How to Set Goals: 5 Steps for a Personal Reboot

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Goals give your brain direction. Because our minds are like the hardware of a computer, if you upload positive thoughts and direction into your brain, it will follow through with a more positive outcome. If you put junk in it, like negative thoughts, then you will have an equal output. Setting goals helps take control of what software you decide to upload, allowing you to evolve and become the best version of yourself.

 

  1. Dream. Give yourself permission to think about the future you would love to have, rejecting any feelings of shame or embarrassment. Make a list of 25 things that you want. But, every other item should be things or relationships that you desire and, yet, already have. For example, “I really want a cute, cuddly dog that wags its tail whenever it sees me,” Then appreciate the fact that this dog is part of your life. Enjoying current possessions and relationships is a practice that moves beyond just gratitude. It is a form of compassion for yourself, because it proves that you are capable of reaching goals. Examine how this makes you feel and move forward with the activity. 
  1. Get specific: Choose one of the items from your list that you have not yet obtained. For example, “I am going to buy a Tesla in 2022. I will begin researching what I want in the model during the holidays. Then, I will take it on a cross country road trip.” Go through the process of what, when, and amount. The "How" will come in the next step. To make the dream more real and concrete, write it down. 
Warning: Expect negative emotions to arise at this point. If you aren't experiencing any, then you are not dreaming big enough. When engaging in new thoughts, the brain begins to rebel because uncharted territory is not "safe” and the mind will always choose safety over potential dangers. Prepare yourself for the negative thoughts by countering them with the practice of advancing your mind to the point where the dream is already accomplished. Examine how you feel and draw from that energy to move forward. Don't allow the statement, "I don't know," to steal the dream away from you. 

  1. How to Take Action: This is the step where you roll up your sleeves and get to work. Research precisely what you need to do to obtain your goal. If you have a one-year goal, breakdown your action plan by month, or if it a multi-year process, break it down by year. 
  1. Open the Floodgates: To increase your chances of success, you need to increase your exposure. Be willing to meet new people and go to new places. If you have a goal, such as hiring the right person for a job, then you would interview as many candidates as possible. This will augment your chances of finding the right candidate. 
  1. Write it Down: Write down the main goal you are working on and keep it with you wherever you go. Read the goal often so that it is fresh in your mind. Attaching a "Why" you want to obtain the goal will help you get through the "How" of getting there.

 

Setting goals by following these five steps will do more than help you obtain your dreams. You will also experience the positive side effects of goal reaching, ones you weren’t anticipating –bonus things happen on the journey to a better you. Expect the development of new relationships and experiences all because you were working towards a specific goal and putting yourself out there. Just as computers get old and need updates, so do you! Dream big and dream often, then set your goals and reboot.