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“Which? Why? What? How?” Technique

... for choosing personal goals. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Ask yourself which aspect of your life you would like to change most.
  2. Think about why you want to change this.
  3. How will that change make you feel? Determine what exactly will make you feel this way.
  4. Ask yourself how you can make this happen and then make it your personal goal.

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Why Set Personal Goals
  • You are in charge. Personal goals force you to take responsibility for the actual efforts and progress.
  • You see the small steps leading to a big picture: big goals can be scary. That’s why you need to break them into clear and manageable steps. 
  • It allows you to celebrate small wins. Setting a formal goal and taking the necessary steps towards it is an achievement in itself. 
The Life Balance Chart Technique
  • Draw a chart. Write down each of the various areas of your life (family, health, self-development, career, relationships) in a new column or line.
  • Assess your current happiness level in each of these categories by giving it a score from 1 to 10.
  • Think what will make you be fully satisfied with these areas. Write down your ideas – you will be able to transform them into personal plans.

For example, use the "memory loss" scenario: Imagine you don’t know the reasons for your previous decisions and you don’t have to follow any earlier plan. Think about what you will do now. How you will live further.

... using the SMART criteria: 

  • Specific: make your goals clear and well-defined. 
  • Measurable: avoid any abstract notions – you should be able to tick “done” any goal you set as well as any step it involves
  • Achievable: Make sure you have enough time and resources (money, free time, energy) to achieve it
  • Relevant: your personal goals should be relevant to your life goals and feel rewarding
  • Timed: set a deadline for achieving each goal and subgoal. 
  • To decide, which goal you want to work on first, rate them from 1 to 10 depending on how important they are for you. Goals with the highest rating should be your priority for now.
  • Another way to prioritize personal goals is to connect the desired outcomes as causes and effects. You will be able to see that some goals will ease the other ones.
Make Your Personal Development Plan
  • Break down your goals into tasks and create a working plan.
  • Each task should be specific and have a deadline. Write them down to track your performance increase commitment to your goal.
  • When writing, use positive and present tense language. It has a great impact on your own expectations of yourself.
Reflect and Celebrate Success

Reflect on your performance at the end of each day/week. Ask yourself, “Why haven’t I managed to complete the task I have set for today?” and then revise your plan for the following day/week accordingly.  

To make the celebration of success part of your routine, decide on a reward you will give yourself.

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Goal-Setting

Any goal or project will usually have these basic qualities:

  • A general ambition or motivation. (e.g. learn French)
  • A specific target. (e.g.  speak fluently)
  • A time-frame or deadline. (e.g. in 6 months)
  • Constraints or methods. (e.g. practicing every day)
  • Overall impression of effort/time required. (e.g. a few hours per week of moderate effort)

A goal is then a group of different features that get bundled together. Some are necessary, others are optional, and some are better to postpone.

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IDEAS

Personal Objective Key Results - OKR

OKRs take big lofty goals, segment them into objectives, and then tie each of those objectives to actionable Key Results.

The Objective is the point on the horizon that you want to get to, and the Key Results are the measures that confirm to you that you’re making progress.

LOGAN PEARSALL SMITH
"There are two things to aim at in life; first to get what you want, and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind has achieved the second".