How to Determine if Your Goal is a Good Idea
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It is easy to write down a list of goals and make plans to reach them. However, not all goals are a good idea and working on poor goals will distract you from the ones that will make the best impact in your life. There is a short checklist that you can use every time to want to create a new goal. This checklist is one that you will use with every goal and you will use it over the course of a few days. This gives you the time to think about your goal and determine if this is the right time to start pursuing it.
Does the Goal Align with Who You Want to Be?
When you are creating goals, you want to ensure that they align with the person that you wish to be or become. Your goals should further your self-development so that you are not only accomplishing your goal, but you are also improving who you are as a person. You can create a pro and con list to see if your goals fit the bill. When you are creating this list, the pros and cons should be associated with the personality traits that you are trying to work on and strengthen.
Can You Talk Yourself Out of It?
If you can talk yourself out of a goal, this is likely not the right time to pursue it. When you make a goal, let it sit for a day before going back to it. Purposely try to talk to yourself out of it and if you can, you should move onto another goal. This does not mean that you have to completely abandon this particular goal, but you should consider pursuing it in the future. Simply put this goal to the side for now and pursue one that you feel a lot stronger about. When you feel strongly about a goal and you have passion for it, you are more likely to accomplish it.
Do You Have What You Need to Achieve the Goal?
When you are working toward accomplishing goals, you will need things to help you to achieve them. This will depend on the goal, but things like money, time and other resources are important. You need to assess your goal and ensure that you have the tools to bring it to fruition. To do this, take a few minutes to write out your goal. This will give you an idea about what accomplishing this goal will take.
Can You Afford to Achieve this Goal?
Some goals require huge risks and you need to ensure that you are able to afford the risk that you have to take. If the goal is unaffordable from a risk-taking perspective at this time, perhaps you can choose a smaller goal that will help to put you in a place to work toward the larger goal in the future. For example, if your ultimate goal is to earn your degree, but the risk is too big right now, consider taking one or two classes that you can apply to your degree in the future. This helps to get you set up and will make your ultimate goal a little easier in the future.
How Long Have You Wanted to Achieve Your Goal?
If your goal is something that you have wanted to achieve for years, chances are that the goal is viable and something worth pursuing. However, if you just thought of this goal over dinner, you might consider that other goals should take precedence. The goals that you have had the longest are the ones that you want to consider before creating new ones. This allows for greater focus on the goals that are most important.
This checklist is ideal for all goals, but it is especially great for those goals that you seem to make decisions about abruptly. For example, if you are sitting at lunch one day and you decide to just sign up for a gym, you have not really thought anything out. You need to determine if the goal that you are planning to make fits into your lifestyle and if reaching is even plausible at this point in your life. In some cases, you need to simply tweak the goal to ensure that it will work for you and that it is something that you can achieve.
- Rosemary Kitchen
Mind Tools. (2015). Personal Goal Setting. Retrieved on March 20, 2015 from http://www.mindtools.com/page6.html