There’s some debate about the use of goal setting. Some critics say advocates ignore potentially negative side effects, overstate benefits, and promote it as a one-size-fits-all treatment. They’re right.
Here’s why: if you go about the process without a plan (like many people are tempted to), you’re at great risk of seeking achievement by any means necessary. You may be blind to risk, you might focus too much on your goals and not enough on the rest of your life. And all-out pursuit of achievement can lead to burnout. A few critics have been quick to point out that affirmations are a kinder and gentler way to make changes. But just like goals, there are a very few right ways and very few right ways and lots of wrong ones.
On the other hand, you probably know that if you create your goals with some thought (such as using the SMART formula: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound), you can generate motivation and make significant progress without worry.
With the new year, people feel tradition-bound to set some sort of goal in the form of a resolution. By all means, I encourage you to seek personal and professional growth and development.
Think of a possible goal, no matter how wild or crazy it might seem. Then take a minute, close your eyes and visualize having achieved it. See it. How do you feel?
If it doesn’t excite you, make you happy, or justifiably proud, let it go. If you’re mildly pleased or proud because others around you are positive, let it go.
Download and print a set of Goal Planning-Web Full Pages or Goal Planning-Web Half Pages. List the types of resources you’ll need for each goal (like time, money, equipment, or energy, for example). Then, in the bubbles, write down key activities that would help you accomplish the goal. Big activities obviously make more progress but will take more resources so you aren’t likely to use them as often. Smaller activities are easy – you might take one or two of those each day. Once you see what steps will get you to your goal, you can start to integrate them in your daily plan as they fit.
Until next time, dear readers, I wish you a week of balance – productivity and relaxation, challenge and reward.