Why Setting Goals
Do you have clear goals for your personal growth? Or maybe you are struggling to set intentional and realistic goals for self-improvement? Setting goals for most things we do in life helps us in many ways, it makes the direction we are moving in clearer, it helps us plan our activities in a way the makes it easier to reach the goals we aim toward, and it eliminates stress as it helps us track our progress.
Setting goals for personal growth can help you streamline your life, and make it easier for you to be the best version of yourself possible.
How To Set Goals
In today’s blog, I will talk about setting goals in six steps. This is a model I use for all my goal setting, but I will also address some specific elements for goals for personal growth. But let’s start by looking at the steps
I always start with a self-inventory, what is important to me? I suggest that you do the same. What are your most important aspects? Do you like to be creative? Is your joy to help others? Maybe you are a problem solver? What makes you happy? What do you want to achieve today, this year, in your lifetime?
A good way to do this is by writing lists. I usually write one list for personal growth and another one for professional growth.
Although the way to work with the two is very similar, my focus today will be on personal growth. In July I will do a series of videos and blogs with a focus on professional development.
Break down your list
Now break down your list into shorter, more manageable sections, I suggest you focus on maybe one or two of the things you want to achieve until you get more used to using goals for your personal growth. If you get into the habit of working with goals like this you will soon realize that you will be working on several goals simultaneously, in different stages of completion, but when you start I suggest focusing on just one goal.
The goal you decide on needs to be re-written so it is very specific. To do so I use “the five W’s” that is Who, What, When, Where, and Why. If you can answer all five W’s your goal is very specific.
Let me give you an example from my own life. As I turned 60 I decided I needed a new hobby, or a new skill, something that could be a big project for me. I decided to learn how to make videos, both filming and editing. But learning how to make videos is a very general concept and I couldn’t make good answers for the five W’s. So I decided to narrow it down a bit, and my new goal was to start a YouTube channel.
Now I could answer the five W’s;
Who is doing it – I am
What am I doing? – I am making videos for YouTube
When am I doing it? – I am starting to upload January 2019, one video per week
Where am I doing it? – I am filming, editing, and uploading from home using my cell phone
Why am I doing it? – I am doing it to learn how to make videos.
Later on, I made a plan for this in more detail, and on Friday I will present to you how you can make a plan for personal growth. as well as talking about how I re-evaluated and re-wrote my goal, and my plan as work went on.
Make Measurable Goals
It is important to make sure that your goals are measurable. The measurement can be quantitative and qualitative, although the latter ones are more difficult to measure. In my case the goal was a bit of both, I had a quantitative measurement of creating one video per week. I could also measure the time it took me to create that one video from the idea, to scriptwriting, filming, editing, and finally uploading. The qualitative measurements were things like the sound quality of my videos, how I got the right lighting, and how smooth my end product after editing was. These qualitative aspects I could partly see for myself, but they were also judged by my audience in the comment section of my videos.
It is important that you are realistic when setting goals, are the when and where realistic for you? Do you have access to everything you need to do this, both when it comes to prior knowledge and resources? If not I suggest that you try and break done your goal even further using the five W’s.
You can always re-write your goals at a later point if you realize that you maybe weren’t realistic in your goal writing.
If you have chosen a couple of goals from the initial self-inventory you need to prioritize. Which of the goals are most important to You? Are any of those time-sensitive, maybe they need to be done within a certain time frame, or at a certain time of the year? Prioritizing is important for upcoming planning.
Keep Track Of Your Progress
To keep track of your progress is important for several reasons. First of all, it is important to celebrate when you reach a goal, even if it is a short term goal and a first step on the way to your final goal. Secondly, if you notice that your progress is slowing down, or maybe are at a standstill, you might need to re-evaluate your goal, and maybe even re-write it. Maybe you prioritized something that when you started to work towards that goal you realize that this wasn’t as important to you as you initially thought, or as in my case, maybe you underestimated what you were capable of doing and need to change your time reference. Your goals are not set in stone, and when you keep track of your progress you can always see when it is time to re-visit the original goal.
There are many ways you can keep track of your progress, I personally love to journal, but you can also ask a friend to give you input, you can record yourself, e.g. if you are learning to play and instrument recording yourself is an excellent way to keep track of progress. Or maybe you can keep some kind of statistic, if you are working on running, for example, you can keep track of how long it takes to run a certain distance.
So What About Personal Growth Goals
What Are Personal Growth Goals
Personal growth goals are often in regard to health, happiness, and meaning in life. They will help you streamline your life, minimize stress, and help you develop the best version of you possible. But it is important to be very intentional with your goals for personal growth, and that’s why this six-step method for setting your goals is helpful.
Watch out for self-sabotage. We have all have started the year with the intention of better ourselves in many different ways, just to shortly after that slowly forgetting about the goals we had. This is most often due to not being specific enough, or not having a way to measure the progress.
Self-sabotage can come in the form of you telling yourself that the goal is unreachable for you. I say, break down that goal into smaller steps, use the five W’s, and you will find the first step towards the end goal. Self-sabotage can also come in the form of you not allowing yourself the time needed to reach a certain goal. Maybe you tell yourself that it is too selfish to spend time on something that ultimately has as its goal to make you happier and that there are more important things for you to do with your time. I say, take a look at how you prioritize the things you do with your time. Maybe you can cut out some of the habits that take up your time today, and use that time for reaching your goals.
And while we are talking about habits, and time, maybe you can set a goal as changing or creating one habit per month? If you do so you will soon find yourself in the habit of creating good habits for yourself, and maybe even see that you have more time to use on your personal growth than you had before? Even if you just take away 15-20 minutes per day from social media, or watching TV, and replace that with work towards your personal Growth goals you will be well on your way.
What Is Next?
The next step I will discuss in this series about personal growth is how you can create a plan, a realistic plan, for your personal growth journey. After that, I am going to share some of my favorite resources for personal growth, both online, and in the form of books and other materials.
But for today I want to end with a link to my video about how to set personal growth goals.
And remember – Never Stop Learning