The first rule of goal-setting is to take it seriously. That means
- Don’t rush it
- Think about it
- Work backward (from your ultimate to shorter-term goals)
- Write down your goals
One important conclusion to draw from all these rules: Don’t do hasty goal-setting in the week between Christmas and New Years. Goal-setting is arguably the most important thing in your life.
|Goal-setting isthe most important thingin your life.|
The goals you set will determine the direction you head: They will determine your life. And not just this month or this year, but the rest of your life.
That’s why it is so important to take goal-setting seriously. Everyone knows the stereotype of people who make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight. Rather than have a real plan, they jump into heavy workouts every day–for a few days. By the end of January they’ve given up on the gym and forgotten their “resolution” altogether.
Goal-setting is not a series of minor resolutions. That’s why you need to take it slow and think about it. Start by resolving to take the month of January to think about where you’ve been, where you are, and–most importantly–where you’re going in your life.
At the end of your life, what do you want? At retirement, what do you want? Ten years from now? Five? As I said, you’re going to work backward. Once you know the ultimate goals, you need to identify the milestones you need to reach between now and then. These will eventually include goals for the next 12 months, 6 months, 3 months, and this month.
So you see, this is a big project. Assign yourself one goal for January: Begin the process of setting goals for you life. Don’t do it in one day or one hour. Think about it, pray about it, and work on it.
Write down your goals. Then spend one hour at the beginning of every month to review your long-term goals. Note successes in the last month and minor changes to shorter-term goals. A journal may be useful as you revise and revisit your goals.
You need this repetition because these goals need to become part of who you are. You’ve probably heard of the networking technique of giving your 30-second “commercial.” As people go around the room introducing themselves, each has a turn to say who they are and what they do in 30 seconds. It is short and to the point so that you need to really work on making this 30 seconds as effective as possible.
You should employ this same technique to your personal goals. Who are you and what do you want to do with your life?
You’ve got 30 seconds to answer . . .