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Have you ever set goals for yourself? Have you ever wondered how it is some people always seem to get things accomplished? Do you want to be more in control of your life? I would say most of us all would have answered yes to those questions at some point or another. I would ask you to give yourself about five to ten minutes and really think about where you are at in life. Are you happy with the way everything is or are there some areas you would desire better outcomes?

Now I understand not everybody is at the same points in life and some have it worse than others. Let's say for example you are working 50+ hours a week, have a couple small kids, and are barely making ends meet financially, and your relationship with your significant other is becoming strained. When you're in this spot its hard to think about long term goals or winning a war when you're in the trenches taking grenades but it is possible. You have to take back over your life and put first things first. What are the most important things to you? Don't continue to drift. Don't think or hope things will magically get better! Time will pass you by and you will be left wondering what happened.

I will start off with giving you some very basic things to try. While you're taking time to reflect on your life break down your life into five to seven segments. Meaning, family, kids, work, school, money, diet, fitness, hobby, etc. List your most important to least. Then on a separate line list two to three things that cause you the most stress in your life. This might be relationships, debit, work stress, lack of energy, bad habit, etc.

While looking at these written down lists take a few moments on each aspect and set a 30 day goal for each. Don't set out fifty goals spanning twenty different segments. Keep this process realistic and achievable yet requires work! For me personally I have to keep my goals close. What I mean by this is I write my 30 day goals down.....on my bathroom mirror...... with dry erase marker. I see this mirror twice a day. Every single day when I wake up and when I go to bed. I find it enjoyable to cross something off that list.

List making is a fantastic way to keep yourself on task. Writing is a great way to stay organized and focused. I recently visited both the Reagan and Nixon presidential libraries (local). I found it amazing how much both of them wrote down their thoughts and plans. Another way to keep on task is to use the calendar in your phone. You can even synchronize with the calendars of your significant other and kids. This way if someone else inputs something on their phone it goes directly on your phone’s calendar. You can set reminders and notifications as well.

I also list the date of the end of the 30 day period. On that day as a family we go out to eat to discuss what we accomplished and did not accomplish. Then we set our new 30 day goals.

One thing to make sure of is after a couple months of progress ask yourself, "Is this progress I'm making consistent with where I want to be in a year from now"? This helps redirect small term goals to reach long term goals. I once read the book authored by Jim Collins titled, "Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies". In this book he talks about how some companies set BHAG's. These are Big Hairy Audacious Goals. You can set your own BHAG. These are way out there type of goals. I would say keep it at one for a year though. Maybe it's to take a family vacation abroad. This requires saving money, allocating time, making arrangements, booking rooms, etc.

Lastly, if you go to the "More Info" page you will find a "Goal Setting" PDF file. The Counseling Team provides a handout which spans seven steps for goal setting.

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