Eight Rules for Highly Effective Goals
1) Highly effective goals are written.
By putting your goals on paper, you make them concrete, tangible, and physically real. Many studies have shown that people who write down their goals are ten times more likely to achieve them than those who have only mental goals.
2) Highly effective goals are stated in the present tense.
Stating a goal in the present tense communicates that goal to your brain in the most effective format, allowing you to visualize the goal clearly and to believe that it is possible. Refuse to state your goals as “I will do this.” When you use the phrase I will, you mentally push your achievement somewhere off into the vague, distant future.
3) Highly effective goals are stated positively.
This is so important because we think in pictures. Every time you write or say a word, you evoke a vision in your mind. Instead of saying, “I no longer eat junk food,” you can say, “I eat healthy, nutritious foods.”
4) Highly effective goals are consistent with your personal mission statement.
Your goals should cause you to grow more like the person you were created to become. They should be personally meaningful to you. Many people make the mistake of setting goals that are meaningful to someone else or that will please someone else but that evoke no passion in their own lives.
5) Highly effective goals are specific and measurable.
There must be no fuzziness or ambiguity whatsoever in your stated goals. The more specific your goal is, the clearer you will be about what steps you must take to achieve it, and the more focused you will be. Goals like “I want to be happy” or “I want to have a better marriage” are much too vague.
6) Highly effective goals are time bound.
Deadlines put positive pressure on you to take action. Without concrete deadlines, it’s just human nature to keep putting things off. It’s been said that there is no such thing as an unrealistic goal, just an unrealistic time frame in which to accomplish it. Make sure your goals are time bound with reasonable deadlines for accomplishment.
7) Highly effective goals are reasonable and challenging.
You want to set goals that are achievable, but that also build character by exercising your self-discipline and perseverance. Goals should cause you to stretch, grow, and get out of your comfort zone.
8) Highly effective goals are thoroughly planned.
You should have tangible action steps for each of your goals. You need to compile the details, make a plan, write out all the activities, prioritize them, organize them, and rewrite them as often as necessary to make your plan perfect.
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