Where do you want to be 5 years from now, 10 years from now, or even this time next year? These places are your goal destinations and although you might know that you don’t want to be standing still in the same place as you are now, it’s not always easy to identify what your real goals are.
Many people think that setting a goal destination is having a dream that is there in the far distant future but will never be attained. This proves to be a self-fulfilling prophesy because of two things:
Firstly, that the goal isn’t specifically defined enough in the first place; and secondly, it remains a remote dream waiting for action which is never taken.
Defining your goals is something that you need to take some time to think carefully about. The following steps on how to plan your life goals should get you started on a journey to your destination.
Write down your goals
I’m sure you’ve heard that if you want to achieve a goal, you need to write it down. I know it sounds a bit cliché, but it actually does work. Use a notebook, journal or a printable planner to start your journey.
Writing things down happens on two levels: external storage and encoding. External storage is easy to explain: you’re storing the information contained in your goal in a location (e.g. a piece of paper) that is very easy to access and review at any time. You could post that paper in your office, on your refrigerator, etc. It doesn’t take a neuroscientist to know you will remember something much better if you’re staring at a visual cue (aka reminder) every single day.
But there’s another deeper phenomenon happening: encoding. Encoding is the biological process by which the things we perceive travel to our brain’s hippocampus where they’re analyzed. From there, decisions are made about what gets stored in our long-term memory and, in turn, what gets discarded. Writing improves that encoding process. In other words, when you write it down it has a much greater chance of being remembered.
So get goal planning today to get one step closer to your destination.