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!
^ Grant, Anthony M (September 2012). "An integrated model of goal-focused coaching: an evidence-based framework for teaching and practice" (PDF). International Coaching Psychology Review. 7 (2): 146–165 (147). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-11-29. Whilst the ideas represented by the acronym SMART are indeed broadly supported by goal theory (e.g. Locke, 1996), and the acronym SMART may well be useful in some instances in coaching practice, I think that the widespread belief that goals are synonymous with SMART action plans has done much to stifle the development of a more sophisticated understanding and use of goal theory within in the coaching community, and this point has important implications for coaching research, teaching and practice.
Even if it’s just five cents, make sure you bend down and pick up the money! You’ll show the Universe that you are open to collecting abundance. When you feel like you’d be embarrassed or self-conscious about doing this, I want you to reframe it so that you are looking after the money. You are a conscious custodian of cash making sure that money feels loved. This generates the energy of appreciation.
When you set goals for yourself, it is important that they motivate you: this means making sure that they are important to you, and that there is value in achieving them. If you have little interest in the outcome, or they are irrelevant given the larger picture, then the chances of you putting in the work to make them happen are slim. Motivation is key to achieving goals.
2. Don’t get too caught up in ‘big’ things. A lot of the time when we think about goals, we think they need to be really big – and this can be overwhelming. Change how you think about goals. A goal can be anything you want to do or achieve – big, small or completely random, such as learning how to tell a great story at a party, or taking part in a fun-run dressed as a stormtrooper.
To open your own business, after completing the first goals of taking a bookkeeping class and finding a location, you may set new goals to obtain a business loan to purchase a space and to apply for the proper business licensing through your local government. Afterwards, you can move towards buying (or leasing) the space, then obtaining the books you need, hiring staff, and opening your doors to business. Eventually you may even work towards opening a second location!
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.
Third, we need to keep our goals consistent. That is, when setting goals, we need to be sure that none of our goals contradict or undermine each other. The easiest way to do this is to have an overarching plan. Working through my Business Planning Makeover, for instance, will show you how to create a framework of business goals by creating an action plan to move your business ahead.
If you’re working towards becoming fit and you have set the smaller goals “to eat more healthily,” “to run a 5K,” and “to swim 1 mile, 3 days per week,” you may find that you do not have the time or energy to do all of those things at once. You can prioritize; if you want to run a marathon, first running a 5K may be more important to your goal than swimming every week. You may want to continue eating better, because that is good for your overall health in addition to helping you run.
Break the big picture down into smaller and more specific goals. Consider areas of your life that you either want to change or that you feel you would like to develop with time. Areas might include: career, finances, family, education, or health. Begin to ask yourself questions about what you'd like to achieve in each area and how you would like to approach it within a five year time frame.
Remember, goal setting is an ongoing activity, not just a means to an end. Build in reminders to keep yourself on track, and make regular time-slots available to review your goals. Your end destination may remain quite similar over the long term, but the action plan you set for yourself along the way can change significantly. Make sure the relevance, value, and necessity remain high.