Checklist for Moving Forward: Set Goals [3 of 7]

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 [Taunya is a registered nurse, an author, and a mother to three children. This post is an excerpt from a non-fiction text Taunya is working on periodically entitled From Me to You: A Mother’s Legacy to Her Daughters. Find her author page at facebook.com/authorTSW]

Introduction

Creating goals is a good way to start moving forward.  Goals give you something to look forward to, but they also help to outline your work tasks.  Goals have a way of building you up and introducing you to new things as you develop. The greatest benefit you will reap is the satisfaction of accomplishing the goal.  If you have done it before (or failed with effort), you know exactly what I am talking about.

How to Begin

To begin this process of goal setting, a few resource materials are needed.  First on the list is a journal or notebook. Next is a pencil or pen. And, last is time.  These items should be fairly easy to get.  Hobby or craft stores sell journals for $1.00-2.00. Pencils are literally a dime for a dozen.  The most challenging resource needed is time.  But I assure you, you have this too.

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Time: You have that too!

Once you are set, brainstorming is an important first step.  You must think about what you want, and where you would like to see yourself in the future.  Think about what goals make sense for you in the context of your talents or gifts.  Remember these are your goals; you will be the one to achieve them, so make it totally about you not what mom, dad, grandma or anybody else wants.

Write your goals in your journal or notebook.  Do not try to arrange them in any format right now. That will come later.  Writing it down and seeing it in print is another step of affirmation you are making.  When teaching my children new words, I show them the word and say “take a picture with your brain.”  Writing your goals on paper serves the same purpose.  Cultivate the habit of reflecting, even if not writing, in your journal or notebook daily.  This habit will keep you focused and mindful of your goals.  Do not forget to carry your notebook with you. You never know when an idea will spark, and you will need to write it down.

Have Short-term Goals

Once you have your goals figured out, you have to decide which ones are short-term goals.  “Short-term” denotes goals that may be achieved in a shorter period of time.  Ask yourself “Can I accomplish the tasks related to this goal in one month, six months, or maybe even a year?”  Keep in mind while you are deciding on time frames for different goals that small successes are key to keeping your spirits up and therefore motivating you to continue moving forward.   Carefully planned and well thought out goals will give you a clear picture of how to organize your time and your tasks.  Just remember your short-term goals should connect with long-term goals.

Have Long-term Goals

Long-term goals only differ from short-term goals by the length of time.  Some long-term goals can take as long as 5 – 7 years to accomplish. Do not fret over the length of time. It is more important to be realistic about the goal.

If your goal is to own your own restaurant or boutique, the tasks you need to complete in order to develop and build a sustainable business will easily take that amount of time.  It is the same with becoming a famous artist or best-selling author.  I am sure we would all love for our dreams to come true over night, but that is not reality.  There are steps that have to be taken.  Your craft has to be developed, and connections have to be made.  That is the reason your planning phase is so important.

Long-term goals also serve to give you focus as you are working on your short-term goals.  Sometimes you have to look ahead to remind yourself why you do what you do and what you can look forward to.  One last bit of advice: enjoy the excitement provided throughout the process. Also, connect with people you trust. This will ensure much needed support as you work toward your goals.

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