Creating an effective goal statement
Creating an effective goal statement can accelerate the completion of a goal as well as help you better define what you really want. We all have goals, some are probably more clearly defined than others.
A clear, well written goal will help you to focus on what needs to be done, and keep you from limiting your options as you go about the goal setting process.
It is all too easy to focus on what you don’t want when setting goals. It’s usually a lack of something that causes you to create a goal in the first place. For example you may want more money, better health, better relationship, etc. Wanting something you don’t have can cause you to start setting goals.
But, in any goal setting activity you may actually sabotage your efforts if you focus the goal too much on what you are lacking rather than on the desired outcome.
For example, if you have an intention to increase your financial abundance but your goals revolve around a feeling of lack, you will be sending mixed signals and getting mixed results.
This makes more sense when you look at two concrete examples of goals that point to similar end results but are worded very differently:
I want to stop feeling overwhelmed with debt.
I want to have the financial abundance to pay my bills with ease.
The first goal is focused on debt and how you feel about it, but there isn’t anything concrete there about increasing your abundance. The goal actually revolves around what you don’t want, and focusing on what you don’t want usually just brings more of it.
The second goal, while still fairly general, is worded in a much more positive way. It focuses on your desired outcome rather than on the current reality.
Avoid Self Imposed Limits
While having very specific goals is good for a variety of reasons like producing better focus and being able to measure progress, sometimes getting too specific in your goal statement can introduce artificial limits.
For example, let’s say you want to increase the financial abundance in your life. Here are a couple of examples:
I want to get a promotion to the next open manager position in my company with an increase of $10,000 per year in salary.
I want to increase my income by $10,000 a year within the next 12 months.
This first goal is very specific, and can give you a very narrow focus for your efforts.There is nothing inherently wrong with the first goal statement, it is very clear and measurable.
But if your real intention is to increase the financial abundance in your life, by setting your goal in this way you have limited yourself to only one possible solution.
Notice that in the second goal statement the financial increase is exactly the same as in the first one, the difference between the two is in the second statement there is not a specific means to achieving it.
With the second goal, you may be more receptive to possible solutions that come your way. You might see opportunities you wouldn’t have noticed if you were more narrowly focused, and you may become more creative in coming up with ways to get there.
The idea in creating an effective goal statement is to make sure you get to the heart of what you really want, focusing on the positive aspects and keeping it open enough that you don’t miss other opportunities to achieve your desired outcome.
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