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Goal Setting Steps

Each of us has our own definition of success. Therefore, having a sense of personal accomplishment is based on meeting and working toward our personal goals. The goals we create become our personal road map to success.

There are two types of goals: long-term goals and short-term goals. A long-term goal is something we want to achieve over a long period of time. These long-term goals are often our plans for personal success. A short-term goal is something we want to achieve in a shorter period of time. Short-term goals are often part of our long-term goal plans.

To develop a sense of success through meeting your long-term goals, follow the steps below:

Step One: Select an Achievable Long-Term Goal

Select one achievable goal you hope to accomplish over time that will give you a sense of personal success. The word "achievable" is key. For goal setting for success to work, the long-term goal you select must be something that is possible, with hard work and determination, for you to achieve.

Step Two: Write Your Goal Down

Writing down the goal helps you remember it and gives a sense of tangibility to the goal. Goals that are written down are more likely to be reached.

Step Three: Choose a Target Date

Your target date is the deadline you set for reaching your goal. Once you have decided on a target date, write the date down beside your goal.

Step Four: Make a Plan

Your plan will be the steps you take, that will help you achieve your long-term goals. Each of these steps will become short-term goals requiring their own target dates. Write down the short-term goals and target dates that have become part of your long-term goal plan. Short-term goals should be listed in order of priority or as sequential steps toward attainment of your long-term goal. Your long-term goal with steps (i.e., short-term goals) and target dates becomes your success plan.

Step Five: Post Your Plan

It is important to post your success plan in a location where you will see it daily. Posting your plan helps keep it fresh in your mind and helps keep you on track. Plans that are not posted are easily forgotten; target dates and short-term goals that are not posted are easily missed.

Step Six: Review Your Plan

It is important to review your plan regularly. Long-term plans almost always require adjustment. Whether it is the target dates that need to be adjusted, the steps that need to be altered, or the overall goal itself that needs to be changed, it is very rare that a long-term plan is accomplished without some adjustments along the way.

On occasion, you may need to rewrite a goal or set a new one. If you are unable to accomplish your long-term goal or you have changed your mind and want to develop a new long-term goal, it is important to remind yourself that this is perfectly acceptable. Setting new goals and developing new plans are all part of our road maps to success. While plans are important to achieving our goals, our lives would be boring if every moment of our lives followed a plan we laid out years earlier.


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