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How to net your goals

John Joe McGinley

Did you set out with great determination and a sincere desire to stick to your New Year’s resolutions, all those months ago? Perhaps to lose weight, get fit or even get back in touch with friends and family.

You may even have set resolutions for your business – see more clients, do less admin and concentrate on what you are good at or even explore new markets.

Psychologists are fascinated by the drivers behind our resolution season. They have looked at the reasons people want to make these resolutions, and it is no surprise that recovering from the season of excess is a major reason, as 30 per cent of us want to cut down on alcohol, while a quarter plan to stop smoking.

The problem is that, usually, by the second week in January, our good intentions have failed.

Is this sounding familiar? If you want to change anything in your life, goals are much more powerful. If they are meaningful and relevant to you then they are what makes a difference in your life and helps you achieve real change and progress.

If we always do what we have always done, then change will not happen in our lives and the biggest danger is that we will allow others to shape the direction of our lives.

You may say you do not have the time to set goals, and it is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day challenges and lose sight of the bigger picture. However, if you feel you are stuck in a rut, or if you feel you are treading water in life and feel out of control, then it is time for you to start harnessing the power of goals.

Then positive change can happen. Setting clear goals can help you stay focused on what you want to achieve — both in business and in your personal life — and use your time and resources more effectively. It can also reduce stress and provide positive mental wellbeing.

Setting goals gives you direction

The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life, your career and business. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts.

You will also quickly spot the distractions that would otherwise lure you away from your desired course.

More than this, properly set goals can be incredibly motivating, and as you get into the habit of setting and achieving goals, you will find that your self-confidence builds fast.

Goal-setting techniques are used by top-level athletes, successful business people and achievers in all fields. They give you long-term vision and short-term motivation. They focus your acquisition of knowledge and help you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the very most of your life.

By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, you can measure and take pride in the achievement of those goals. You can see forward progress in what might previously have seemed a long pointless grind.