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Life by Design: Setting Goals for 2009

Life by Design
Setting Goals for 2009

I am setting my goals for 2009. But I find that I have the same goals year after year - I just don't seem to be making progress. Is there something I am missing?
Goal setting is a time-honored process. People who set goals accomplish more. But there are some key goal setting strategies to keep in mind that will help your goals lead to more success for you.
* If a goal is older than one year then get rid of it. It's a dead goal and doesn't have any energy left. Reframe that goal into something new and inspiring. For instance, if you have had "lose weight" on your goal list for years there is nothing but failure associated with that goal. This year, have your goal be to get involved in some exercise program you like - and to take some cooking classes, which focus on healthy eating. See - you can already tell that those goals have more energy than the tired "lose weight" goal.
* Focus less on the results and more on what you can do to produce those results. You cannot ensure results but you can ensure the actions that you take. Using the lose weight example above - the only control you have is over what you do to get the results.
* Set your goals for things you want and not for things you don't want. Form positive approach goals and stay away from negative avoidance goals. Instead of "I will stop eating junk foods" look instead to "include a delicious vegetable at each meal". Have your goals pull you toward what you do want rather than push you away from what you don't want.
* Form your goals around things you want to do - things that give you pleasure. Instead of "I will exercise on the treadmill every day" change it to "I will watch my favorite TV shows - the ones I really look forward to - each day while I am walking on the treadmill".
* Capitalize on what worked for you in 2008 to build your goals for 2009. As you review your year look for where you were successful and do more of the same. Give up trying to do things that you are just not cut out for. If you want more social connections but hate going to cocktail parties but love meeting people in small groups - why bother having going to more cocktail parties on your goal list. Sure, it is a good way to form more social connections but it may not be a strength of yours. Rather than trying to correct a weakness leverage your strength of making close connections in a small group - and watch your social connections soar.
With just these small adjustments in your goal setting process, your year may be more inspiring to you, you'll have more enthusiasm for your goals - and probably be more successful too.

Mary Ann Copson is Life Coach who specializes in helping her clients better manage their moods and energy. She is the founder of the Evenstar Mood & Energy Wellness Center for Women. You can visit her online at or reach her by phone at 434-263-4996.

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