How to Set a Goal – When You Don’t Have One
Google “how to set a goal” and you’ll come up with 938 million results. Wow. By the time you read through all of those articles, blogs, and how-to lists, you’ll likely forget what your goal was to begin with. But, what happens if you don’t have a goal to meet?
Well, your first thought may be, “Why would I even worry about setting a goal if I don’t have one?” While this is certainly a very good question that seems pretty straight forward, it isn’t quite that simple as many people who don’t have clear cut goals in mind still want to advance their lives.
Take me, for instance. I know that I want to do great things with my existence, but I haven’t sorted out what those great things are yet. Sure, I have vague ideas, but nothing that is definitive that I am striving to reach. So, how do I set a goal for that? Fortunately, there is a way.
If you want to move yourself forward without having a clear destination in mind, here are some steps you’re going to want to follow that will assist you:
Step #1 – Envision Your Dream Life
Think about how your life would be if everything were just as you want it. Consider what your work day would look like, how you would incorporate your family into your day to day living, and what activities you would regularly take part in.
Here are some questions that may help you do this:
- What does your work day look like?
- What are your areas of interest?
- How often would you see your family?
- Would your life involve children or grandchildren?
- Are you married or single?
- Where would you live?
- Do you have pets?
- What would you do for fun?
- Which hobbies would you spend a lot of time doing?
- Would you volunteer or otherwise donate your time?
- Would you be surrounded by people or spend more time alone?
Try to imagine as many areas as you can when you picture your dream life so you get a complete idea of where you would want to be.
Step #2 – Work Your Way Backward
Now that you have a more defined image of what you’d like to see happen in your future, you need to work your way backward from then until now. To do this, you’ll want to list all of the steps you would need to take (in reverse order) to get from your future self to your current self.
For example, if my dream life involved being a world renowned motivational speaker, the next step back for that particular image would be to become a national speaker. The step before that would be to focus on being a speaker who is known throughout my state. Prior to that, I would need to be known within my community.
Step #3 – Start at the Bottom
Start with the last step you wrote down (the one closest to where you are right now) and do something to make it happen. In the example I just used, for instance, I would look at groups within my community that I could start speaking to in order to get my name out there and start to be recognized within the field. I would create business cards and pamphlets to add credibility to myself and increase the chances that they would hire me.
Go through these steps just once and you’ll see that you do have goals, you’ve just never realized them. So, what goals don’t you have that you’d like to reach? Certainly there is at least one…