How to Set Effective Goals

Why set goals?

We need goals for inspiration, change, and improvement. Setting goals also increases motivation and productivity, and it’s important for creating a sense of fulfillment. Not to mention, the process of achieving a goal feels great and improves self-esteem.

So many goals, so little time.

IMG_1345.JPGThere are many types of goals, and trying to focus on a few can feel overwhelming. Goals can be short-, medium-, or long-term. They can involve health, finance, career, relationships…the list goes on.

The key is to start with personal goals that are meaningful to you. Look to your values to focus your goals. If you’re not sure how to prioritize your values and goals, brainstorm and rank them.

I’ve got a goal. Now what?

Break it down! Start with a long-term goal that you break down into short-term goal steps. Commit to achieving a small goal step each week. For example, if your long-term goal is to have a romantic partner who shares your interests, your goal step for the week is to attend a meet-up group where you can meet new people.

IMG_1374.JPGAnother important aspect of goal setting is to be specific and realistic. You are more likely to achieve your goals if your goals are clearly defined, like “I will attend the Bay Area Photography Group on Saturday at 3:00pm.”

Carry your goals with you.

Make decisions that will help you reach your objectives. At the same time, don’t be too rigid or so focused on your goal that you lose sight of other important areas of your life. Also, achieving goals requires the ability to manage your emotions so you can behave in ways that are consistent with your objectives.

In some cases, struggling to reach goals can be a sign of stress, anxiety, depression, or other issues. Consult with a doctor or mental health professional to rule out underlying problems.

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