9 tips to set and achieve life goals

Reach your lifetime goalsI feel like I’ve been floating through life lately. When I was younger, I had more concrete goals. I wanted to start a career, get married and have kids. I’ve accomplished those goals.

But, what am I doing now? I am just trying to survive each day with work, kids, homework, sports and housework.

My husband’s grandmother recently passed away at almost 90 years old. She was a five-foot tall spitfire, and if she wanted to do something she did it. As I head toward my mid-40s, it has me thinking about what I want to do with the second half of my life. I need to set some goals to determine where I want to go from here and how I’m going to get there.

Goal setting is a powerful way of thinking about your future. By knowing what you want to achieve, you can concentrate your time and effort on those things that will help you get there. You can quickly recognize distractions that will take you off course, and then get back on course.

Here are 9 tips to help you set and achieve your life goals:

Brainstorm your life goals
Spend some time in quiet contemplation. Think about what’s really important to you. Think about what you’ve always wanted to do. What really excites you? Whatever you come up with, write it down. Don’t limit yourself based on what you think is realistic. For example, you may want to:

  • learn to play the piano
  • start your own business
  • find a partner
  • take a trip
  • change careers
  • buy a house

You can focus on different areas of your life, too. You can set goals for health, fitness, finances, relationships, work or even spiritual growth. Setting goals can help you create overall balance in the different areas of your life.

Set lifetime goals
The first step is to set lifetime goals that give you an overall perspective and allow you to focus on the big picture. These lifetime goals give you the foundation to shape all other areas of your decision-making. Setting goals in different categories can help you create more balanced coverage of all the important areas of your life.

For instance, you may want to set lifetime goals for your career, education, healthy lifestyle, finances or volunteer efforts. As you plan, make sure these goals are ones that you genuinely want to achieve rather than simply ones that sound like good goals.

Break it into smaller goals
Once you have your lifetime goals in mind, you can break them down into smaller goals. For instance, you may want to create a one-year plan, six-month plan and even monthly plan. By developing progressively smaller goals, you can build up to your lifetime goals in gradual steps. Not only will you see immediate progress this way, it makes it easier to stay on track and reach your goals. You can even create daily to-do lists that help you work toward your end goals.

Write it down
Putting your goals on paper (or on an electronic device) makes them more real. You are committing to reaching these goals. It’s also easier to reference  your goals and reaffirm what you are trying to accomplish. You can even hang a copy of them by your bedroom mirror or on the fridge to help encourage you to stay on track.

Set deadlines
Give yourself specific deadlines. For instance, if you’re going to start a business, set a date to have a business plan prepared. If you need to quit your current job, set that date. Determine a date to open your business. Outline goals for your one year anniversary. By having deadlines, you create a sense of urgency and a need to complete tasks on time so you can reach your goals.

Plan for bumps
Sometimes life gets in the way of your life plans. Decide now that if something comes up that gets you off track, it’s not the end and you haven’t failed. You may need to hold off on that goal. Or, you may need to adjust that goal to fit into the new situation. You can take a break or you can modify your goal, but you are not giving up on it.

Avoid procrastinating
The next hurdle you may encounter is procrastination. Something new is often scary and intimidating. You’ve got to push through and just get started. Armed with your schedule of daily, monthly, and yearly goals, just get started. It’s easier than you think!

Challenge yourself
Dream big. You are capable of more than you think. Imagine if all of the world’s great inventors and leaders had decided they couldn’t do it. Our world would be a vastly different place. So, dream it and do it.

Review your progress
Check in with yourself every once in a while. Make sure you are staying on the path to achieving your goals. You can make adjustments if you need to as you go along. Congratulate yourself on your progress and set new goals.

Do you have lifetime goals in place? What tips do you have for achieving your goals?

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One thought on “9 tips to set and achieve life goals

  1. Pingback: Is Your Life in Balance? | Live the Balanced Life

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