Goal Setting: Stop Failing and Start Finishing

While the idea of goal setting is not a new concept, we do see an ever-increasing number of people becoming more and more frustrated with setting a worthwhile goal. The frustration, it appears, comes from never being able to realize the fruit of their labor. Therefore, it is with this growing number of goal setting failures that I wish to illustrate three fundamentals of proper goal setting that should significantly increase the probability of a finished goal rather than a failed one.

1. Feed "Your" Desire

Any goal that you seek to accomplish should be complementary to your desires. For instance, you may have a desire to become wealthy or debt free. Maybe your desires are in the area of health and fitness. Perhaps your desires are more family or socially oriented. In any case, your desires represent the fuel that ignites your goals in the form of passion, purpose, direction and motivation to achieve what you initially set out to accomplish. Desire is the key ingredient that most people initially fail to input before they either lose hope in accomplishing their goals or lose interest in their goals all together. Usually the people who do fall short of achieving their goals time after time do so for one main reason; their goal was not a passion or a desire that came from within. Allow me to expand on the focus of your desires to broaden your understanding of its importance in accomplishing your goals.

A desire is something that you want or feel strongly about which comes from the innermost part of who you are. It is more powerful than a wish or a passing thought. It is more than an idea of something you may feel could benefit you if you were to pursue it. A true desire represents your ambitions and direction for your life that will give you a sense of peace and fulfillment. A burning desire is a passion that not only beckons for your attention, but also consumes your every thought in one way or another. You will never be able to extinguish these desires for your life or satisfy them until you begin to pursue them. The majority of goal setters who omit this crucial element of achieving their goals ultimately fail to accomplish those goals due to a lack of purpose, direction and motivation.

Your goals should not be made from someone else's passion or desire for you to follow. It has to come directly from you. Sure, you could get certain ideas and thoughts that are from other sources; but it must strike a chord from within your heart and mind for it to be a more than plausible and worthwhile goal to benefit you. I cannot stress enough to you the importance of setting a goal that comes from the very core of your being, which can give you a deep thirst-quenching sensation. Without a goal that can liberate your mind and boost your enthusiasm, you could quite possibly wander and drift and ultimately give up on your goals in sheer frustration like so many others have done; having not properly set a goal that came from your desires.

2. Action Statements

The next step in achieving your goals is to list a couple of action statements that support your desires as well as give you a point from which you can track your progress. Without action statements, it can be difficult to know how to get out of the starting gate. These action statements, when followed, will create a routine that will become second nature to you if you comply with them fully. Let us say that your goal is to lose ten pounds in two months. Your action sentence then could be to wake up one hour early each day and walk or jog a mile. Once you make this a routine, you could then increase your distance and/or intensity every week or so. Before you realize it, it is four months and twenty pounds or more later. Of course, jogging or walking solely will not do the job, but you should get the idea behind the action statement. The key here is to comply with whatever you have written down. Here is an example of how your goal and your action statements should look:


Spend more quality time with my family

Action statements

?Turn off the TV from 7:00pm?9:00pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and play a game or have group discussion.

?Have family outings on the first and third Saturdays of each month (This does not always require spending money).

?Have dinner and family time on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5:00pm?7:00pm.

It is important for you, however, to avoid trying to do too much in the initial phase of your goals. This is especially the case when it involves others. Taking on too many tasks early on can certainly discourage you from completing your goal. Instead, you should take small steps initially and increase the time and frequency as you become more comfortable with the change. The key word in this step is habit. A habit is something that becomes second nature to you and usually requires little or no effort or thought. Once the habit is firmly established, you can increase the throttle a bit and move further along in achieving your goal.

3. Positive Affirmations

A positive affirmation is a very powerful and influential tool in helping you realize the achievement of your goals. Whenever you speak an affirmation aloud and to yourself, it triggers your brain in a manner that forces it to comply with your command or belief. Let us look at this in another way.

Have you ever heard that telling someone he or she is dumb enough times, that person will begin to believe it? Well, it happens to be true. This is especially true when it comes from parents affirming this to their children. By repeatedly telling yourself something enough times, it will most certainly have an impact on your behavior and attitude. Aristotle, the Greek Philosopher, once said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." Did you notice the word habit again? Below, I have listed couple of positive affirmations that you can repeat to yourself on a daily basis to complement certain goals. However, these are simply examples. Any affirmations that you use should be tailored to meet your individual needs and requirements in order to be effective.

Health and Fitness goal

Affirmation-I look and feel great at xxx pounds.

I am energetic and in good physical condition.

Family goal

Affirmation-I love my spouse unconditionally

My children are bright and talented

My family is strong and close knit

Whenever you use positive affirmations, make them now affirmations. If you tell yourself you are going to be or would like to be?, your brain receives it as something which has not yet occurred and will place your affirmation somewhere in its archives. However, if you use a positive now affirmation, your brain will begin to work on your behalf in making your affirmations a reality. I can understand that to some this may sound funny or fictitious, but the results can be profound when properly applied. I have seen it work in my life, my family's life and the lives of others who were completely sold out on the idea of achieving their goals.

It is my hope that this has been of some use to you. Now is the time to stop failing and start finishing in your pursuit of peace and fulfillment for your life. I hope you would agree that you deserve it.

H. Michael Ducre is the author of The Entrepreneurial Spirit/Renewing Your Mind for a Successful Business. His book ia available for purchase online at amazon.com or any other major online retailer.

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