bear What are Goals?

    There was a description of goals in Lesson 5, but I'll go into more detail here. Goals...

books The Importance of Values books

   I hope you didn't skip the last lesson. If you did, go back and set aside the time to do it. Values and Goals are marriage partners. Without your values being firmly in place you won't reach your goals; without goals you will never live your values.

I can't tell you what your goals should be any more than I can tell you your values. Every person has their own set of goals determined by what they value. (See the last lesson for a list of values that many people have in common.)

Life can go on the way it is and you will continue to respond only to urgencies and emergencies unless you learn the steps for climbing the ladder of goal success. Here's where we come to a slight, two-part problem with reaching a goal - it's comfortable to just keep doing the same things we always do each and every day. But is being comfortable getting you any closer to doing something with your life? Not if you are like most people. Most of us just get up, go with the flow, go to bed - and that's about it. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to change this no-win situation.

The second part of the problem is that you have to do things that aren't comfortable. You have to step out of your comfort zone. There just isn't any way around this fact. Goals are attainable only if we go against the status quo that we've been used to living in year after year.

Here's an acronym I want to share with you. It will help you to recall how to set goals by remembering this.

[SMART image]

books Goals Must Be Specific books

Set specific goals. Specific means they have definition and are not vague. You can't just say "I want to be a better person." We ALL want to be better people. You have to state how you want to be a better person. In other words, what value are you wanting to incorporate into your life that will make you that better person? Once you identify the value you want to work on, you have the bottom rung of the ladder in place. So get out a sheet of paper. Label it across the top with the name of this value. Next...

books Goals Must Be Measurable books

Your goals must be measurable, that is, they must have a beginning, a middle, and an ending - again, stay away from vague generalities. You know that the beginning is today - right now even! This is where you identify an event that will let you know you are firmly on track and reaching the end of the goal. For instance, a goal might be to lose 50 pounds. Will you likely reach this goal if that is all you do or say about it? I thought so. It's too general. Set smaller goals or milestones along the way. 5 pounds by such and such a date (a month?) or a pound a week is a measurable goal.

books Goals Must Be Action Oriented books

Goals aren't about feelings or general ideas, they are about activities. When your values and your activities line up you gain an incredible amount of inner peace. The words hypocrite or double-minded give a good description for someone who says one thing, but does another. People like this never have their minds made up and cannot focus on reaching goals. One minute they believe one thing and the next minute they believe something else. They are easily swayed by whoever happens to be in their company. Their values are wishy-washy, therefore they do little toward obtaining their goals. They are a lot of talk, but little action. Goals aim at a specific point, your daily actions built around your goals help you reach it.

books Goals Must Be Realistic books

Be careful about setting your goals to high for you to reach. You must be able to attain the goal you place for yourself. Do not set yourself up for failure. Better to reach smaller goals than be discouraged and do nothing.

books Goals Must Be Timely books

Allow a reasonable amount of time for you to reach your goal. Be realistic in your estimate of how long it will take. It doesn't do much good to be overenthusiastic and hurried in your desire to succeed. Give yourself some breathing room.

Let's test one of my goals to see if it is a SMART goal. "By 6 months from today I want to have a cookbook published."

  • Is it SPECIFIC? Yes, it states the goal succintly.

  • Is it MEASURABLE? Yes, 6 months.

  • Is it ACTION ORIENTED? Yes, it tells me what to do.

  • Is it REALISTIC? Yes, I hope so.

  • Is it TIMELY? Yes, I think so.


You've been through the goal-building process. Now learn how to build your own set of goals based on your personal values.

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