Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Setting Goals

We're coming up on a popular time of year for setting goals... and also for forgetting goals. So lets talk a bit about creating and achieving goals.

When you start considering your goals, it's important to think about your reasons. Why do you want to accomplish X? Be honest with yourself here. Knowing why you want to do something can provide motivation, and help you filter goals a bit.

Be specific with your goals. Vague goals are difficult to follow through on, so get detailed on what you want to accomplish. Then, work out details on how you will accomplish your goals. Challenging yourself is good, but try to keep it realistic - don't set yourself up for failure. For example, say one wishes to form a closer relationship with a particular Deity. An hour long elaborate daily ritual may be okay for some, but others just might not have the time because of other obligations. A shorter daily ritual, with perhaps a longer ritual once a week (or month) may be more fitting. Know your limitations.

Create an outline for accomplishing your goal, and include points where you can check in and note your progress. Don't be afraid to tweak goals along the way. After working on a goal for a while you'll have a better understanding of what's working and what isn't. You may find that a particular goal is impractical, or perhaps not challenging enough, and needs to be modified a bit.

It's often helpful to write down your goals, and your outlines for achieving them, and keep them in sight. The saying "out of sight, out of mind" can be very true. Even things we really want to do can be pushed out of our minds in the day to day grind, keeping your goals in sight can help to prevent that.

Don't fear failure. If you do not achieve a goal, take the opportunity to understand what went wrong, and learn from your mistake. Take that knowledge and apply it to form a modified goal, or for use in creating new goals.

Above all else, while the new year may be a nice time for a fresh start - every day, every moment, is a new beginning.

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