Have you ever considered how good you feel when you make a ‘to-do’ list for the day while you’re having your morning cup of coffee and before you go to bed as you cross off the items? Don’t you feel good? Setting goals and achieving them doesn’t always have to be as ambitious as climbing Mount Everest or losing 10 pounds in two days.
( photo by _tomanthony )
Setting goals and achieving them can be as simple as cleaning your refrigerator, organizing and paying bills, and giving the dog his heartworm medication. We are so busy in today’s society that it is the little things that add up and cause extreme amounts of stress. However, it is undeniable that when you set a goal and achieve it your body and mind benefit.
As you set goals keep in mind these four things
- The goal you have set is meaningful to you.
- The goal you have set is specific and measurable and has a due date or deadline.
- You have written down your goal.
When you set a goal that is meaningful to you, has a deadline and you have written it down, this will increase your self confidence once you complete it. Goals can be as simple and minute as a list of people you need to call or a list of to-do items for your day. Or your goals can be as intricate and involved as training for a marathon or earning your Masters in Business Administration.
( photo by Jan Willem Geertsma )
I keep a notebook with me throughout the day that I utilize to write down things I need to take care of as I think of them. When I have free time and usually before I go to sleep at night, I go through thelist and prioritize the items for the next day.
Many times people wait until after 7pm or 9pm to call people because that is when their ‘anytime’ minutes through the cell phone service provider begin. And oftentimes our freedom is limited after those hours with activities and family. Keep your notebook with you throughout the day and cross off the items, phone calls and errands as you reach them.
Now if your goal setting is a bit more involved you will need a similar yet different strategy. Let’s use two examples; you are planning a wedding and you are training for a marathon.
( photo by Kwerfeldien )
Planning Your Wedding Through Setting Goals And Achieving Them:
- Write down absolutely every task that needs to take place and every errand that needs to be taken care of. The list will consist of such things as contacting the photographer and contacting the reception hall to small and minute things such as tying ribbons to the corsages and bridesmaids’ dresses.
- Now that you have your list, prioritize the items that need to happen and the order they need to happen in. Now write the date next to the task.
- Proceed through the planning phases of the wedding and as you complete the tasks, cross them off the list. Do not be too difficult on yourself if you miss a deadline, however remember the deadlines are there for a reason and try to adhere to them and make those deadlines happen.
Training For A Marathon Through Setting Goals And Achieving Them:
- Research a training program either online, at the library or at your bookstore. Once you determine thetraining program you want to model after (there are literally hundreds of training programs, philosophies and strategies for marathon training) sit down and write out some dates. Write today’s date and write down the date of the marathon. Write down the date of the halfway mark and write down any periods of time throughout your training period that you may not be able to give 100% or you need to take more than one day off.
- Most training programs give you landmarks as you are training. For example you may be up to ten miles after three weeks and you may be up to fifteen miles after eight weeks. Regardless of where you need to be, write all these goals down.
- The ‘crossing off’ of the marathon training goal will be a bit different than the other goal-setting lists. This goal setting will be more date-driven, however you still need to stay on task because if you don’t you will most likely not make your goal.
( photo by haddartist )
Why else is setting goals so important to your body and mind? Setting goals allows you to take control of your life. There are so many things we do not have control over; the economy, the job market, the price of gas and milk, how our significant other feels about us and how we get along with our mother-in-law. However, by setting goals we can maintain self control over part of our life!
Also through setting goals and achieving them we learn to focus on the important things in our life and are more apt to good decision making. We will base our decisions on our long-term goals which ultimately lead us to making better decisions.
Setting goals will also make you much more self-confident because you will actually see the results in your life. You will be more enthusiastic about life in general when you set goals. And finally, when you set goals, track them, achieve them in the allowed deadline period you are so much closer to success than you were and you will make daily progress throughout your life which will only continue to benefit you.