Deal With Stress

Five Factors to Consider When Setting Goals

creative-visualizationFor many of us goals are an important part of our planning for the future. They motivate us, keep us focussed on our dreams and ultimate aims in life, give a clear purpose to our actions. However, there are a few things it’s useful to consider when we first start to formulate our goals.

Let’s look at five factors to consider when setting goals:

1.  Firstly it’s important to be clear that the goals we set are our own. Many people spend their early years highly motivated to win the praise and approval of the important adults in their lives. As they become older they may continue living with that mindset, continue working hard to satisfy the wishes of their parents, siblings, family, teachers. Over time they may come to realise that their motivating factors have nothing to do with their own dreams in life, they’ve been following the various hopes and wishes of other people. Whilst it’s great to be the first person in your family, neighbourhood, school to go to university, take up a profession, become famous you need to be clear that that’s what you really want for yourself. Be clear about what’s right for you.

2.  Set goals that add value to your life, that stretch you and bring satisfaction and a sense of purpose. Simply wanting to be rich or famous may motivate and enthuse you for a time, but the most successful people are often the ones who really love what they do and are happy to work long and hard, frequently with little immediate reward or result. Their energy comes from their enthusiasm and love of what they do, as well as their ability to appreciate the longterm benefits of their efforts.

3.  Value what you already have in your life, as well as being motivated to improve your ongoing standard and quality of life. Dissatisfaction often brings a negative approach where we focus on the bad areas of our lives and put a frustrated or resentful spin on them. It can mean that we lose sight of the importance of previous experiences, the people we’ve met along the way. Value past and present friendships, the people who help, encourage and support you. Appreciate each step of the journey, the challenges you face, skills you master, the various ways you learn to turn difficult situations around and win through.

4.  Give yourself credit for your successes. Some people reach one goal and then immediately start looking for the next project or initiative. Stop for a moment and relish each achievement rather than being constantly driven, always in pursuit of the next challenge in life. Enjoy valuing each success that you accomplish, each result that you are involved with.

5.  Be flexible, so that if something doesn’t work out the way you intended or hoped you are ready and willing to be receptive to another alternative. Be open-minded to the bigger picture, able to see the potential for exciting, interesting and relevant opportunities that may present themselves along the way. Do you really need to go straight from A to B? It may be that you choose to be totally focussed on the main goal and prefer to resist other options; you may regard them as a distraction and not of especial interest to you. However, other people may enjoy the opportunities to be flexible and relish the diversity, interesting detours and unexpected mini-successes that occur along the way before they reach their ultimate success.

Author Bio: Susan Leigh is a Counsellor and Hypnotherapist who works with stressed individuals to promote confidence and self belief, with couples experiencing relationship difficulties to improve communications and understanding and with business clients to support the health and motivation levels of individuals and teams. For more articles, information or to make contact please visit

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