Personal Goal Setting

Personal Goal Setting is an important part of shaping how you use the information contained in this Wiki! Goals are integral to helping you to formulate a plan of action and prioritize.

A strong and clearly-defined goal has these five qualities:

1. Goals are quantifiable, measurable, falsifiable. Goals can be measured and often include specific numbers and timelines. It’s good to also have a specific date in mind too. Keep in mind, once the date or timeline has passed, will you be able to falsify (prove the statement false) your goal as stated?

2. Goals use a declarative sentence. They are not a question or a fragment.

3. Goals are written down. Writing down a goal greatly increases your chance of achieving.

4. Goals don’t include the word “and”. This is not a to-do list or a laundry list. Long lists usually indicate that you have included several goals in one statement or that you have already started to list the steps necessary to achieve your goal.

5. Goals should stretch you. Goals should challenge you. When you conceive of a goal, see if you can state your biggest goal out loud to yourself in the mirror without laughing.

When you begin to formulate a goal, make sure that it meets the requirements listed above. A short example:

* Have a website (a sentence fragment, not very specific or measurable)
* I will make a website (declarative sentence, a great step!)
* I will make a website that features all of my work for the past 5 years (measurable, with scale!)
* I will have a website online 3 months from now that features my past 5 years of work (a clear, defined, measurable goal that can be falsified; excellent!)

When you write down a new goal, evaluate it using the above criteria, and ask yourself:

*Is this goal specific?
*Is this goal measurable?
*Is this goal realistic?

Once you have written down your goals, think about the steps that you will take in order to achieve this goal. Incremental steps help keep you on track as you move towards your larger objectives. Committing your steps to paper is important; you could write steps in a journal, a calendar or a to-do list. Try to make the short term steps measurable; for example: “Tweet about my upcoming project once per week.” Remember, while some goals are intangible, these short-term steps should build incrementally to your long term goal, and they should be quantifiable and falsifiable.

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