To make sure that your goal is motivating, write down why it's valuable and important to you. Ask yourself, "If I were to share my goal with others, what would I tell them to convince them it was a worthwhile goal?" You can use this motivating value statement to help you if you start to doubt yourself or lose confidence in your ability to actually make the goal happen.
In How to Join the Ranks of Goal Setting Achievers Paul Shearstone writes, "Setting goals is the genesis from which all things great and not so great are accomplished... It should be noted that there is no small coincidence between the one percent that write goals down and the highest achieving, highest income-earning men and women around the world."
Keep your motivation high by setting goals that are attainable and relevant to you and your life. Making sure your goals are meaningful, realistic and timely will help you stay encouraged and give you an incentive to press forward. The best goals are those that connect with your intrinsic motivation; in other words, they are things you feel internally compelled to pursue.
To accomplish your goals, however, you need to know how to set them. You can't simply say, "I want" and expect it to happen. Goal setting is a process that starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve, and ends with a lot of hard work to actually do it. In between, there are some very well-defined steps that transcend the specifics of each goal. Knowing these steps will allow you to formulate goals that you can accomplish.

Welcome to the club! Great question. There are any number of reasons why we may be unable to achieve a goal by the deadline. Your instincts are on the mark. When you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to achieve your goal by the initial date you set for yourself, revisit the goal. If it is a big goal, break the goal down into smaller goals and set deadlines that are realistic to achieve.

However, resist the urge to set goals that are too easy. Accomplishing a goal that you didn't have to work hard for can be anticlimactic at best, and can also make you fear setting future goals that carry a risk of non-achievement. By setting realistic yet challenging goals, you hit the balance you need. These are the types of goals that require you to "raise the bar" and they bring the greatest personal satisfaction.

The physical act of writing down a goal makes it real and tangible. You have no excuse for forgetting about it. As you write, use the word "will" instead of "would like to" or "might." For example, "I will reduce my operating expenses by 10 percent this year," not "I would like to reduce my operating expenses by 10 percent this year." The first goal statement has power and you can "see" yourself reducing expenses, the second lacks passion and gives you an excuse if you get sidetracked.
This was an exercise in a book by Abraham Hicks called ‘Ask and It Is Given’. You basically always keep a hundred dollar note in your purse or wallet and never spend it. The idea is to mentally spend that hundred dollars and know and feel safe by the knowledge that it’s in there and available for you to use when and if you wish. It apparently expands your money mindset and allows for more prosperity to flow.
Amazing post, and very timely! I agree 100% with "create your "big picture" of what you want to do with your life (or over, say, the next 10 years)" - so many people (me included) just don't do this and then struggle with staying on track. I found that by using SMART goals and especially by identifying my emotional attachment (the big reason WHY) behind my goals, I could start to actually achieve them. Now I am hooked!

The Great Observatories All-sky LIRG Survey (GOALS), is combining imaging and spectroscopic data from NASA's Spitzer, Hubble, Chandra and GALEX space-borne observatories in a comprehensive study of over 200 of the most luminous infrared-selected galaxies in the local Universe. The sample consists of approximately 180 Luminous Infrared Galaxies (LIRGs), which are systems with total infrared emission brighter than 1011 L☉ and less than 1012 L☉, as well as over 20 Ultra-Luminous Infrared Galaxies (ULIRGs) with luminosity of 1012 L☉ or greater. The objects are a complete subset of the IRAS Revised Bright Galaxy Sample (RBGS), which comprises 629 extragalactic objects with 60-micron flux densities above 5.24 Jy and Galactic latitude above five degrees. The RBGS objects, all with redshifts, z < 0.088, are the brightest 60-micron sources in the extragalactic sky. The LIRGs and ULIRGs targeted in GOALS span the full range of nuclear spectral types (type-1 and type-2 AGN, LINERs, and starbursts) and interaction stages (major mergers, minor mergers, and isolated galaxies). They provide an unbiased picture of the processes responsible for enhanced infrared emission in the local Universe, and are excellent analogs for comparisons with infrared and sub-millimeter selected galaxies at high-redshift.


Achieving complex and difficult goals requires focus, long-term diligence and effort (see Goal pursuit). Success in any field requires forgoing excuses and justifications for poor performance or lack of adequate planning; in short, success requires emotional maturity. The measure of belief that people have in their ability to achieve a personal goal also affects that achievement.
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