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How does goal setting work?

Think about goal-setting as three pieces. First, you set a goal. Second, you plan a course of action to get there. Finally, you have to stick with your plan, even when it gets challenging.

 

The main focus of the single-step website is how goal setting affects you, your life, and your subconscious.  The single-step software takes this one step further, to help you organize your goals and your life.

 

But, if this is new to you, all the information can be a bit overwhelming. To help, we have set all the concepts here on one page. The more you review this material, the more it will make sense to you. As you get comfortable, you'll want to visit some other pages and take a look at the helpful videos as well.

Do you know what you want?
 

As you read through this section, the concepts will be clearer if you consider a single goal of your own.  Take a few seconds to pick a goal you would like to achieve. 

 

If you're comfortable, go ahead and do this now.

Keep this goal in mind as you read the following sections.

 

By considering your own goal as you read on, you'll find the material more relevant to your own life situation. In case you haven't we'll use our own example as well.

 

Define - Think about exactly what you want.

Assess - Think about your beliefs around achieving this goal.

Prioritize - Think about how your goal fits into the other parts of your life.

Microgoals - Break your goal into smaller, manageable tasks.

Track - Track your progress as you work through your goal.

Visualize - Picture your success in vivid images in your mind.

Follow Through - Stick with it, day after day, and learn to overcome obstacles.

 

For example, let's take the goal of exotic travel.  Follow the descriptions below, then think about how your own goal would fit the requirements.

Define:

 

You'd like to see the world.  Well, the world is a pretty big place, how about we narrow it down to Europe?  That's still pretty broad.  Let's pick Greece as a specific country, and the Greek islands as a more specific location. 

 

Now you have something you can actually picture in your mind!  Furthermore, think about who you'd like to travel there with. How long will you stay?  Will you stay in hotels or in hostels? 

 

See, as you work through it, the picture you have in your mind gets more detailed. 

 

Is your own goal defined?

Assess:

 

This is the tough one for many people.

 

It requires that you take an honest look at yourself and your abilities.  By determining what it is that you actually want, you start telling your mind to find ways to get you there. Things that seemed impossible suddenly don't seem so far away!

 

But you need to be careful, as you don't want to set a goal that's too tough, as you might get discouraged before you get there.  Goal setting is a skill that you can learn and improve at.  Start by setting smaller goals and pay attention to your own behaviors. 

 

As you build your skills and experience, set larger goals for yourself. An adventure trip to Greece is something many people dream about, but few believe it can actually come true in the near future.  Yet for many people, such a trip is within reach if they just set their minds to achieving it.

 

Is your own goal something you are capable of attaining? If not, what is standing in the way? Perhaps this is a more appropriate goal for you to start with.

 

A second question to ask in assessing your goal is whether you are willing to work towards your goal. Are you able to put the time and commitment into the pursuit of the goal? 

 

This is important.

 

Every goal represents a decision you take towards the direction of your life.  With every decision there are advantages and disadvantages.  You must be willing to accept the costs of your decisions and recognize that it will impact other areas of your life.

 

Consider our example. A trip to Greece might mean putting off that flashy new car you want, and driving the old heap another year.  If you are willing to trade driving an older car (and maybe making repairs yourself) in exchange for that overseas adventure, you've dealt with some of the aspects of the decision and its impact on your life.

 

What are the costs of working towards your goal?

Prioritize:

 

You'd like to see the world.  Well, the world is a pretty big place, how about we narrow it down to Europe?  That's still pretty broad.  Let's pick Greece as a specific country, and the Greek islands as a more specific location. 

 

Now you have something you can actually picture in your mind!  Furthermore, think about who you'd like to travel there with. How long will you stay?  Will you stay in hotels or in hostels? 

 

See, as you work through it, the picture you have in your mind gets more detailed. 

 

Is your own goal defined?

Microgoals:

 

What are the small steps that will lead you to your goal? Make a list. This will help you to plan and will also help you to see your progress. You want to plan to a level of detail that fits your own personality as well as your familiarity with your goal.

 

If you've planned a dozen vacations, you may have a simple list of major tasks such as booking the flight and hotel, packing your bags, and stopping the mail. If you're new to the experience, your list may include a lot more detail.

 

What are the microgoals that will lead you to success?

Track:

 

Can you reach this goal? For the Greece trip, the main thing to track is probably savings towards the cost, assuming you need to save to pay for it.

 

It's easier to track the money if you pick an amount you think it will cost.  You can get some estimates from a travel guide or a travel agent, depending on how much time and effort you want to invest.  Tracking your savings towards a desired amount is a good way to measure your progress.

 

How will you track your progress towards your own goal?

Visualize:

 

Think about how it will feel when you achieve your goal.  Lying on the beach in Greece.  Drinking a local beverage at an outdoor cafe, eating Feta cheese and olives picked locally.  Sitting on a white veranda, looking out over crystal blue waters towards the horizon.

 

These are the things that excite you, that stimulate you to reach the goals.  These are things that bring your mind and your motivation to bear on the goal.  Involve your senses!

 

Can you visualize how it will be when you reach your goal?

Follow Through :

 

You have to actually do the work. No one will do it for you, and sometimes it will be no fun at all. But there are few shortcuts worth taking, and in the end your goal is your responsibility.

 

Back to our example: Suppose our hotel has a major leak and is closed for a month due to water damage. Suppose as well that your car breaks down and you have a major repair bill due.

 

These things happen all the time and there is no way to really plan for them. Experienced achievers have learned to keep some flexibility in their plans to help overcome these hurdles. They have also learned that there is usually a way to get there, but personal determination is required just when you think you're out of energy.

 

Stick with it!

 

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