So first, we have to make sure we're not shortchanging ourselves when we're setting goals. If the goal is no stretch for us, there's no point to it. For example, if I set a goal to run 2 km every day and I already run 1.8 km every day, I'm not challenging myself. Worse, I'm probably boring myself. A much better goal might be to participate in and finish a particular race. That would be more of a challenge, and it's challenge that keeps us interested.
1530s, "end point of a race," of uncertain origin. The noun gol appears once before this, in a poem from early 14c. and with an apparent sense of "boundary, limit." Perhaps from Old English *gal "obstacle, barrier," a word implied by gælan "to hinder." Or from Old French gaule "a pole," from Germanic; or a figurative use of Middle English gale "a way, course." Sports sense of "place where the ball is put to score" is attested from 1540s. Figurative sense of "object of an effort" is from 1540s.
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.[2]
This step is often missed in the process of goal setting. You get so focused on the outcome that you forget to plan all of the steps that are needed along the way. By writing out the individual steps, and then crossing each one off as you complete it, you'll realize that you are making progress towards your ultimate goal. This is especially important if your goal is big and demanding, or long-term. Read our article on Action Plans  for more on how to do this.
You know what you want to accomplish; now you should begin strategizing what needs to happen to reach that vision. You’ll need to do some brainstorming to identify the main steps and tasks you need to accomplish along the way. Are there certain steps you need to prioritize? Are there any time-sensitive tasks that must be achieved in a certain order? Start determining what needs to happen when.
Step 7: Monitor your emotions as a guidance system for your connection to the universal mind of intention. Strong emotions such as passion and bliss are indications that you're connected to Spirit, or inspired, if you will. When you're inspired, you activate dormant forces, and the abundance you seek in any form comes streaming into your life. When you're experiencing low-energy emotions of rage, anger, hatred, anxiety, despair, and the like, that's a clue that while your desires may be strong, they're completely out of sync with the field of intention. Remind yourself in these moments that you want to feel good, and see if you can activate a thought that supports your feeling good.
Whether you have small dreams or lofty expectations, setting goals allows you to plan how you want to move through life. Some achievements can take a lifetime to attain, while others can be completed in the course of a day. Whether you're setting broad overarching goals or planning specific manageable goals, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment and self-worth. Getting started can seem daunting, but you can build up to even the loftiest dream.
Business goals, of course, are an inherent part of business planning. The Business Planning Makeover will show you how to create a business action plan that will provide your small business direction for the coming year - or longer. When you've completed it, you will have a vision statement, a mission statement and specific business goals that enable you to put your business planning into action.

^ Rasmussen, Jens; Lind, Morten (1982). "A model of human decision making in complex systems and its use for design of system control strategies" (PDF). Proceedings of the 1982 American Control Conference: Sheraton National Hotel, Arlington, Virginia, June 14–16, 1982. New York: American Automatic Control Council. OCLC 761373599. Cited in: Wrench, Jason S (2013). "Communicating within the modern workplace: challenges and prospects". In Wrench, Jason S. Workplace communication for the 21st century: tools and strategies that impact the bottom line. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger. pp. 1–38. ISBN 978-0313396311. OCLC 773022358.


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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