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How to Achieve your Personal Goals

How to achieve your personal goals

Personal goal setting

We all have different ideas of what constitutes success, don't we?

For one person success might mean lots of money in the bank; and for another person success might mean being famous, and for you it might mean the achievement of your current project.

But we all want to be successful, in whatever terms we define success.
Can we agree then, that the definition of personal success is the achievement of a personal goal?

Success is the achievement of a personal goal

But if this was the full definition, it would be possible to be a successful axe murderer.
So maybe we should refine the definition of success to be more moral:

Can we refine the above definition to say that TRUE success is:

"The achievement of a valuable and worthwhile, personal goal that does not violate the rights of others".

Meaning: A truly successful person achieves goals that contribute to other people.

A true success is not the crushing of your enemy and the enslavement of his family.
A true success would be more like the discovery of a treatment to cure cancer.

Of course your success does not have to be on that scale: My point is that your success should contribute to others, or at least not violate the rights of others. Being a successful burglar is a contradiction in terms.

You are defined by your goals

What do you want? This is a very important question.

What do you want?
What has to happen for you to, honestly, say that you feel successful?

Everyone wants something

Even a drunk has a goal.
What is the goal for a drunk? To get drunk.

Even a drug addict has a goal.
What is the goal for a drug addict? To get drugged.

Richard Branson types have goals.
What is the goal for a Richard Branson type? To earn even more money.

And the amazing thing is that they will all achieve their goals.
The drug addict will get his drugs and Richard Branson will make his money.

How to achieve your goals

The first step to achieving your goals is to set them. You cannot achieve a goal that you have not set, can you?
But not every goal is well formed. A well-formed goal is a goal that complies with certain criteria. A not well formed goal is a goal that does not conform to the criteria.

For example what is wrong with the following sentence?
"My goal is to win the national lottery".

Rules for setting well-formed goals.

1. Your goal must be written down

A goal must be in writing. If you just lie in the bath and dream up goals, they won't serve you. You need to get out the bath; find a good quality note book; sit down with a serious head on and figure out what you want to achieve, and then; write it down.

2. Goals must be believable

You must believe that your goal is possible. If you don't believe your own goal is possible you won't do much to achieve it.
Disbelief will kill your goal in its egg.
This belief does not mean that you think you can do it, tomorrow, but rather, you think you can someday achieve your goal, if you work at it.

3. Your goal must be well defined

Your goal should be well defined; in as much detail as possible. The best way to do this is to quantify the goal numerically or to write out a vivid description of the finished product.

4. Your goal should be an affirmative goal

Your goal should be to have; be; or to do something.

  • Your goal should be an expression of a desire; something to move towards;.
  • Your goal should not be an expression of fear, something from which to run away.

For example: rather than set the goal: I don't want to be poor.
The goal should read: I want to earn such-and-such income, per year.

Rather than say: I don't want to be fat.
Say: I want to weigh such-and-such pounds.

5. Your goal should be tied to a plan.

A goal with no plan is useless.

The moment you have set your goal down in writing, get a second book and start furiously writing detailed plans for its achievement.
The plans will vary every day. The goal won't waver.

The plans will be different every day; but the goal is stable and will act as a guiding star, directing all your activities through the months and years of your creative striving towards its achievement.
And that is the wonderful thing about goals. They act as a standard; as a guide; as a target at which to aim.

6. Don't waste any more time. Set goals today

Before bed time, today, please take some time to set some new goals.

Ensure that your goals are:

  • Set into writing.
  • They are believable.
  • They are well defined.
  • They are affirmative expressions of desire, not negative expressions of fear.
  • Ensure your goals have plans that can start the process of creative achievement.
  • Ensure your goals add value to others, besides yourself and do not violate the rights of others.

Don't join the forces of darkness! They are very naughty boys.
Instead: Be a force for good.

Set good goals

Please follow this link for details of our Goal Setting, Communication and Conflict Training

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About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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Further Reading in Goal Setting

  • Achievable Goals
    You are defined by your goals and your goals define you. To realise your goals, you need to ensure that they are both achievable as well as realistic. Do you know the difference between achievable and realistic goals?
    Read Article >
  • How to achieve your personal goals
    Personal goal setting We all have different ideas of what constitutes success, don't we? For one person success might mean lots of money in the bank; and for another person success might mean being famous, and for you it might mean the achievement of your current project. But we all want...
    Read Article >
  • Eight Part SMART Targets
    You are probably aware of the 5-part SMART module, but we believe that to make it practical, it needs to be an 8-part SMART Model. Use it to set your own goals for a better future, as well as setting, communicating and planning team goals.
    Read Article >
  • Six Ways to Make 2021 Your Best Year Ever
    Don't wait for 2021 to get better, be the contributory factor and improve your chances of happiness and success. Here are six ways to make 2021 your best year ever.
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  • How to Set and Achieve Goals
    Do you have dreams of a better future? How are you going to turn those dreams into reality? If you wish to accomplish anything in life, you must have goals. Successful achievement of your goals is dependant on you having a plan.
    Read Article >

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