Here are some helpful hints for setting goals... Note these are just guidelines.
The first is the SMART goal setting acroynm:
Your goals should be as specific as possible. "I want more money" is not a good goal, because I can hand you a penny and that goal is satisfied, but that's probably not what you meant. The goal should be measurable, in other words you need to have a way to determine if you are succeeding/failing at it. The things that you measure will improve. Attainable means that you set out action steps and road-marks along the way, and don't go for it all in one big leap. Also, goals should be realistic, so if you have an IQ of 80, don't set out to be the next Einstein. This means something you are both willing to do, and reasonably able to do. Finally, they should be timely, which means it should have a time frame.
Also there is the NLP Well-Formed Outcomes model. This states that goals should be:
- Stated in the positive, i.e. what you want to have happen, not what you don't want
- Sensory-based... Seeing/hearing/feeling/tasting/smelling ... tie it to a sensory experience
- Ecological, this means that it is good for all parts of you and is congruent with your long term benefit
- Self-maintained and initiated, meaning you need to be able to do something about it. Goals you can't do anything about are not worth much.
- Stated in context, "I keep six honest serving-men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who."
- Having evidence for how you will know when it is achieved, how will you know when you're done, how will you know you're making progress
- Time-based / oriented
Of course there is more to setting goals than this, but this might help some of you to formulate better goals that get you the outcomes you desire.