I’ve often said that the major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes you do to accomplish it. This will always be a far-greater value than what you get. That is why goals are so powerful; they are part of the fabric that makes up our lives.
Goal-setting provides focus, shapes our dreams and gives us the ability to hone in on the exact actions we need to take in order to get everything in life we desire.
Goals are exciting because they provide focus and aim for our lives. Goals cause us to stretch and grow in ways we never have before. In order to reach our goals, we must become better; we must change and grow.
A powerful goal has three components:
It must be inspiring.
It must be believable.
It must be one you can act on.
When your goals inspire you, when you believe and act on them, you will accomplish them!
Goals also provide long-term vision in our lives. We all need lots of powerful, long-range goals to help us get past short-term obstacles. Life is designed in such a way that we look long term and live short term. We dream for the future and live in the present. Unfortunately, the present can produce many hard obstacles. Fortunately, the more powerful our goals (because they are inspiring and believable), the more we will be able to act on them in the short term and guarantee that they will actually come to pass!
So, let’s take a closer look at the topic of goal-setting and see how we can make it forceful yet practical. What key aspects should we learn and remember when studying and writing our goals?
There are four main areas of emphasis in writing goals:
Evaluation and Reflection
The only way we can reasonably decide what we want in the future and how we will get there is to first know where we are right now and what our level of satisfaction is for where we are in life. With our focus on goal-setting, the first order of business is for each of us to set aside some serious time for evaluation and reflection.
Dreams and Goals
What are your dreams and goals? Not related to the past or what you think you can get, but what you want. Have you ever really sat down, thought through your life values, and decided what you really want? This isn’t what someone else says you should have or what culture tells us successful people do or have. These are the dreams and goals born out of your own heart and mind, goals unique to you and that come from who you were created to be and gifted to become. Does this seem a little daunting? Well, next week we will show you exactly how to discover what you want from life.
SMART means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-sensitive.
Specific: Don’t be vague. Exactly what do you want?
Measurable: Quantify your goal. How will you know if you’ve achieved it or not?
Attainable: Be honest with yourself about what you can reasonably accomplish at this point in your life, while taking into consideration your current responsibilities.
Realistic: It’s got to be doable, real and practical.
Time: Associate a time frame with each goal. When should you complete the goal?
In two weeks, we will spend some time looking at how to apply the SMART test to your goals to make sure they are as powerful as they can be!
Think of the word accountable. It means to give an account. When someone knows what your goals are, they help hold you accountable. Whether it is someone else going through this program with you (have you thought about inviting a friend to join you on this one-year journey?) or just someone you can give the basic idea to, having a person who can hold you accountable will give you another added boost to accomplishing your goals! In Week Eight, we will show you how to set up an accountability partner.
So, evaluate and reflect. Decide what you want. Be SMART. Have accountability. When you put these four key pieces together, you put yourself in a position of power to catapult toward achieving your goals and the kind of life you desire.
Each of these points will be covered more in depth over the next month, but today I want to focus on the first one, Evaluation and Reflection.
The basis for knowing where we want to go is knowing where we came from and where we are. It is also knowing how well we have done achieving things we have previously set our eyes on. This is the essence of evaluation and reflection. We need to understand how to look at what we have done and then use that as a platform for what we want to do next.
The process of evaluation is relatively simple, but can be varied a bit. The important point is having a process! Here is the basic process for evaluation and reflection.
1. Find a quiet place. Reflection is best done away from distraction. It gives your mind space to think.
2. Take a regular time. Whether it is once a week, every other week, once a month or quarter etc., be sure to set aside a regular time at regular intervals to evaluate and reflect.
3. Look at what you have accomplished and where you are. Be specific. Be truthful. Be ruthlessly honest.
4. Write it down. Keep a record. This gives you the chance at the next stage of evaluation to see exactly where you were last time and keeps it as objective as possible.
5. Look forward and set your next goal. Stretch yourself according to what works for you.
That is the basic process of evaluation and reflection. If you have not done this before, then this will get you going. Be sure to follow the general idea and set aside time for your evaluation and reflection.
Now, the purpose of evaluation is twofold. First, it gives you an objective way to look at your accomplishments and your pursuit of the vision you have for your life. Second, it shows you where you are so you can determine where you need to go. In other words, it gives you a baseline from which to work.
We have all heard the quote that the unexamined life is not worth living. To evaluate and reflect brings us face to face with who we are and what we have become. More important, it allows us the time to dream and create a vision for what we want to become! Only when we take time out of our busy schedules can we get into the state of mind and quietness of heart we need in order to find that inner place where we see what we are and what we can become. Those who never take time to evaluate and reflect will blow to and fro through this life, living by the forces of culture, circumstances, societal pressures and, unfortunately, personal weaknesses. In contrast, those who take the time to evaluate will find they are like an oak tree in a storm: They have a firm foundation, know where they are going, how to get there and, ultimately, they will get there no matter what comes their way!
I would strongly encourage you to take a couple of hours this week to evaluate and reflect. At the beginning of this month, we encourage you to see where you are and note it in your workbook so that as the months progress and you continue a regular time of evaluation and reflection, you will see just how much ground you have gained—that will be exciting!
Until next week, let’s do something remarkable!
Be sure to download this week’s workbook pages to complete the Questions for Reflection and Action Points exercises. View