30 days to reaching your potential day three: set your own goals

If you are not thinking for yourself then someone else is doing the thinking for you. It is often good to listen to people and heed their thoughts and opinions but don't let them choose your goals for you. Nobody knows your personal circumstances, strengths and insecurities as much as you do.

Setting goals is tough for a lot of people. Many people make goals that are not realistic. When they do not achieve their goals, they feel depressed. This is not ideal, and the way to get around it is to set S.M.A.R.T. goals.

What exactly are S.M.A.R.T. goals? They are goals that are:
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time bound.
By making your goals meet the above criteria, you have a better chance of achieving them, which will push you further forward onto bigger and better goals.

What sort of goals should you set for yourself? That is entirely up to you. However, if you are unsure about what goals you should set for yourself, I would recommend setting a goal in each of the following categories (NB: the ones below are merely examples):
  1. A physical goal: Run a marathon in December, or to do gym three times a week for 10 weeks.
  2. A financial goal: Save $5,000 in the next twelve months.
  3. A social goal: To meet three new people this weekend.
  4. A learning goal: To do a short course in administration or to learn how to cook Thai food in the next quarter.
  5. A work goal: To write 100 blog posts in the next 12 months.
  6. A spiritual goal: To pray/meditate for 15 minutes a day three times a week.
Whether you set shorter term goals (3-12 months) or you set goals for the long term is up to you. Be as creative and as ambitious as you feel you are capable of being. If making one million dollars seems reasonably achievable to you and you have the ambition, drive and ability to see it through, then by all means include it. However, it is often better to start with smaller goals and build momentum than it is to start big and not achieve anything.

Put these goals down into the front of your Moleskine or other new notebook. Check back on your goals periodically as you feel required to. Having them close by will keep them fresh in your mind.

  1. Determine what you want to achieve and document it.
  2. Write down a goal for each of the major areas of your life.
  3. Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. goals.
  4. Review your goals periodically and analyse whether you are on track or not.