Personal Goal Setting

You're here because personal goal setting is an issue for you. For most people, the trick isn't setting goals itself. A lot of people have goals to improve their relationships, increase their income, lose some weight or to spend more time with their families. Creating goals isn't really the problem for most. Coming up with ways to push past the obstacles of those goals tends to be a greater challenge for most.

The #1 personal goal setting obstacle I've experienced in my own life is fear. I had that special kind of fear though, you know the type that comes from two fronts and creates a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" atmosphere? I was certainly afraid of failure. A lot of people are. We think that failing at a goal will make us the laughing stock of the world. Of course, that's a ton of crap: only a few people will know about your failure and some of the most successful people in the world have failed plenty of times. I was also afraid of success. I was afraid that if I was actually successful with some of my goals, I would have a lot of added responsibility. Creating an awesome product or having a fantastic relationship would mean I'd be locked into these things for a long time. I didn't know if I was ready for that sort of thing, which made me afraid. The best way to get past fear is to run toward it instead of away from it. Do the things you are afraid of and surprisingly, you won't be as afraid of them anymore. It will also make the ever scarier challenges much more achievable.

Another major roadblock to personal goal setting is the collective issue of not having enough time or money. Maybe your goal is to write the Great American Novel or to become a comedian on Saturday Night Live. These are fantastic goals but you may dismiss them outright because you would need hundreds of hours to write said novel and thousands of dollars to take comedy classes and hire coaches for your comedy teams. The best way to deal with this obstacle is to do more with less. Sure, you don't have hundreds of available hours over the course of a single week, but you do if you spend a half hour to an hour a day. You may not have money for comedy classes, but you have a few friends that enjoy comedy and wouldn't mind coming over to practice a couple times a week. The people who are the most successful at personal goal setting, are the ones who are able to do a little bit each day or each week without sacrificing sleep or savings accounts. A note from personal experience, if you have to spend a great deal of money to make a goal possible, don't spend your own, especially if you don't make much. Find an investor, ask some friends, but whatever you do, don't spend a lot of your own, because if you do fail, you don't give yourself a lot of leeway for your next goal.

The last hurdle to jump in personal goal setting is building up your discipline. Goals often require that you put in some effort every day or every week to chip away at them. The issue here is that there are so many distractions that are entertaining and seem like the most fun use of our time. Why should we spend time cold calling new clients when we could be catching up on our favorite television shows? What is the point of drawing that last comic panel when we can see how our acquaintances from high school are doing on Facebook? These questions are obviously a little silly, but that's the way our mind tends to work when we're trying to concentrate. When making personal goal setting a priority in your life, strengthen your discipline muscles by practicing. Practice turning off your wireless for 20 minutes while you write and try to work it up to 30 minutes (and eventually a few hours). Unplug the television and brainstorm about your new goal the length of a TV drama. If you can build up this discipline over time to the point that you can work on your goals a little bit at a time while fighting your fears, you will become a personal goal setting (and achieving) guru in no time.

Done with Personal Goal Setting? Go back to Personal Time Management.

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