Setting Life Goals


Life Goals. Have you set your life goals yet?

Setting life goals is a bit different than setting a short term personal goal like weight loss. Life goals require you to evaluate what you want from life, what you need, your hopes and dreams. They’re long term.  Though they may be long term, they must still be specific, attainable and measurable. They provide you with a roadmap to where you are going. So how do you go about setting life goals?

First, it’s best if you get into the right frame of mind and environment to set your goals.  As you plan your life goals you will want to set aside time for yourself. Go someplace quiet with a piece of paper where you can brainstorm without interruption. This might be in a quiet room or corner of your home. It might be somewhere outdoors in nature.  One of my favorite places to work on my life goals is on our annual family outing to the Trinity Alps in Northern California. The mountains, forest, rushing snow-melt river, and crisp air make for a relaxing, yet mentally-invigorating, environment to work on my goals.

To begin work on your goals, ask yourself what you want out of life. Where do you see yourself in three, five, ten, twenty-five years? How do you envision your family? Personal life? Career? Retirement? If you could do anything in the world, what would it be? Write down everything you think about. The answers to these initial questions will help you form your life goals.

You can also divide those goals into sections. Have a life goal for family, career, finances and personal achievement. Look at each goal individually and think about how you will get there. If your life goal is to become a doctor, you will need to follow a specific educational path. If your life goal is to retire to the mountains or the seashore, you are going to need varying levels of money. What steps can you begin to take to move you toward achieving your life goals? Write them all down.

Whether you’re working on short-term personal goals or long-term life goals, of course you will want to make sure the goals you define are SMART goals. Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.
What obstacles stand in your way? As you look at each life goal and the steps that will lead you on your way, what possible obstacles stand in your way? If your life goal requires you to attend medical school, some obstacles may be money or passing medical exams. How will you tackle those obstacles? What tools do you need to be prepared? If your life goal is to retire to Hawaii, what is standing in your way? Your current job? Do you need to go back to school in order to make more money or will promotions carry you through? How will you get those promotions? Life goals require a lot of planning so you must be ready for any potential road blocks that may stand in your way.

And lastly, who can you utilize to help you attain success once you set your life goals? You need to establish a support team to help your goals become reality. As a coach, I would steer you towards a specialized coach.  If your life goals are career-oriented, find yourself a career or executive business coach who is skilled and successful in designing goals. Tap into their knowledge and let them guide and encourage you along the way. If your goals are personal, you can begin by sharing them with your friends and family. Some of them may even have the same life goals and you can encourage one another. You can also seek the services of someone skilled at Life Coaching.  Choosing either route – using family and peers, or professions – having a strong support team is instrumental in making your life goals a reality.

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