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10 Steps For Setting Effective Goals

The field of positive psychology, a discipline which investigates happiness, has made a surprising discovery. Studies have shown that finding contentment and meaning in life are not achieved by winning the lottery or being young and beautiful. Instead, happiness comes from the pursuing and attaining goals.

Goals can give new meaning to everything you do. Something routine or mundane will take on a new purpose when it is leading you one step closer to attaining a goal.

Goals also give life focus and direction. Those who don’t set goals drift through life, reacting to whatever comes their way. They base their decisions and actions on what their circumstances are in the moment, not on what they hope to accomplish in the future. Then one day, they realize that the days have turned into years, and they’re so far off course that they can’t even remember what their dreams were!

Achieving anything meaningful in life requires two things: knowing where you are going and having a plan to get there; and the decisions you make on a day-to-day basis either take you closer to that goal, or further away.

Here is an interesting illustration. Japanese carp grow according the the size of their environment; so, if they are kept in a small body of water, they stop growing at two to four inches long. However, if they are placed in a larger tank, they grow to many times that size!

The take-away? Your goals determine your actions and habits > Your actions and habits determine your environment. The Japanese carp may have no control over it’s environment, but WE are free to overcome our limitations and can achieve our dreams if we set goals and apply discipline to follow through.

Many people don’t understand that setting goals is a process which requires time and intentional planning. This prevents them from setting achievable goals.

Some of you may have made a goal list in the past, but because you did not achieve what you aimed for, you didn’t repeat the process for fear of failing again. I understand completely. Well structured goals only develop with lot of forethought; otherwise, what you end up with is a wish list. And, your goals will remain wishes unless you set deadlines and have an action plan for achieving them.

10 Steps For Setting Intentional Goals:

  1.  Make a list; think about what you really want to accomplish in your lifetime and write those things down.
  2.  Be specific. For example, if your goal is a new car, decide on the make, model, color, etc.
  3. Don’t limit your goals to material things. Goals can be physical, mental, and spiritual. Include goals that involve your family, character, relationships, etc.
  4. Align your goals with your core values and beliefs. If a goal contradicts something that you feel strongly about, you will experience inner conflict and confusion as you pursue that goal. Eliminate goals that don’t reflect who you are.
  5. Determine what your values and priorities are, and put your list in order.
  6. Set deadlines for all of your goals. Some may be 30-day goals, while others may be one year, five year, or ten year goals.
  7. Read your goals aloud everyday. Keep a copy of them at your office and at your home.
  8. Share your goals with people who are completely supportive and who will hold you accountable.
  9. Remember that your goals may evolve as you grow. If your goals don’t change, then you may not growing.
  10. Prepare yourself mentally for the hard days ahead. Make a commitment to see your goals through, regardless of the obstacles and difficulties you will face.

Remember this: if you shoot for the moon and land on a star—you are still on higher ground! If you want your practice to double from $20,000 in collections per month to $40,000, but only make it to $36,000, don’t count it as a failure! You have accomplished growth as a direct result of your efforts and your goals!

Challenge yourself to set goals and commit yourself to following through. A well thought out list of goals, an action plan, and a made up mind are crucial components for achieving the happiness and success that your are seeking for your life and your practice.

To hear from chiropractors who are currently achieving their goals using the AMC System, click here.

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