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Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future and motivation to turn your vision into reality – you are in control.

A useful way of making goals more powerful is to use the SMART mnemonic (always write goals down!):

S – Specific(or Significant) M – Measurable (or Meaningful) A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented) R – Relevant(or Rewarding) T – Time-bound (or Trackable)

Keep operational goals small – Keep the low-level goals you’re working towards small and achievable. If a goal is too large, it can seem that you are not making progress towards it.

Set realistic goals – It’s important to set goals that you can achieve. All sorts of people (for example, employers, parents, media, or society) can set unrealistic goals for you. They will often do this in ignorance of your own desires and ambitions.

Be precise – Set precise goals, using dates, times and amounts so that you can measure achievement. If you do this, you’ll know exactly when you have achieved the goal, and can take complete satisfaction from having achieved it.

Set performance goals, not outcome goals – Take care to set goals over which you have as much control as possible. It can be quite dispiriting to fail to achieve a goal for reasons beyond your control!

If you base your goals on personal performance, then you can keep control over the achievement of your goals, and draw satisfaction from them.

Set priorities – When you have several goals, give each a priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by having too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones.

State each goal as a POSITIVE statement – Express your goals positively – “Execute this technique well” is a much better goal than “Don’t make this stupid mistake.”

For more information visit www.mindtools.com

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