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Optimal Goal Setting is Essential to Success!!

Get More Done In 2012!




Early December is a perfect time to establish goals for the upcoming year.  It is certainly energizing to be able to take advantage of the brand new year by using it as a great motivator to get a fresh start.  As 2011 comes to a close, we can take charge of improving our overall well-being in 2012!


There are several key components to goal setting. It would be easy to just throw out a random goal and call it done. However, in this case, easy does not equal effective.  Just like anything worth doing, it is important to spend a certain amount of time and energy on goal setting to ensure that it is done well.  When engaging in goal setting, there is a formula that can be followed which will set the goal setter up for success, as opposed to yet another failed attempt.


  • Identify Your Core Values

The first step in the formula of optimal goal setting is to identify your Core Values. Core Values are key areas of focus. Basically, they are the WHY behind the goal. Why is it worth spending your time and energy to accomplish this particular goal? The best answer will always be  “because this goal is in line with my Core Values”.


  • Clearly State Your Goal

The second step of the goal setting process is to state your goal clearly, concisely, and specifically.  If it is too vague or too immense it is likely that you will become overwhelmed and lose focus quickly.  It is best to attach specific parameters to your goal. As an example, instead of identifying the goal as “I am going to become more physically fit”, choose instead to identify it as, “I will be able to complete a 5K race by April 1st”.


  • Assign Yourself Small Tasks

The third step of the ideal goal setting formula is to assign yourself tasks that correspond with your goal. This involves taking the goal itself and breaking it down into smaller, more achievable chunks. Success follows success; if you can break down a large obstacle and conquer it a bit at a time, you will be more likely to continue with the journey until you have accomplished your master goal.


  • Maintain Your Motivation Level Using Support and Rewards

The fourth step in the goal setting process is to ensure that your level of motivation stays high. We all know the peril of New Year’s Resolutions – it may be easy to do well in the short term, but more often than not our motivation fizzles before January has even ended.


One way to keep your level of motivation high is to work with an accountability partner. This is someone who can act as a Sponsor to you. A person who can be made aware of your progress (or lack there of!) and encourage you to stay on track.  It is much easier to maintain optimal levels of motivation both when we know that someone is “watching” us and when we know that we have someone in our corner, enthusiastically cheering us on to success.


Another way to keep the motivation flowing is to be able to reward yourself for incremental accomplishments.  If you can make the journey to accomplishing your goals actually FUN, you will have a much greater chance of success.  Challenge yourself on a daily, weekly, and/or monthly basis by awarding yourself points for completing the small steps that you have deemed instrumental towards the achievement of your goal.





As you can see, goal setting is not simply a matter of telling yourself that you are going to accomplish something new, it is a methodical process that takes planning and effort. However, the results are well worthwhile. The right goal, properly set, can truly be life changing! Part Two of this article will clarify the importance of utilizing the optimal goal setting formula via the use of two opposite case examples.