Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Goal Setting As A Means Of Self Improvement


It is often easy to forget exactly how important goal setting is to self-improvement. We can have lofty ambitions for changing or improving who we are, but if we don't begin the journey with one step as Confucius once said and then break it down into smaller plans, the journey might begin to seem impossible.

The reason goal setting works as a means of self improvement is two-fold: the first part is obvious it allows us to break a really complex task down into small components that are easier to follow, more detailed, and less overwhelming. The second reason why goal setting is an effective means of self-improvement is that it provides us with constant motivation. Whenever we accomplish that goal or objective on the way to the greater goal, we feel as if we have made progress, and it emboldens us to work towards the next goal in line.

Before anyone can begin goal setting for self-improvement, he must determine what it is about himself that he would like to change and for what reason. For some people, the ultimate act of self-improvement would involve quitting smoking cigarettes. For others, weight is a self-improvement issue for which they are most concerned. For others, it might be something different, like being more assertive, more financially secure, or more charitable.

Of course, no one knows our faults better than we do. If we're overweight, we usually know just horrible it makes us feel, even if no one around us even really notices it. If we drink beyond what could be considered careful moderation, we know how it makes us feel and what it has done to our relationships.

Now, once you have identified what it is that you would like to improve about yourself, you can begin the goal setting process. Start with the ultimate goal (i.e., to lose 30 pounds). Next, depending on how large your ultimate goal is and how long it will reasonably take you to accomplish begin goal setting for objectives with timelines. For these smaller objectives, it is a good idea to tie them to actions, rather than results. If, for instance, your goal is to go to the gym three times each week and decrease your fat and carbohydrate intake, you might accomplish all of those goals, but it doesn't mean you will accomplish your short-term intended result, which was to lose ten pounds in 30 days.

If you only lose 10 pounds when your goal was 30 pounds, don't feel like you haven't succeeded. Instead, see if you followed the goals you set out to accomplish for the time period: did you go to the gym three times each week? Did you decrease your fat and carbohydrate intake? If you answered yes to all of these questions and you DID lose at least some weight, then you know your goal setting activities are on the right track, but you just need to intensify the components or increasing the overall timeline.

So, to reiterate, successful goal setting for self improvement consists of three things: creating long term goals, short term objectives, and re-evaluating the plan to make sure it is more realistic.


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