Effective Goal Setting - One Step At A Time

By Nikola Goranovic


Have you ever had a daydream of going somewhere really nice…or planned a holiday? How was it? Good? Refreshing? Inspiring? Energizing? Just by thinking about a holiday and making detailed plans for it (including all the activities that you might include or avoid) can give a great sense of achievement. It is wonderful to have that feeling, to achieve something and know how good you are... is it not?

Sometimes though, at the end of our daydream about that “dream” holiday, we might suddenly find ourselves in a much less rosy place. We realise that the dream is “just a dream”, the reality is less colourful and that our ‘outstanding’ bank balance is below zero.

So... How can we ever reach our goals? How should we focus on a goal / goals?

The end of the year is approaching and many of us are making mental lists of the things that happened or didn’t happen in the last 12 months, and what we would like to happen in the New Year. Does this list contain too many ‘dreams’, so you decide that the whole process of list-making is disheartening and futile?

  • Brainstorming

Let’s make things less complicated! How?!? Let’s brainstorm: If you don’t already have a list, let’s start out by making one. Just to make sure you don’t miss anything out, include EVERYTHING you think you may want or like to accomplish. Let’s do that NOW! Then, before you start making your New Year’s resolutions, identify something on your list that you REALLY need – something that will change your whole year. Remember that only by changing one year at the time, you will change your life…

Ask yourself: What are the things I REALLY want to achieve and what are the things that I feel I need to achieve? Do I REALLY need to achieve all those things? Often we take on the goals that are not really our own so no wonder we might feel unmotivated to complete them… Be selective!

What if you have more than one important goal?!? Great!!! Just do one goal at a time.

Keep It Simple...

Some people may say that their goals are too complicated. OK… Keep your goals simple! I know… life is not simple, so the goals in our life are usually complex too. Perhaps you should start by making complex goals more understandable and achievable by breaking them down into smaller goals. Have you tried to break those ‘complex’ goals into group(s) of simple goal(s)? If you have, was it successful? What does it take to achieve a BIG goal? How many small steps do you need to take?

This process of simplifying the goals will also enable you to evaluate if your goal is realistic. If it isn’t (you’ll never be able to fly!), you might decide to abandon it. Alternatively, if it’s something that might be achieved but would take much longer than one year, identify the steps that can be achieved in the next year and work on them.

One Step At A Time!

Whatever complex goal you decide to focus on in the next year, make daily goal plans: every day – one step. Bite sized steps and goals are something that we all need. Track your progress by measuring the joy and sense of achievement you get from reaching those small daily targets, rather than looking into plans, charts, mind maps or following all those 276,982.07 steps-to-success routines. One step at a time! Day by day, week by week, month by month...

By multiplying successful short-term actions, you will achieve so many things each month, thus every month will feel successful. And after so many months of being a successful achiever, you might again find yourself having the same daydream of going somewhere interesting and nice, making plans for that “dream” holiday. This time, though, you’ll have a long list of successful planning, achieved goals and improvements in life under your belt, and you will notice that it’s no longer necessary to daydream about the holiday - you’ll now be ready to achieve that goal too.

Be prepared to start your journey with the first step...and then...one step at a time.

Published by Hove StressBusters
December 2013


AApproaches that may support you:

Hypnotherapy Life Coaching
NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP)
Sedona Method
wingwave Coaching®