Some of the most attractive are the hardest businesses as the competition is much higher. Owning a business, think of a restaurant, people imagine greeting people or being a chef. They don’t realize they have to be ready to fill-in or do any job that needs help or somebody quits. They also need to evaluate every job in the restaurant. Every business is one where you need to learn a great deal even if you outsource.
For each goal, you need motivation. By setting well defined goals and breaking them into smaller goals allows for the sequence of successes achieving goals that will motivate you to go further. You will see progress.
There are a set of goals necessary to achieve longer term goals. As each goal is reached, there should be a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment increasing confidence and further motivation toward your next actions. A nice background as a frame of reference is here.
Motivation and Support are Crucial
Motivation is absolutely essential. You will run into difficulties, hard times and sometimes disappointments. It is important as part of personal development you track how you are doing and involve a mentor, advisor or coach into the process. You need to be put impediments into perspective and use someone as a sounding board for ideas that is outside people who are too close and therefore biased either positively or negatively (see Income Determined by your Five Closest Friends
If you think your friend or family can be objective, look at Facebook posts. When someone posts something, good or tragedy, everyone tries to show empathy and support, but rare is a helpful critical comment or reference to see my private message.
In one of the next episodes, I’ll go into detail about setting long-term goals and, more importantly, how to maintain the drive and motivation to achieve it. There are also several former episodes that can assist. For example, people and the fake ‘gurus’ often say to ‘follow your passion’. I showed significant differences in an episode, “Passion Sucks…the Life out of You“.