9 steps to set a life-changing goal
- 1. Reflect on what you want to change
- 2. Think about why you want to change
- 3. Take the leap—dream big!
- 4. Write down your goal
- 5. Break your big goal into mini-goals
- 6. Create a timeframe with deadlines to achieve each mini-goal
- 7. Time to take action
- 8. Monitor your progress and make changes to your process if necessary
- 9. Keep going!
- To summarize
- If you would like to delve deeper into goal-setting, here are some great reference books:
A powerful 9-step process for setting a life-changing goal with three actionable steps
When it comes right down to it, regardless of what we want to call it—most of us have goals. The thing is, we often tend to hold on to them as undefined thoughts that just sit in our subconscious. As a result, they take on the form of daydreams rather than actual goals.
Of course, we all want to set a goal that changes our lives. How do we go about it?
Here is a 9-step process that works for me when I struggle to zero in on setting that goal. Oh, this also works for setting intentions.
9 steps to set a life-changing goal
1. Reflect on what you want to change
If you could change one aspect of your life, what would it be? Would you focus on your career, family or health? It doesn’t matter what you choose. You just need to figure out which area of your life you want to change.
2. Think about why you want to change
Once you decide what you want to change, spend some time thinking about why you want to change that area of your life. Make notes, if you like. Writing down these things puts your thoughts into better perspective and gives you more clarity. When you figure out why you want to change, this is what will motivate you to take action.
Go ahead and weigh the pros and cons of your “why”. Brainstorm the benefits of this change. Refer to your list as often as you want. You’ll need to look at it especially when you find your motivation waning off.
Goal setting is an effective behavior change technique that has the potential to be considered a fundamental component of successful interventions. (Source)
3. Take the leap—dream big!
A life-changing goal must be SMART—which means it must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Don’t be intimidated by the acronym though! Feel free to dream big.
Sometimes we need a big goal to find our motivation. So maybe it seems unrealistic and unachievable at this point—but you’ll be surprised to see that it may not really be out of your reach.
Read: Find your motivation
4. Write down your goal
Now that you have decided on your life-changing goal, you must write it down.
It is not enough to just think about it in your head. You are likelier to achieve your goals when you write them down as it connects you emotionally to what you want to accomplish, gives you clarity, and help you visualize the outcome. Looking at your goal in writing serves as a reminder and constant motivation and keeps you focused.
5. Break your big goal into mini-goals
Congratulations! You now have a big goal. Before you let the thought of it overwhelm you, break it down into mini-goals that are easily achievable. Once you do this, you will have an action plan before you.
6. Create a timeframe with deadlines to achieve each mini-goal
Each mini goal now needs a deadline—so set a date by which you would like to achieve it. Every step will take you closer to your main goal. Feel free to create a reward system for each mini-goal you accomplish. Be smart and make it something that will motivate you to progress to the next deadline.
7. Time to take action
You have a plan now. Get started. Pick the easiest thing to do and get going!
8. Monitor your progress and make changes to your process if necessary
At every milestone you have set for yourself, pause to reflect on how you are progressing. Reflect on your life-changing goal. Take stock of your process. What is going well? What is not working? Do you need to change the way you are doing things? Also, check-in with yourself to see if your wants/needs are still the same. By taking time to review your goals, you can make adjustments where needed so that you are on the right track.
9. Keep going!
Are you close to your goal? Have you already reached it? Or did you hit an obstacle? No matter where you are at this point, keep going. After you reach one goal, perhaps you want to set another one. If you are stuck, deal with what is preventing you from moving forward. You already know that nothing happens overnight. Life change takes persistence and dedication. Believe you will get there.
- Take time to brainstorm different areas of your life. Which one do you want to change? Remember there are no wrong answers here. Set a timer and write down everything that you can think of.
- Review what you wrote. Which aspect of your life would benefit the most if you changed it? Write this down and also list the reasons why you want this change.
- Showtime! Set that life-changing goal. Be specific about your goals. For example, if you want to lose weight, writing “I want to lose weight” is a good start but that’s not enough. You want to say, “I want to lose __ kgs by (date). This is how I plan to do it.” Then make an action plan, which could involve an hour of walking every day, tweaking your diet, etc.
If you would like to delve deeper into goal-setting, here are some great reference books:
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Wednesday Wisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of inspiring stories, verse, quotes, anecdotes, reflections, easy meditation, thought-provoking questions and humor. Oh yeah, some days are not so short.