Dissecting The Six Step Goal Setting Process

Do you have big goals you want to achieve? Have you possibly had these goals for a while now, and haven’t really pursued them? Why is that? What has held you back? What reasons do you have for not taking the plunge? Is it possible you’re living a life of excuses? Some of them of course might be legitimate, but for the most part, you are probably only fooling yourself with these lies. But why is that? Why do we make these excuses? Well it might have something to do with the fact that we totally suck at goal setting. If you’re not using the six step goal setting process to set your goals, then the chances are you probably won’t achieve them.

 


1) SET YOUR GOAL

When most people think about setting a goal, that is all they do. They think about setting a goal. However, thinking about a goal doesn’t actually turn that thought into a goal. What you imagine will remain nothing more but a dream until you actually take the time to describe that goal on paper. With this in mind, it’s time to get very clear about your goal. Take out a sheet of paper and write down exactly what you want to accomplish. But make sure that it’s no ordinary goal. This goal must be meaningful, challenging, exciting and worth accomplishing. There must be a strong reason and desire for wanting this goal, otherwise you simply won’t pursue it.

goal setting process

THE SIX STEP GOAL SETTING PROCESS

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2) IDENTIFY GOAL CONFLICTS

Many people don’t have any trouble working through the first step of the goal setting process. They clearly outline their goal in a visual way and get very excited about the thought of pursuing it. However, the goal you set doesn’t live on an island all by itself. It lives within a microcosm alongside the other goals, responsibilities and commitments you have in your life. In other words, it is living within an environment where it is competing for your attention. It’s therefore very possible that an existing goal could hinder your pursuit of this new goal. Given this, you now need to identify these goal conflicts and prioritize what’s most important.

goal setting

THE SIX STEP GOAL SETTING PROCESS

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3) MAKE NECESSARY SACRIFICES

Nothing in life comes for free. There is always something that we must give in order to get something in return. Often that sacrifice comes in the form of time, energy, money or something else we value. This is especially relevant when it comes to goal achievement. The goal you have decided to pursue comes with a price. That price is the cost you pay for pursuing that goal. Often that price comes in the form of the time and energy you spend working toward that goal. However, that price also comes as an opportunity cost. Focusing on this goal means that you probably won’t have the time to focus on other things. And that is the sacrifice that you must make.

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THE SIX STEP GOAL SETTING PROCESS

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4) ASSESS POTENTIAL OBSTACLES

A great many people pursue their goal with a passionate enthusiasm. When things are going well, they’re absolutely loving every moment. Things just couldn’t be better and they have all the optimism in the world that they are on the right track. But then suddenly something happens that halts their progress. An unexpected obstacle or setback arises that derails all their efforts. They subsequently lose all their enthusiasm and quickly give up their pursuit. To avoid this scenario, take time to identify the various internal (i.e. beliefs, fears) and external obstacles you might face along your journey. Then set contingency plans in place.

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THE SIX STEP GOAL SETTING PROCESS

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5) DEVELOP AN ACTION PLAN

Now that you are clear about the potential obstacles you might face, it’s time to develop an action plan for pursuing your goal. When it comes to action plans, it’s important to make it clear and practical. First take the time to break your goal down into manageable chunks. Now, turn these chunks into milestones that come with concrete deadlines. Next, outline very specific tasks and activities you will need to focus on to help you achieve each milestone. Finally, consider the routines and mini-habits you may need to develop that will support these tasks and activities. These mini-habits will help you build momentum toward your goal.

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THE SIX STEP GOAL SETTING PROCESS

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6) FIND YOUR MOTIVATION

The final piece of the puzzle comes down to motivation. Unless you have the necessary motivation to pursue your goal, then you simply won’t have the stamina to stick with it over the long-run. Motivation is the fuel you need that will help you get through the moments when you’ll be tempted to quit. But how do we develop long-lasting motivation? Motivation essentially comes down to two things: pain and pleasure. Pain will push and pleasure will pull you toward your goal. You can trigger pleasure by visualizing the things you will gain from achieving your goal. You can trigger pain by thinking about the regrets you will have if you don’t end up achieve it.

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THE SIX STEP GOAL SETTING PROCESS

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CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

So there you have it. That’s the six step goal setting process you can use to begin the pursuit of your goal. Using this process of steps will help you to build the foundations for goal achievement. However, to attain your goal will no doubt take considerable hard work and persistent effort. It will in fact take massive consistent action on your part.

You can do all the necessary groundwork beforehand, but unless you actually fully commit yourself to seeing this through till the very end, then you have absolutely no hope of bringing your goal to life. Without commitment your goal will remain all but a wish that you hope to one day bring to fruition.


Six Step Goal Setting Process

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