Turning life goals into SMART goals or SMART objectives is like building a compass that gives focus, direction, and makes decision making easier.
SMART goals turn life goals into crystal clear pictures that keep you on the right track and provide purpose and meaning, and a sense of fulfillment.
If someone woke you up at 3 o’clock in the morning, out of a deep sleep, and asked: What is the one thing, the biggest thing, you want to accomplish in life? What would you say? What would be the first thing that comes to mind – your automatic response? That’s your primary life goal.
Examples of Life Goals
Here are some random examples of life goals from people I know. They have been drafted and planned on the About Leaders goal setting worksheet. Some are very long-term and some are shorter term, but all are a significant commitment in terms of time and resources. The one thing in common with all these examples is they represent the interest and passion of each individual.
- Get an IFR pilot certification and buy a plane to fly all over the country for business
- Earn a master and doctoral degree in my chosen field of study
- Write and publish a novel length book
- Build a successful business from scratch
- Become the leading authority in my area of expertise
- Be the best dad to my two children
The Big Picture
The trick to achieving a life goal is to do some goal setting that aligns day-to-day activities and decisions with what you really want to accomplish. Goal setting might sound tired and worn out, but without written goals, it’s incredibly easy to get off track. New cars, vacations, bigger homes, the latest gadgets, all the stuff on TV – the list of possibilities to distract us from our main objective goes on and on. We all make a multitude of decisions every day and they either bring us closer or take us farther away from our goal.
Take a minute, right now, to download and print the About Leaders goal setting worksheet. Get a pencil with a nice eraser to make editing easier and write down a goal that is extremely important to you.
Here are some questions to use when you are mapping out your goal. Have fun with this and don’t get hung up on whether you think your goal is possible or not.
- What is the most important goal you want to accomplish, your life goal?
- What are the most important things in your life right now? Do they fit with your life goal?
- What are the obstacles to achieving your life goal? Money, time, work, responsibilities, etc.
- How can you overcome any obstacles?
- If you feel you’re off track, how will you get back on track?
Answering these questions will definitely speed things up. Your answers will help you focus on the right decisions considering where you are headed. If the obstacles outweigh your passion for completing this goal, it’s time to modify or move on to another life goal.
Now, plan the actions you will take to accomplish your goal. Go in to as much detail as possible to bring the goal to life. As you are writing your actions you will get excited about the possibilities of your future. Set a realistic target date for the accomplishment of each action item, but don’t analyze or agonize too much on dates. The main emphasis is the directions you have set for yourself and the momentum you are building to achieve your life goal. Going through this process will open your eyes to new possibilities and show you what is important and what is not.
Throughout my life I have encountered people that do not support me in my life goals. At an early age I had key people in my childhood say, “You will never do that!” Others that have achieved life goals have told me they have experienced the same lack of support from family members, people they work with, and even teachers that are helping them in their area of study. It is definitely disappointing that people that are close to you in your daily life are not supportive – but it is not that uncommon.
Believe in yourself and surround yourself with people that support you. You will be surprised how huge just mapping out a goal planning sheet will enhance your belief and provide a vision for the achievement of your goals. Your sense of accomplishment will increase so make sure you read your action plans often. It is addictive. Also, find 1 – 2 people that will encourage you. This is very important because when you encounter people that don’t, your cheerleaders will keep you on track.
Since almost all obstacles to accomplishing our goals stem from the decisions we make, our small day-to-day decisions and long-term commitment decisions have to match up with our goals or we delay or prevent their accomplishment. This is why, if you are to achieve your goals, you must do some goal setting. There is nothing like writing down your plan to get the fire burning and the juices flowing.
I’d Love to Hear from You
If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!
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Yes! This is an excellent post Ron! Goal setting seems to be fading away. People do not know what they are aiming for in life. They think too hard about what they really want and seem to get lost in life. Creating goals, especially SMART goals is such an important piece of personal development. People need to set their eye on something and work for it. As you mentioned, some life goals are short-term and some are very long term. Either work fine, as long as the person has something to work towards. Goals can also alter over the years. It is like Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
Chris, I’m living proof that “If you can dream it, you can do it.” And if I can do it anybody can! I hope everyone downloads a goal setting worksheet and plans their top goal. The results a truly amazing.
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