Having been involved with organized sports for a good portion of my life, I can totally relate to the importance of having a game plan in place for each opponent we faced. I remember at Iowa State, the football coaches would watch hours and hours of film on the upcoming opponent. They would learn the tendencies of what the other team would do out of certain formations and different personnel on the field. The coaches would use this information to create a scouting report for us players so we had a good idea what to expect when we faced that team on the field.
Any business or organization that hopes to have any success has to have a game plan. They have a vision for where they want to go and have a plan for how to get there. The plan for how to get there is goals. Without goals, how are you going to know how to get there. It would be like trying to go to a place you have never been before several states away without a map. You might accidentally luck out and stumble into the place you were wanting to go, but the chances are pretty slim. I think I would prefer to bring along a map. If this is true, how can we ever expect to get to where we want to in life without setting goals for ourselves.
So let’s get started with creating our map (goals) so we can get to where we want to go in life.
This is an acronym that can help you remember the important components of a good goal.
Specific The goal should identify a specific action or event that will take place.
Measurable The goal and its benefits should be quantifiable.
Achievable The goal should be attainable given available resources.
Realistic The goal should require you to stretch some, but allow for success.
Timely The goal should state the time period in which it will be accomplished.
Here are 10 tips that can help you set effective goals:
- Develop several goals. A list of 5-7 items gives you several things to work on over a period of time.
- State goals as declarations of intention, not items on a wish list. “I want to apply to three schools” lacks power. “I will apply to three schools,” is intentional and powerful.
- Attach a date to each goal. State what you intend to accomplish and by when. A good list should include some short-term goals and some long-term goals. Maybe some goals for the season (3 months), year, 5 year, 10 year, 25 year, 50 year, etc.
- Be specific. “To find a job” is too general; “to find and research five job openings before the end of the month” is better. Sometimes a more general goal can become the long-term aim, and you can identify some more specific goals to take you there.
- Share your goals with someone who cares if you reach them. Sharing your intentions with your parents, spouse, friend will help ensure success.
- Write down your goals and put them where you will see them. The more often you read your list, the more results you get.
- For each goal you write down, take the time to write down why you want to achieve that goal. Identifying the why is important because the why will remind you of why achieving this goal is important to you.
- Action plan to reach goals. For each goal you write down, have a specific plan of what you are going to do to achieve that goal.
- Look at your goals and think about them every single day. I would recommend writing your goals on little note cards and taping them to your bathroom mirror. That way you start and end each day looking at your goals.
- Review and revise your list. Experiment with different ways of stating your goals. Goal setting improves with practice, so play around with it.
I have made up a Goal Setting Worksheet that I think will be helpful for you as you work on trying to write out your own goals. Please do take the time to do this. It is true that people who take the time to write down their goals are a lot more successful in life. Please share your goals here on the blog so we can share in them together.
Here are my goals that I have created for myself:
Short-term Goals (Spring 2011)
- Lose 35 lbs. by 6/1/11.
- Get up at 5 am each weekday.
- Spend at least 20 minutes praying each day.
- Get all my readings done for all my bible study classes prior to going to class.
- 10 new team members by 6/1/11
- Contact at least 40 friends I haven’t talked to in at least 6 months by 6/1/11.
- Get my blog started (got this part done already lol) and have at least 4 blogs/week.
Spiritual Life: To make sure that with each day my Christian faith is maturing and I am always working to live a life like Christ did.
- Attend church regularly and review what is being taught.
- Be actively involved in a ministry of the church.
- Develop a mentor relationship with another man in the church who is a very good husband and father so I can learn from him.
- Be involved in a small group and really get to know them.
- Get involved with leading a bible study.
- Set aside at least 45 min. for personal devotions each day.
- Pray before every meal and several times throughout each day.
- Meet with an accountability partner on a monthly basis.
- Read a portion of the Bible each day.
- Always be working on some form of personal bible study.
- Read at least one Christian-based book each month.
Recreational Life: To promote meaningful fellowship and relationships that builds me up as a person.
- Try to get to know at least one person I don’t know each month.
- To do something with my family at least 2 times per month.
- Attend some sort of family vacation annually.
- To have at least 4 weekend getaways per year.
- To spend personal time with a child each month so I can learn how to be a good father.
- To make at least one reaffirming statement to each friend I talk to everyday.
- To talk to my parents and grandma at least once each week.
- To work out at least 3 times weekly for my physical well-being.
- To spend time each month with a Christian couple who is living a very godly marriage.
- To relearn how to play the piano and stick with it.
- To practice my guitar and singing regularly.
- To try to reconnect with at least 3 old friends each month.
- To expose myself to culturally diverse and enriching experiences.
Financial Life: To be financially secure and stable.
- To be completely debt-free (except student loan) by 1/1/12.
- To pay off all my outstanding bills, beginning with the smallest bill first.
- Review Financial Peace University and review what I need to do to take control of my financial situation.
- Stop using credit cards.
- Make a monthly budget and stick to it each month.
- To learn how to be better at giving, saving and spending so I can be a good example for my future wife and can teach my future kids.
- Tithe 10% of my income to church.
Education and Career: To maximize my abilities and the opportunities that comes my way.
- To get involved with coaching kids in football and/or basketball
- To read at least one book every 3 months in my area of work.
- To read at least one book every 3 months on some aspect of family life, responsibility, and/or marriage.
- To make at least 1 reaffirming statement to everyone I work with each day.
- To never stop learning. Learn something new every day. Life is a journey and it does not end till I leave this world.
- Make it a point to try to always have a smile on my face, even the people who piss me off.
- Do not engage in gossip at the workplace.
- Keep my personal life separate from my work life.
Community Life: To tangibly contribute to the stability, progress, safety, and development of the community in which I live.
- Be actively involved in Young Professionals of Ames.
- Participate in at least one service project every 3 months that directly benefits my community.
- Stay actively involved with the ISU Letterwinners Club and the Cyclone Gridiron Club.
- Be a Volunteer in the Special Olympics Games held in Ames annually.
- Be a registered voter who participates in every election that affects my community.
- Get to know some of my neighbors more personally.