When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. – Lao Tzu
You don’t need to have a structured SMART goal to make changes in your life. Simply start with a vision of where you want to be or what you want to change, then set a realistic goal, stay on track with the easy steps listed below.
1. Know Your Goal
Your first task is to discover exactly what your goal will be. What will you achieve to demonstrate you reached your goal? What does that goal really look like? Be very specific about what your desired end result is and by when you hope to see changes in your life. This step should result in a clear mental picture with lots of details.
2. Create Time to Plan
In the beginning all you have is a rough concept, a glimmer of a dream. When you develop a complete set of tasks, you immediately move closer to success. The plan also needs to include what you are going to give up. If you already have a busy schedule, you will need to delegate responsibilities to other family members, decline a few social activities or even miss watching your favourite show on TV to make room for the new tasks you will need to implement. However and wherever you can carve out the time to work on your goal.
3. Focus on your Goal Everyday
I’m sure you probably want to achieve your goal as fast as possible. So focus on the goal daily, visualize the end result, and do a little something everyday to move you to the new goal. Without daily focus, bad habits that have kept you from your goal in the past may take over and make you feel discouraged. The only way to override negative subconscious messages is to consciously target what you DO want! Don’t let distractions take over. Life WILL try to get in your way!
4. Be Passionate
One of the most powerful tools in your “Goal Planning Tool Box” is having real passion for your goal. Strong desire for your goal will help you ingrain the goal into your brain and new routine. Intense passion for your goal will also help you squash any inappropriate old “failure” messages that are lingering in your subconscious mind.
5. Ready, Set, Action
In many ways, actually taking action can be the hardest step. You need to remember that a goal is built by taking one small action after another to create positive change. If you can commit to do at least one small action per day, then your actions will add up and make a difference. Avoid sitting back and waiting for everything to magically happen.
One of the keys that works for me is to brainstorm using different colored pencils or actually create a vision board using magazines and craft supplies I have lying around the house. I am a visual person, so these types of activities help me create a visual reminder of what I’m working towards and all the pieces that will help me be successful.