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Why are goals important? Goal setting is a vital and powerful tool to help you envision your future and what you want out of it. By identifying what you want to achieve in the future, you are able to make a plan composed of realistic efforts to achieve your dreams.
Goal setting also allows you to recognize the aspects of your life that may deter you from achieving your goals. Recognizing roadblocks is a necessary part of the process, as it helps you to determine what is most important to you, what you are willing to sacrifice, and how you will adapt your life to achieve your goals.
Goals are also important because they inspire short term motivation to achieve the steps necessary to make your long term vision a reality.
Lastly, goals help to bolster individual self confidence: the more short term goals you achieve, the more confident you will feel in your ability to bring your long term vision to life.
Now that we have established why goals are important, let's discuss how we can create them for ourselves.
Consider what you want to achieve in the future (this can be 1 year, 10 years or 20 years from now, it is up to you). Your goals can address a variety of sectors in your life, including your health, career, financial situation, level of education, family situation, commitment to public service or personal growth. Identify what sectors are the most important to you and visualize what you want to achieve in each sector of your life.
Once you have identified and established your long term vision, come up with short term goals that will allow you to make your dreams a reality.
For example, if your long term goal is to save $10,000 over the next ten years, establish steps that will enable you to save $1,000 each year. If your long term goal is to run a marathon at the end of the year, establish steps to build your endurance over the next 12 months.
Make sure your short term goals are SMART—meaning they are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. If your first goal is too difficult or takes too long to achieve, make your next one more attainable to prevent fatigue. Likewise, if your first goal is too easily attained, take your next goal a step further and challenge yourself.
It is essential that you establish short term goals in your journey to achieving your long term vision. If you put too much pressure on yourself at the beginning of the process, you will quickly lose motivation in working towards your goals. Short term goals help to maintain motivation over an extended period of time, preventing goal fatigue.
What are your goals for the next year? Ten years? Twenty years?
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