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.
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.

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.
He set a goal for himself of exercising at least three times a week. Her primary goal is to get a college degree. We all share a common goal. She pursued her goal of starting her own business. The company has instituted several new policies with the goal of reducing waste. Last month he had 10 goals and six assists. She scored the winning goal in the game's final minute.

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.
Get some fake money, photocopied money (for personal use only) or stock images of money and place it in an area that is in your visual awareness quite often. It could be the fridge, the bathroom mirror, your vision board, your bedroom ceiling – pretty much anywhere that you can imprint your subconscious mind. Surround yourself in imagery of prosperity and see what happens.

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!
He set a goal for himself of exercising at least three times a week. Her primary goal is to get a college degree. We all share a common goal. She pursued her goal of starting her own business. The company has instituted several new policies with the goal of reducing waste. Last month he had 10 goals and six assists. She scored the winning goal in the game's final minute.

Goals that are pursued to fulfill intrinsic values or to support an individual's self-concept are called self-concordant goals. Self-concordant goals fulfill basic needs and align with what psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott called an individual's "True Self". Because these goals have personal meaning to an individual and reflect an individual's self-identity, self-concordant goals are more likely to receive sustained effort over time. In contrast, goals that do not reflect an individual's internal drive and are pursued due to external factors (e.g. social pressures) emerge from a non-integrated region of a person and are therefore more likely to be abandoned when obstacles occur.[18]
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