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The Simple Steps to Reaching Your Goals

I'm sure this is not the first time you have heard about goal setting. The reason you keep hearing about it is because it really is important to your life.

A good definition of goals is that they are dreams with deadlines. Yes, you can make your dreams come true. How do you want your life to be 10 years from now? How about 5 years, next year, or even 6 months from now.

The only difference between setting goals for your business or career, and setting personal goals is the subject matter. With commitment and persistence, and setting goals, your life can be any way you want it.

When you actually sit down and start identifying goals, you will probably end up with a long list. Decide what is most important to you in your business and personal lives.

All goals do not have equal value. Some will be more meaningful to you. These are the goals to start on. Keep your list of the remaining goals to get back to later. Trying to do too much at the same time can be self-defeating.

Once you have selected the goals to start on, give each goal a deadline.

Short term goals, such as completing a project, will be completed in six months or less. Medium term goals, such as increasing a customer base, or revenue, will be a yearly target. Your goal for career advancement could be in this time frame.

Long term goals can run for several years, such as where do you want your business to be in 5 years, or building your nest egg to retire in 5, 10 or 20 years.

Write your goals down, as this increases commitment.

Make your deadline for each goal realistic and reachable. There is no right or wrong on how long you determine it will take to reach a goal. It will be different for each person and each goal. Whatever is comfortable for you is what counts.

Okay, you have done this. Now, how do you get started? By identifying what you must do to accomplish your goals.

Look at each one individually. Under each goal, write down the tasks to be undertaken to reach that goal. You may not think of everything to the smallest detail, but you will come up with the major tasks. Give each one of these tasks a deadline.

On short term goals, your deadlines will most likely be daily, weekly and monthly. On long term goals, deadlines are more like six months, first year, eighteen months, second year.

You can break these down even further. If you know what you want to accomplish the first six months of a long term goal, what can you do this month, next month, etc. to get there.

Include these tasks and their deadlines in your calendar, and schedule the time needed to work on them.

Once this is done with all your goals, you have made a contract with yourself and the commitment to take action. This is your road map to get you where you want to go.

Each day, ask yourself if what you are doing is helping you get there. If the answer is no, be sure you know why you are doing it at all.

If all this seems difficult or overwhelming, start with just one goal. Make it easy and short term. Once you have accomplished this, go on to another goal.

Remember that life is a journey to be enjoyed. Be kind to yourself. You will find by setting goals and identifying what you need to do to get there, will cut down on a lot of stress in your life.

At the same time, you will be making those dreams a reality.

Here are a few good quotes to inspire you.

Happiness, wealth, and success are by-products of goal setting, they cannot be the goal themselves. - Denis Waitley

If you don't know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else. - Laurence J. Peter

People have more options than they think they do. But most people spend more time planning their vacations than thinking about what they want to do with their lives. - Bob McDonald

What you do every day should contribute to giving your life meaning. If it doesn't, why are you doing it? - Don Hutcheson

2002-04 Carol Halsey

Carol Halsey is Founder and President of Business Organizing Solutions. She is a professional organizer, consultant, speaker, and author. You can get articles and ideas filled with simple tips for saving time, simply by visiting her web site: http://www.PilesToFiles.com. Subscribe to her free newsletter, "Organizing Ideas" sent twice a month.

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