I often quote the statement that a goal is just a dream if you fail to write it down because it’s so true. In general, most people accept that they need to write their goals as it’s only too easy to get side-tracked, or to lose sight of what you’re working towards. For others, they may have to change their mindset in order to accept the need to implement setting goals.
A challenge that many people I work with and speak with have is that while they recognize the importance of written goals, they do not know how to write them effectively.
The first step is decide in your mind what the goal is, what the details involved will be, which would include timeframe, current status, where you’d like to be in the short term, as well as in the long term. You also have to take into consideration any external factors that may affect the outcome. Once these have been determined, you are ready to transfer you thoughts to paper or your computer.
1. Always write your goals in positive language. For example, instead of: My goal is to lose 10 pounds in one month; you may consider: My goal is to be 10 pounds lighter at the end of one month. Or, instead of: My goal is to stop being late for appointments; you may write: My goal is to leave earlier for appointments so I will arrive on time.
2. Ensure that you include as many details as possible. Include the why – the reason for the goal; how – the steps you will take to achieve the goal; when – the timeframe to complete the goal and intervals for checking that you’re on track; who – will you be totally responsible for completing the process, or will others be involved?
3. Be honest with yourself as to your ability, the time you can give to achieving the goal; and be realistic. You may find that after an honest evaluation of your circumstances you may have to give yourself extra time. It’s best to do this evaluation before you start so that you don’t lose your motivation down the road.
Once you have done these things and have them written, you’ll want to print copies and keep them in strategic locations in your home office or wherever you need to, in order to be reminded of them on a daily basis.