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Personal Goal Setting: How to Set Goals for Individuals

The need for personal goal setting arises out of the desire to achieve great ambitions. Great celebrities have vouched for the efficacy of goal setting. Without goals, one tends to take pot-shots in the dark, hoping to achieve success either by chance or by blind effort. While it is important to apply effort, it is also important to ensure that effort follows a direction of planned strategy. Without strategy, one can go on and on working hard, but achieving no result. Individuals who have high ambitions want to meet their goals within the shortest timeframe. If you are convinced that you need to make a well formulated plan to set your goals, here is how you do it:

Set Clear, Focused Goals
Do you know what your goal is? Maybe you wanted to pick up a new skill. Or you wanted to buy a new house without taking any home loans. Or perhaps you want to get into management cadre within your organization. You don't necessarily have to start out with a life-time goal. You may begin with a short term goal that can be achieved within a month, or year. When you achieve short term goals, you are committed to future personal goal setting. It is important that you have clear, focused goals. If you don't make your goals specific, they become difficult to achieve. So for instance, instead of setting goals like improving communication skills, you must have a clear focused goal like enhancing written communication or improving language skills.

Time Span
Having identified the goal, you need to allocate a reasonable period of time for the accomplishment of this goal. If the goal is not time specific, set a deadline to achieve your target. This deadline should not be too loosely paced, such that you deviate from the goal. Nor should you keep the deadline too stiff that the goal becomes unmanageable.

Course of Action
There can be many roads that lead to your destination. You have to find the road that is practical and desirable. For instance, if your goal is to lose weight, you can choose among a wide range of diet options. However, the course that you take should not have an adverse effect on your well being. The course of action should be in tune with your other goals too.

Set Small Sub-Goals
Sometimes, you may find that your goal seems like an overwhelming challenge. You find it tough to cope with day-to-day issues, and very often you deviate from your course of action. In such a case, it is important to set sub goals which have shorter time span. The achievement of multiple sub goals will result in the achievement of the bigger goal.

Backup Measures
Most personal goal setting plans fail because of the lack of proper contingency planning. We expect everything to fall into place and set goals with watertight parameters. Invariably, there would be a change in circumstances, which require readjustment or realigning of goals. Without a foolproof backup plan, goals collapse under such circumstances. Also, motivation levels go down in trying to remove the obstacles from the path. In any personal goal setting plan, it is important to consider the obstacles that may surface. A rational personal goal setting would require you to make a contingency plan in case of emergency. Without backup measures, you would have to depend on fate for the achievement of your goals.

Self Motivation
No goal is achievable without motivation. Only inner inspiration can help you accomplish your goal. While it is important to start with a fire in the belly, it is equally important that you don't douse that fire with excuses. Excuses and slack performance are symptoms of receding motivation levels. Hence, watch out for these symptoms.

If you have not already started formulating goals, it is time to act now. Whether you have a distant dream, or an immediate desire, create well meaning goals that lead you to the desired destination.

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