5 Questions for Effective Goal Setting

How you set up goals for yourself can determine whether or not you are able to see them to fruition. You can’t state a goal and think you’re done. No! The work (or fun!) is just beginning. Answering these 5 questions will help you form a proper goal and stay on track to success.

How well have you defined your goal?

Vague goals are idle wishes. Add detail and be specific. Know clearly where you stand at point A, and what’s waiting at point B. Imagine your goal as going from your state to Alaska (a big state!), versus starting from your address and going by plane and taxi to 123 Main Street, Suite 108, Anchorage, Alaska, wearing your new suit, arriving at 1pm, on June 28th for an in-person interview at ABC company for the position of paralegal paying $64,000/year, which will enable you to move ahead in your career and help you save for the future while living in your dream city.

Why is your goal important?

It’s about you! It’s your life – make the most of it. The more passionate you are about your goal, the more likely you have several motivations leading you in the right direction. In “You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get” (available at Good Day Media and Amazon), find the list of 7 motivations: emotional, physical/time, logical, fairness, spiritual/beliefs, personal and financial, followed by their descriptions. Ask yourself how your goal ties in to each of these motivations.

Is your goal attainable?

Stretch and challenge yourself without overreaching to impossible levels. Do you have physical, time, or other constraints? Would it be okay if you met part of your goal? Break up a really big goal into manageable chunks. Some people believe that “failure is not an option.” You may try again taking a different tack, but with new lessons learned. It has been said that the only real failure is not having ever started.

How will you reach your goal?

Develop an action plan so you know how to get from point A to point B. Again, be as specific as possible. There may be areas where you are not sure how they will play out. Do a little research rather than trying to wing it.

How will you know if you achieve your goal?

Write down how you will measure success along the way. Use the 7 motivational categories to help you define what will happen or how your life will look and feel when you reach markers on your path. The journey is an integral part of the goal, and may be an on-going goal in itself.

One last bit of advice: don’t dwell in the land of “what if.” While asking yourself this question may be an aid to planning ahead and getting around road blocks, at some point you will have to go with the information you have and begin your move. Remember, you can make adjustments along the way. Now, go for it!

Author/speaker Janet F. Williams is a high-end sales professional, sales trainer and coach for personal and professional development. She speaks on topics contained in her award-winning book “You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get” to businesses, networking groups, non-profits, book clubs and more. For more information or to buy the book, please visit: www.JanetFWilliams.com and www.GoodDayMedia.com.

2 Responses to “5 Questions for Effective Goal Setting”

  1. May 8th, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    As usual, you get right to the heart of things.
    This is an excellent article and has helped me gain a better perspective towards attaining my goals.

    The most important part for me was “how well have you defined your goal.” I tend to generalize so this brought me back to specifics.
    Thanks for your great insight,
    Ginny thepennyfriends.com

  2. Janet F. Williams
    May 13th, 2011 at 10:23 am

    On top of everything, it’s so easy to get distracted. Simple exercises help us remember why our goals are important and where to apply our focus. Thanks for your comments and for being a steady reader.

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