Category: Personal Development

Goal Setting Tips


Goal Setting Tips


Traditional goal setting wisdom has taught us that a good goal must be;

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Attainable

R – Rewarding

T – Time-bound


Although these are essential foundational elements of goal setting, below are some additional suggestions and ideas that will help you to better achieve your personal goals:

Write down your goals

By writing down your goals, you create a greater commitment to reaching them.  It is estimated that only 3 percent of people actually write specific goals that they want to accomplish.  Many people will say they have goals or have set goals for themselves, but if you ask them if they have written them down, the answer is usually “no.”  Those you write down specific measurable goals that they want to achieve are exponentially more likely to achieve those goals.

State each goal as a positive statement

Express your goals positively.  For example, “run the 100 meter race with perfect form” is a better goal than “Don’t flail or wave my hands all over while running”, or “make solid contact with the ball” is better than “don’t strike out.”  A positive statement, presents a positive image, and a positive image depicts a joyful outcome which in turn provides positive motivation and instills confidence.

Make your goals challenging

Goals that are not challenging do not provide the needed motivation to reach them.  However, take care to set goals that are realistic.  One of the toughest tasks in goals setting is finding the balance between challenging and realistic.  If is often best to first set a goal that is clearly realistic then after reaching that goal, assess its difficulty.  After assessing and evaluating the results, set your next goal so that it is more challenging.  The reason you first set a goal that is clearly realistic is because you want to ensure early success.  If you set a goal to lofty and do not reach it, it becomes de-motivating and often people will quit or give up on their goal.

Set performance goals rather than outcome goals

You should set goals over which you have as much control as possible.  Goals based on outcomes are extremely vulnerable to failure because of things beyond your control such as bad weather, level of competition, coaching decisions, or simply bad luck.  For example, you might achieve a personal best time in a race, but still come in last because of the level of competition.  If you had set an outcome goal of being in the top three, then you would have failed to meet your goal.  However, if you set a performance goal of achieving a specific time, then you will have achieved the goal and can draw satisfaction and motivation from its achievement as well as increased self-confidence.

Take daily actions towards the goal

All goals require action.  A goal without action is just a dream.  The best goal will never materialize unless consistent action is taken.  Therefore, do something everyday, no matter how significant, towards your goal.

Visualize yourself accomplishing the goal

Picture yourself in vivid detail as if you have already achieved the goal.  For example, if you want to lose weight, visualize yourself weighing your ideal weight.  Do this repeatedly until it becomes part of your subconscious mind.

Share your goals

One of the biggest factors in achieving your goals is your increased dedication to achieving your goals created by other people knowing what you want to achieve.  By sharing your goals, you create a form of peer pressure for yourself.  If others know you are trying to lose 15 pounds, they often may ask “how is it going with the weight loss?”  Individuals often will work harder at their goals, in order to avoid an awkward conversation where they are explaining why they have not lost the expected weight.  Also, by sharing your goals, others will often provide motivation and support for you.

Find others with similar goals

It is often easier for individuals to achieve their goals if they approach it as a team or collaborative effort.  For example, if you are looking to get into shape, join a gym with some friends who also want to get into shape.  This will create a bond as well as increase motivation and dedication.  You will have increased motivation to go to the gym if you know you may be letting someone else down by not going.  Also, others can provide support and encouragement as you strive to achieve your personal goals.




Steve Jobs Legacy: Design Your own Life

This article was taken from the website:  Harvard Business Review


Steve Jobs’s Legacy: Design Your Own Life


by Nilofer Merchant 


While there are many things worth celebrating of Steve Jobs’s life, the greatest gift Steve gave us is a way to design our own lives.


Steve Jobs was known for being a design god who sweated experience, and pixels and, well, everything. “Design,” he once said, “is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But, of course, if you dig deeper, it’s how it really works. You have to grok what it is all about.”


In our society, thinking for ourselves is not highly valued. Our education model was designed with the 19th century more than the 21st century in mind. It reinforces fitting in and suppresses much of the natural creativity we start with. That’s how we go from drawing and acting and make-believe to PowerPoint. If we allow creativity at all, it is limited to arts and sports. “Real work” has us looking like a Dilbert character. Between the pressures of our teachers, parents, and ultimately co-workers, we often give up any search for personal meaning as we aim to belong to a tribe. After a while, we may not even believe we have something unique to offer. Rather than figure out what we are each about, far too many of us live within the boxes others define.


But when we define ourselves by what others want, we are trying to kiss a moving butt. To live in a box defined by someone else is to deny our uniqueness. Each of us is standing in a spot no one else occupies. That unique perspective is born of our accumulated experience, perspective, and our vision. When we deny these things, we deny that which only we can bring to the situation, our onlyness. And that is surely not the way the world is made better.

I’m reminded of the ad copy Steve initiated when he returned to Apple:

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. (Apple Inc.)


The problem with being a rebel, a misfit, a troublemaker is that the masses will not be cheering you on. Rosa Parks might be a heroine today, but at the time, she lost her job. Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr both had huge dissension within their own communities. It took Jobs years to come up with a turnaround strategy that showed what Apple could do. People forget the years between 1996-2001 where much of the market called him more insane, than insanely great.


But he knew that his journey was to apply what only he could — from his meticulous design methodology, to reimagining computing, to building a different type of company. He realized — and showed us — that our real job is not to conform to what others think. Instead, we need to recognize that our life’s goal is to find our own unique way in the world, to find the way that we move from being kiss-ass to being kick-ass.


That is the fundamental gift of Steve Jobs. His insane greatness was to find his own journey and to live his life this way. He didn’t worry about being weird; he only wanted to be himself.


I have been in love with Apple products since my first Apple II, which I practically bought with quarters and nickels earned in small increments. I grew up picking apricots on the property where Apple buildings now stand. I worked at Apple during the “dark days,” as alumni refer to the years between Steve Jobs’ departure and then his much-needed return. He was competitive, sure, but mostly against himself. And that, too, is a lesson for us. It has been an honor to use his products, and it was an honor to work at his company. But the greatest honor has been to emulate what he showed us by his life. That each of us must find our own path. The unmarked path.


So I ask you to join me in honoring Steve’s greatness not by trying to be Steve, but by trying to be your greatest self.


Nilofer Merchant

Nilofer Merchant ( is a corporate director and a speaker on igniting cultures of innovation’s%20Legacy%3A%20Design%20Your%20Own%20Life