One important thing to remember when setting goals is to consider how your will assess your progress. A goal such as, "I want to get into shape," is good, but how do you measure improvement? How do you know that you are getting there? How do you know when you have met your goal?
Here are some tips that may help you:
- Have a purpose. Put the meaning behind your goal. That will help you vision the results.
- Put dates around it. This could be a specific date, within the next six months, or before I'm 40.
- Use numbers. This could be a specific number, percentage, or ratio. This is called quantifying.
- State resources. State how you will strive for your goal, who will be involved, or what resources you will use.
The clearer you can be with your goals, the better chance you will meet them. If necessary, make smaller goals to help you reach the larger ones.
- I want to get out more.
- I want to get a degree.
- I want to work on my temper.
- To increase my network of friends (purpose), within the next 3 months (date), I will add 2 new people (measurable numbers) to my personal network by joining and becoming involved in a local book club (resources).
- In the next two years (date), I will complete my bachelor's degree program (purpose) by taking four courses per term (numbers), focusing on my studies, and using the tutoring center (resources). This will allow me to apply for positions as a case worker (purpose) in the spring (date).
- By the end of February (date), I will enroll in and complete an anger management course (resources). By December, I will reduce my yelling to no more than once per day (numbers), and by the end of February, I will eliminate yelling (numbers) and develop a new attitude without a temper (purpose).
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