Goal setting: Are you ready to get it done?

Goal setting is paramount to getting things done.

Everyone talks about making changes or getting things done, but have they really made plans to accomplish anything?  According to Michigan State University Extension, goal setting is paramount to getting things done and making changes. The process of accomplishing anything begins with defining what you will do. What change do you hope to make or what is it that you want? Make sure you have clearly identified the item you want to accomplish in a way that will allow you and those around you to know you have been successful. Imagine what the end result looks like. Think about how you will know if you were successful. It doesn’t matter if your goal is getting a degree, losing weight or running a successful 4-H club, you need to clearly define what you hope to accomplish. Write the goal down as a reminder to yourself and include details so you can stay focused and share it with others if they will be part of the team to get it accomplished.

Next, you want to define the way in which you are going to get that goal accomplished. What do you need to do to make that change happen? Do you need to involve others or can you do it alone? What steps will you take to make this goal reality? These are your action steps; the tasks along the way that will help you be successful. If you can visualize what the actions are that you need to take you can schedule them into your calendar and make appointments with others to accomplish your tasks. The more specific you can be, the more helpful this process will be for you. When you begin to accomplish tasks you will feel a sense of accomplishment and be encouraged to continue on your journey to success.

Understanding this simple process and using it on a regular basis can help you be successful in accomplishing tasks big and small. Goal setting should not be a once a year process, but ongoing and can be used to accomplish your dreams that will take years or even decades to accomplish as well as those small goals that can take days or weeks. Children and adults can use this goal setting process in all aspects of life.

4-H members are engaged in goal setting with their 4-H projects throughout the year and learn through this process. 4-H Leaders also set goals for themselves and work with members to help them achieve their goals by serving in a variety of volunteer roles. To find out more about Michigan 4-H Youth Programs, contact your local MSU Extension office.

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