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7 Simple Tips to Make Your Dreams Come True

By: Alison R

Dreams and goals are the backbone of society and innovation. They are the birthplace of human ambition. And a person without a dream or goal is only a shell of his or her full potential.

Dreams or major goals are so important for a number of reasons including:

  • Dreams motivate you to do your best and reach your full potential
  • Dreams provide you with positive energy and help to keep you going through hard times
  • Dreams keep you focused on what’s really important.
  • Dreams help you define yourself as the type of person you’d want to be.
  • Dreams keep you excited about life and the possibilities of the future.

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Visualization. Achieving Your Goals

by Frank Niles, Ph.D.

In life and work, success begins with a goal. It could be losing weight, asking for a raise, quitting smoking or starting your own business. Big or small, goals give us purpose and, like a compass, keep us headed in the right direction. Of course, it then takes lots of hard work and determination to reach your destination.

Writing over 2,000 years ago, Aristotle described the process this way: “First, have a definite, clear, practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends: wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.”

Unfortunately, many of us remain stuck at the goal stage. We start out with good intentions and perhaps a plan, but then we can’t seem to make it happen.

There are countless reasons that this occurs — busyness, impatience, fear and negative social pressures are some of the usual culprits — so how do we respond to these challenges and move in the direction of our goal? Fortsätt läsa

How to Develop Long-Term Focus

by the Mind Tools Content Team

If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.

Many scientific researchers work day in, day out to pursue goals that will take years, decades, or even generations to achieve. Their progress is often painstakingly slow, they likely receive little feedback, and they know that success isn’t guaranteed.

However, despite the odds, they find enough meaning and motivation to keep working towards their objectives. Because of their long-term focus, we’ve all benefited from life-saving advances in areas such as vaccination, CT scanning, antibiotic development – and very many others.

It’s clear that people who maintain focus on long-term goals can achieve much bigger things than those who jump from idea to idea, or those who give up after the slightest setback. So, how can you keep focus on long-term goals, especially when you have to contend with everyday distractions and other urgent tasks?

What is Focus?

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Backward Planning for Goal-Setting

by the Mind Tools Content Team

If your goal is to become an account director within the next five years, where do you start your planning process? Or if your team needs to redesign the company’s organizational structure, where do you begin?

In planning, most of us would usually start building our plan from start to finish. What do you have to do first, second, third, and so on? And by what date does each step need to be completed?

This is a solid form of Personal Goal Setting  that works very well. When combined with the Golden Rules of Goal Setting , you have a motivating formula that can help you actively move yourself forward.

A New Approach

However, there’s another simple but lesser-used method of goal setting that can be equally as powerful. It’s called backward planning, backward goal-setting, or backward design, and it’s used quite often in education and training. The idea is to start with your ultimate objective, your end goal, and then work backward from there to develop your plan. By starting at the end and looking back, you can mentally prepare yourself for success, map out the specific milestones you need to reach, and identify where in your plan you have to be particularly energetic or creative to achieve the desired results.

It’s much like a good presentation, when the presenter tells you where he’s headed right at the beginning. Then, as the presentation unfolds, it’s easy for you to follow the concepts and think critically about what’s being said. If you have to figure out the main points as they come, your energy is often used up by just trying to keep up. Fortsätt läsa

5 Powerful Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important

by Alison R

Goals are what take us forward in life; they are the oxygen to our dreams. They are the first steps to every journey we take and are also our last. It’s very important that you realize the significance and importance of goal-setting and apply this knowledge in your life.

What Is A Goal?

According to Wikipedia the exact definition of a goal is: A desired result a person or a system envisions, plans and commits to achieve a personal or organizational desired end-point in some sort of assumed development. Many people endeavor to reach goals within a finite time by setting deadlines. In other words, any planning you do for the future regardless of what it is, is a goal. So the next time you are planning on doing the weekly chores or decide on watching that really cool action movie after work, always keep in mind that these small tasks account as goals and while seemingly insignificant you are goal setting.

5 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important:

1. Goals Give You Focus

Imagine having to shoot an arrow without being given a target. Where would you aim? And say you did aim at some random thing (out of sheer perplexity). Why would you aim there? And what would the purpose be? Get the idea. This is a literal example of what life is like without a goal or target in mind. It’s pointless and a waste of energy and effort.  You can have all the potential in the world but Why Goal Setting Is Important your abilities and talent are useless. Just like how sunlight can’t burn through anything without a magnifying glass focusing it, you can’t achieve anything unless a goal is focusing your effort. Because at the end of the day goals are what give you direction in life. By setting goals for yourself you give yourself a target to shoot for. This sense of direction is what allows your mind to focus on a target and rather than waste energy shooting aimlessly, allows you to hit your target and reach your goal. Fortsätt läsa

SMART Goals. How to Make Your Goals Achievable

by the Mind Tools Content Team

What Does SMART Mean?

SMART is an acronym that you can use to guide your goal setting.

Its criteria are commonly attributed to Peter Drucker’s Management by Objectives concept. The first known use of the term occurs in the November 1981 issue of Management Review by George T. Doran. Since then, Professor Robert S. Rubin (Saint Louis University) wrote about SMART in an article for The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He stated that SMART has come to mean different things to different people, as shown below.

To make sure your goals are clear and reachable, each one should be:

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable).
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
  • Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).

Professor Rubin also notes that the definition of the SMART acronym may need updating to reflect the importance of efficacy and feedback. However, some authors have expanded it to include extra focus areas; SMARTER, for example, includes Evaluated and Reviewed. Fortsätt läsa

Locke’s Goal-Setting Theory

by the Mind Tools Content Team

Many of us have learned – from bosses, seminars and business articles – the importance of setting ourselves SMART objectives. We know that “SMART” stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. But are these the only factors to consider if we want to achieve our goals?

Dr Edwin Locke and Dr Gary Latham spent many years researching the theory of goal setting, during which time they identified five elements that need to be in place for us to achieve our goals.

In this article, we’ll look at their research, and find out how to apply it to our own goals.

About Locke and Latham’s Theory

In the late 1960s, Locke’s pioneering research into goal setting and motivation gave us our modern understanding of goal setting. In his 1968 article “Toward a Theory of Task Motivation and Incentives,” he showed that clear goals and appropriate feedback motivate employees. He went on to highlight that working toward a goal is also a major source of motivation – which, in turn, improves performance. Locke’s research showed that the more difficult and specific a goal is, the harder people tend to work to achieve it.

In one study, Locke reviewed a decade’s worth of laboratory and field studies on the effects of goal setting and performance. He found that, for 90 percent of the time, specific and challenging (but not too challenging) goals led to higher performance than easy, or “do your best,” goals. Fortsätt läsa

Eight Goal Setting Mistakes

 by the Mind Tools Content Team

Mistake 1: Setting Unrealistic Goals

When you’re exploring possible goals, you need to unleash your imagination and ambition, put your reservations aside, and dream big dreams. However, once you’ve decided on a goal, make sure that it is realistic, and that you can actually achieve it in the time frame that you have set for yourself.

For instance, if your goal is to run a marathon, it’s wildly unrealistic to sign up for one next month, unless you’ve already done several months of training. Or, if your goal is to become CEO of a company, but you have no experience, this goal might not be practical – at least not yet!

To set realistic goals, use SMART Goal Setting strategies: make sure that your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Mistake 2: Focusing on Too Few Areas

Imagine that you’ve just written your list of goals for the next year. You’ve committed to increasing your sales by 15 percent, applying for a promotion, and reading one leadership book each month.

Although this is an ambitious but achievable list of goals, there’s a potential problem: these goals focus only on your career. You’ve completely omitted goals from other parts of your life.

Many people focus solely on their work when they set goals. However, you can’t neglect activities that bring you joy. Goals like writing a book, competing in an adventure race, or starting a home garden might also be incredibly important for your happiness and well-being.

So, when you set your goals, make sure that you strike the right balance between different areas of your life. And remember that “balance” is different for everyone – use the Wheel of Life tool to understand which areas of your life you need to focus on most. Fortsätt läsa

Golden Rules of Goal Setting

by the Mind Tools Content Team

Have you thought about what you want to be doing in five years’ time? Are you clear about what your main objective at work is at the moment? Do you know what you want to have achieved by the end of today?

If you want to succeed, you need to set goals. Without goals you lack focus and direction. Goal setting not only allows you to take control of your life’s direction; it also provides you a benchmark for determining whether you are actually succeeding. Think about it: Having a million dollars in the bank is only proof of success if one of your goals is to amass riches. If your goal is to practice acts of charity, then keeping the money for yourself is suddenly contrary to how you would define success.

To accomplish your goals, however, you need to know how to set them. You can’t simply say, “I want” and expect it to happen. Goal setting is a process that starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve, and ends with a lot of hard work to actually do it. In between there are some very well-defined steps that transcend the specifics of each goal. Knowing these steps will allow you to formulate goals that you can accomplish.

Here are our five golden rules of goal setting, presented in an article, a video and an info-graphic.

The Five Golden Rules

1. Set Goals That Motivate You

When you set goals for yourself, it is important that they motivate you: this means making sure that they are important to you, and that there is value in achieving them. If you have little interest in the outcome, or they are irrelevant given the larger picture, then the chances of you putting in the work to make them happen are slim. Motivation is key to achieving goals.

Set goals that relate to the high priorities in your life. Without this type of focus, you can end up with far too many goals, leaving you too little time to devote to each one. Goal achievement requires commitment, so to maximize the likelihood of success, you need to feel a sense of urgency and have an “I must do this” attitude. When you don’t have this, you risk putting off what you need to do to make the goal a reality. This in turn leaves you feeling disappointed and frustrated with yourself, both of which are de-motivating. And you can end up in a very destructive “I can’t do anything or be successful at anything” frame of mind. Fortsätt läsa