What is really important to you right now in your
life? In other words, what do you really value? The main headings are: PEOPLE-
THINGS- OTHER, e.g. career. Also finances. That word MONEY again!
Areas of goals:
These can be divided into short, medium and long-term; these respectively being
six months, one/two years and five plus years. Also divide them into balanced
components, being: personal, family, social and work goals. Then break them down
* Spiritual * Mental * Physical * Financial * Family * Community/School
Remember that over-concentration on one of your goals will not
ensure success. A car can only run well if all the tires are inflated to the
correct pressure... and if it has four wheels!
The art of goal setting is to balance all of these areas. If one area is out of
proportion in your wheel of life, it affects everything else. Your wheel of life
should be rounded evenly and balanced, so that it gives a smooth ride. Unlike
mine. Currently my social life is pathetic, so I am joining
"rent-a-friend", as I'm way too obsessed with my work, my writing and
spend far too much time focused on it... instead of having more FUN !
A thought... Perhaps it's about time I slowed down in my article submissions and
set a goal of using that time for pure relaxation! How's that for a goal?
TIPS ON HOW TO ACHIEVE GOALS 1. Give yourself permission to dream and desire.
Put aside (as much as you can) all reason and logic. If you don't have a goal,
you have nothing to aim for and no plan of action. Without a goal you are just
kicking a ball around. Think creatively by using your imagination in setting
targets. 2. Make a master dream list. It is important to write down everything
you want and need. Every place you want to go and everything you would like to
become or achieve. These need not be high ideals, but genuine wants, e.g.
putting food on the table (most important for "starving" writers!), a
new car, beach house. swimming pool, yacht. A "proper job" for writers
like me, perhaps! 3. Aim high Stretch yourself to your limit and you will
achieve more than you believed possible. The higher the level of conscious
goals, the greater their motivating power.
4. Priorities your Goals. Start off with some easy goals to get you in the
'habit of achieving'. Know where you are now and how you got there. (" How
the s...did I get where I am now?). Look at yourself and learn from others.
These goals must be compatible with your inner values. Values are what we hold
to be important at the deepest level of our being. Doing this will make them far
more likely to be achieved.
5. Set a time limit for achieving them. It's important to set a deadline...but
it doesn't have to be "set in concrete". Don't let something drag on
for three years that could have been achieved in one year. Set short-term goals:
tomorrow, next week, next month. Also set long range goals which will require
vision, courage and foresight. Finally, set your ultimate goals like becoming an
All Black or Springbok (these are rugby football players from New Zealand and
South Africa for "ignorant Americans"- oops, sorry!), a Judge, or some
grand purpose, etc.... as long as that is what you really desire. List the steps
needed or smaller goals required to be achieved on the path to your ultimate
goal. By breaking them down they will seem more attainable and once each minor
goal is attained will bring you closer to the ultimate goal. List the skills,
qualifications or traits you will need to achieve them. 6. Be inspired. Receive
regular inspiration and enthusiasm through reading and other motivational
material (like this book- PLUG, PLUG). Also helpful is frequent contact with a
person or people who inspire and enthuse you. 7. Focus on your goal like a laser
and go after it every day Don't be discouraged - sometimes "one step
backwards comes before a leap forward". "Dare to be different to
others", if that is just being "the real" YOU. Don't allow the
future to act on you. Act on the future. Don't see yourself as a powerless
victim of circumstances, but rather as one having many choices to take any path
you CHOOSE to move your life forward. N.B.Goals should be written down and
This makes for focusing ones thoughts and COMMITMENT in seeing them through.
Write each goal on a list and as you achieve it, tick it off and enter a new
goal. Act immediately on your short-term goals, as only ACTION will get you there. Have
balance in your dreams and be honest and realistic with yourself. A goal is
either meaningful in itself or as a means to an end. More Goal Tips * Start
first with your longer term goals and break them down; if you start with short
term goals you will end up with more of the same. * Focus first on the overall
outcome, not how you will achieve the goal or you will limit yourself. Then the
amazing power of your creative imagination (in the form of your subconscious
mind) will come up with the plan on HOW to achieve your goals. The answer may
come to you immediately or take a while... and then come to you in unexpected
moments, like in the shower. ..* Don't be obsessive about goals- let them
happen, don't force them. (I must learn that one and let "life take it's
course"!). * Be flexible and be aware of the unexpected, which may be a
stepping stone to your goal in disguise. * Involve your spouse/partner/those
"nearest and dearest to you" in goal setting. Shared family goals have
more meaning and the commitment to achieving them is greater.
THE SECRET IS TO VISUALIZE YOUR GOALS AS ALREADY BEING ACHIEVED
"We should all be concerned about visualizing the future, because we will
have to spend the rest of our lives there."- anon Visualization is the
technique used by top sportspeople to achieve results. Successful people make
things happen and use the process of Goal Setting. Ask yourself whether you are
a goal- setter or goal-getter? You are not as stuck down in a rut as you may
think. You have far more choices than you could ever imagine.
GOALS - THE FIVE KEY QUESTIONS "The important thing is to identify what you
need to do AND THEN DO IT!" * Which? What do you really want? Break down
into needs and wants, e.g.. yacht, pool, new car, beach house, holiday. Also set
tangible and intangible goals. * Why? If it is not planned, it doesn't happen.
*When? Goals must have a time frame. Long range goals should have checkpoints
and a completion date. Who? Goals involve others : # Business (the boss,
manager) # Personal (wife/husband/partner) How? What is the blueprint? You can't
build without plans. The reason why you must have specific goals. Don't Forget:
A. Involve others. B. State goals in terms of measurable results. C. Set target
dates. D. Be specific. Criteria for Setting EFFECTIVE Goals They: # Should make
you enthusiastic and excite you. # Must be truly your OWN goals - meaningful to
YOU only. # Must be based on real desires. # Must be consistent with your values
and be purposeful. # Must be written down. # Must lift our sights, yet be
realistic and attainable. # Must be specific and measurable. # Must be
compatible with your other goals. # Must have a starting and completion date. #
Keep written goals in front of you. # Should be dynamic, but not set in
1. ITEMIZE - list possible goals - don't analyze at this stage
2. CATEGORIZE - personal/family/work (use headings from the Wheel of Life).
3. PRIORITIZE - relate to what you value and rank.
4. CRYSTALLIZE - make specific and clear, use the KISS principle ("keep it
simple, stupid"). Oops, sorry my dear reader!
Remember that goals are dreams which come true. Most people give up on their
dreams too soon or, like me in the past, don't aim high enough and achieve them
too easily and quickly. Except in writing!
N.B: The essence of goal setting is:
DETERMINATION I really believe that. This entire planning process might take a
1. If it's not in writing, it is not a goal. It is a New Year resolution. 2. If
it's not specific, it's not a goal. 3. 'Goals must be believable, inspirational
and expandable'. 4. An effective goal is an exciting challenge. 5. Goals must be
adjusted to new information. 6. Dynamic goals guide our choices. 7. Don't set
short-term goals for longer than ninety days. 8. Maintain a balance between
long-term and short-term goals. 9. Include your loved ones in your goals. 10.
Set goals in all areas of your life. 11. Your goals must harmonize with your
life. 12. Review your goals regularly. 13. Set vivid goals. 14. Don't chisel
your goals in granite/set in concrete. 15. Reach out into the future. 16. Have a
set of goals for every day, and review results every night. 17. Train yourself
to crave your goals. 18. Set activity goals, not production goals (salespeople).
19. Understand luck, and make it work for you. 20. START NOW!
If you don't break your yearly objectives down into first
quarterly and then monthly/weekly/daily activity targets, you
cannot keep on track. Marathon runners keep going not by
focusing on the whole course, but on the next drink station, the
bottom of the hill, and when the pain comes, the next lamp post.
The plans we make to achieve our dreams are the blueprints for
success. A written plan focuses the mind on goals. Intermediate
steps move one step by step closer to success.
You should regularly review whether you are on track (e.g..
monthly, quarterly, yearly). Goal setting must be an ongoing
process. Goals that are no longer meaningful must be replaced by
ones that are.
" A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step." -
Mao Tse Tung I really like that one. No wonder I repeat it so
often (the first signs of impending senility, perhaps???).
Mark Spitz, the American swimmer, won nothing at the Mexico
Olympics in 1968. Bitterly disappointed, he dreamt of winning 7
goal medals at the next Olympics in Munich in 1972 and set a
target of the times he would achieve in each event. He won those
seven medals with times within 100th of a second of what he had
said he would do. He developed his plan and a rigorous training
regime. His goal became an obsession which overcame everything
else... yet he achieved greatness.
Thomas Edison tried 2000 times to invent a light bulb. He didn't
see it as 2000 failures, but rather as a process to be gone
through. He didn't take it personally, but saw his efforts as
2000 ways that did not work. Every time an idea didn't work, it
got Edison a step closer to his ultimate goal - SUCCESS. That is
what kept him going. In a word, PERSISTENCE.
Even countries have set goals. After being defeated in World War
II, Germany was totally devastated. However, Germany is now one
of the economic giants of Europe. Another defeated nation,
Japan, which only had .3% of the world's land and 3% of the
population now has 10% of the global trade. The nation's leaders
set goals for these countries after the war, which seemed
impossible at the time, but were achieved.
The motto: Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the
greater achievements of the future. Remember that setting a new
goal is the first step towards a positive plan of action;
because without a goal you have no target, nothing to aim for.
"Challenges are a chance to boost motivation, seize them like
There is nothing more exciting and inspirational than new goals.
Our attitude to ourselves determines our ability to set and
achieve goals. Whatever your self- image, you project it to
other people and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
With positive attitudes (subject of the following chapter) and a
good self image, your enthusiasm for challenges will be
heightened, as well as for life in general. This results in
greater job satisfaction, as well as living an emotionally
healthy life filled with meaning and purpose. Remember, negative
attitudes in other people can easily block your goals. I don't
expect people to understand what I'm trying to achieve in my
personal goals, but I'm getting there. They are MINE alone and I
believe are right for ME! Raise your sights high and dare to be
different. In our society we are conditioned to follow the
leader. N.B: Follow your own heart in setting your goals.
If you've set goals, but have had difficulty with your goals in
the last 3 months, it may be because of the following: 1. Your
goals were not realistic. 2. Your goals were not clear and
specific. 3. Your goals were not written in the present tense.
E.g.. 'I have now cleared all my short term debts and I have
saved X$ (or pounds')...'I now weigh my ideal body weight of...'
Well done "Jumbo"! 4. You weren't really committed to your goals
and/or they were not appropriate for you.
A final few words of wisdom (even if I say so myself) to end off
WE GET WHAT WE EXPECT
DON'T ALLOW THE FUTURE TO ACT ON YOU
ACT ON THE FUTURE
"There are those people who make it happen, those who watch it
happen, and those who don't even know it happened."
WHICH ONE DO YOU WANT TO BE?
P.S: WITH FAITH AND PERSISTENCE, YOU CAN ACHIEVE ANYTHING YOU
SET OUT TO DO.
"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius,
power and magic in it." - Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe (German philosopher)
About the author:
Craig Lock Creative Writing Course