4 Goal-Setting Tips For Busy People

by Michele Connolly on November 16, 2010

Goal Setting For Busy People

If you’ve got a lot going on in your life – work, family, life! – then it can be hard to find time for your personal goals.

But that doesn’t mean you have to put aside your dream of writing a novel, or going back to school, or getting fit. It just means you have to be especially smart about the way you set your goals and the way you use your time.

The following tips may take a little time upfront, but they’ll save you a great deal of time in the long run. Not only that, but they’ll help you maximize motivation and avoid wasted effort, so you have the best chance of achieving your goals – despite your busy schedule.

Achieving Your Goals: 4 Tips For Busy People

1. Decide Exactly What You Want

If your time is short, you can’t afford to waste it on peripheral things that don’t get you closer to your goals.

For example, if your goal is to get fit, decide what this means to you – whether it’s running a marathon, keeping up with the kids, or walking up a flight of stairs without puffing. Only then can you allocate your time wisely to the type of effort that will advance you toward your goal.

Without a clear idea of exactly what you want to achieve, you’ll lose precious time and energy on things that don’t directly contribute to the outcome you want.

2. Do Your Research

It’s tempting to jump right into a goal and feel you can’t afford the time for research.

But research time often pays for itself, especially if your goal is in an area that’s unfamiliar to you.

For example:

  • If you want to start a business, talk to people who run similar businesses, so you understand what’s involved
  • If you want to lose weight, read a book or speak to a professional about how to do it and how long it will take
  • If you want to get a particular job, investigate the company or industry so you can prepare a standout application.

By doing your research, you can move forward in a far more strategic, time-smart way – and one that makes it more likely you’ll achieve your goal.

3. Check Your Commitment Level

The other great thing about doing your research is that you can then run a reality check on your commitment.

For instance:

  • Now that you know business owners can work longer hours and have less freedom than in your current job, are you still keen to start a business?
  • Now that you know you’ll have to exercise more and make changes to your diet, how does that affect your weight loss goal?
  • Now that you know what kind of application is needed for the job you want, when will you make the time to prepare this?

There’s no point embarking on a goal if your motivation peters out at the first hurdle. That’s time you could spend on goals you are committed to.

Be sure you know what’s needed, and that you’re prepared to do it, before you set your goal.

4. Set Sub-Goals

When you have a busy life, it’s easy to get distracted by everyday challenges and let your goals fall by the wayside.

This is especially true if you have a goal deadline that’s some time away, and immediate stresses bearing down on you now.

The solution is to set sub-goalsregular milestones along the way to your larger goal.

For example:

  • If you want to learn a language, set sub-goals to complete a chapter of your “Teach Yourself French” book every week
  • If you want to de-clutter your house, create a schedule and set sub-goals to de-clutter one room or area each weekend
  • If you want to write a novel, set out out a plan for the different writing milestones involved, and set interim deadlines for each of those.

Sub goals will help you maintain focus and momentum, despite your busy life. They’re also a great way to feel a sense of progress as you move closer to your goals – which is extremely motivating!

Even if you’re busy, you can make the most of the time you have by using these tips to set your goals. What are you waiting for?

[Image by left-hand]

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