“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”  Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Imagine you have three kids and they all need to be picked up from different places at the same time. How would you go about handling this situation? Would you ask a friend to carpool or perhaps ask one of the children to wait a while longer? Either way, you devise a plan. Now, think to yourself: How is planning your own life goals any different than the planning you do on a daily basis for routine tasks?

Setting goals can be extremely daunting at first if you are not used to following a direct plan of action. The first step to devising a plan is simple: pick up a pen and start writing. By physically writing out your goals, you are bringing consciousness to your subconscious mind.

Begin with writing out a specific goal. Try to make it as clear and concise as possible. Give your goal a destination, not just a general idea. Next, write down three steps that will help you achieve this goal. For example, if your aim is to increase your confidence, you could write:

  1. I will look the person I am speaking to in the eyes.
  2. I will ask someone new out to coffee.
  3. I will introduce myself to a stranger.

Put a deadline on your written goals to motivate you every day and help you move a little closer to achieving your desired outcome. Remember, it is important to set realistic deadlines in order to prevent them from becoming major stressors. However, meeting the target date is not as important as taking pride in all of the steps taken and the person you are becoming as a result of your work.

Lastly, write down about your progress and how you are overcoming obstacles. An example of an obstacle could be that you get tempted to stay at home instead of going out for coffee. Next, describe how and why you will not allow these obstacles to distract you from your goals. By explaining the reason as to why you will not allow for distractions, your goal will be guided by intent. The last step of the plan is to implement it! Look back at your written goals once every morning to shine light and direction for the day. Before going to bed review the accomplishments of the day and be grateful for each of them. After all what we are grateful for multiplies.  Do not beat yourself up for what you did not accomplish during the day…tomorrow is another day and you will have a chance again to plan, act and succeed.

Imagine if your child was taught the importance of writing out their goals from the beginning of life so that they routinely implemented this strategy to achieve their goals?

Imagine if all schools taught emotional literacy and parents would reinforce it at home?

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