“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” Pablo Picasso
Setting goals is not difficult, you simply need a step-by-step plan for how you will get from where you are to where you would like to be. There are short-term goals, like saving money for a vacation; and there are long-term goals, like saving money for a new home. Achieving any goal is not a race, but rather a journey towards a life you wish to live. Rarely is the journey without challenges and setbacks. Having a clear vision of what you desire will help you remain focused and enable you to revise your plan as needed.
The most common goals people set deal with their health and money, and while these are important, for any goal to be successful it must be part of a balanced life. I have six areas I create goals for each year. Each area targets a different part of my life and ensures that I maintain balance. I can easily get focused on just one or two areas – my work being one of them – and neglect other areas that may not be urgent, but are equally as important.
The Six F’s
A Step-by-Step Plan
Once I have decided what I would like to accomplish for each area of my life I develop practical steps for how I will achieve my goal. For example, let’s consider fitness. Everyone would like to be in better shape and overall health, but how many years have come and gone and nothing has really changed for you? Here are five steps I find are helpful when setting goals.
- Identify what success means to you – not someone else. Motivation withers in the land of ‘I should’.
- Is your goal believable? Maybe your dream would be to lose 50 pounds or run a marathon, but if you struggle losing 3 pounds and don’t even own a pair of running shoes you are not likely to believe your goal is achievable.
- Make a weekly plan for how you will achieve your goal. This may include a detailed list of what you will eat each day, items you need to purchase at the grocery store, and what you will do for exercise.
- Write an affirmation that you read daily. One for fitness might read something like this: “I weigh _____pounds. I love to eat healthy and nutritious meals full of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. I look forward to my time in the gym on the treadmill, swimming, lifting weights (your choice) five days a week. I am healthy and strong.”
- Put your plan into action. It is not enough to think about it and write it down – you must DO it!
Apply this same technique to each of the six areas. If you do, you will realize that the small changes you have made throughout the year will move you closer to achieving your goals and living the life you desire.
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