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Personal Goal Setting Success: 5-Step Guide

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Picture of a road with some pins along the way. Part of an article - personal goal setting success: 5 step guide

Today we are going to dive into a comprehensive 5 step guide to personal goal setting. The steps include: awareness, choice, plan, contain and evaluate. Learn why I think this is the best way to achieve goals.

Personal Goal Setting – Introduction

When many think of goal setting they think of the SMART system. But for personal development, I have a different 5-step goal setting strategy.

The reason why is that it allows more for the individual, and where they are on their journey in life.

Personal goals should really be approached differently to work goals because there is more emotion involved. That’s why this system is going to work better for personal long term goals.

What is the strategy?

I use a mnemonic to help me remember this system:

“A Cat’s Purr Conveys Enjoyment”

Strictly speaking a cat’s purr doesn’t always convey enjoyment, but still, it helps me to remember.

So the letters are A, C, P, C, E.

Let’s go through them.

Step 1 – Awareness

Awareness is knowing your starting position.

I mean really knowing!!

You can’t set out on a journey without knowing your setting off point.

This first step is hard, it requires personal analysis, honesty, humility and a bit of deep soul searching.

The point is for you to know where you truly are and how you got there. These things can really help you see what is a realistic journey for you and what you truly want.

Step 2 – Choice

This is deciding the destination.

It is tapping into your personal values and taking into account your weakness, what do you choose as a end goal?

This makes your goal achievable, it provides a complete ‘done’ point to your goal.

Something to add is, when making your choice, write down lots of different options. Be empowered to know that you have plenty of options. People do tend to limit their choices in life.

So once you have all your options written down [including the option to not make any goal at all], then you can choose which you truly want.

Step 3 – Plan

What is your route? What steps are needed to get to your destination?

This is my favorite step – you know me, I’m a planner girl!

But it is not the most simple step. Life is not always a straight line. What are you going to do with setbacks? Those really tough days? Will you have an alternative plan to get you through?

Picture of lots of intertwining roads that have road closed signs on them. Part of an article - personal goal setting success 5 step guide

When it comes to personal long term goals, it might also be needed to break those goals down into shorter, easier sections.

This can make the planning process a bit harder, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Step 4 – Contain

What resources do you need?

Many miss this step. They have their plan and off they go.

But just as you buy a new item of clothing, bring it home and give it a place in your closet. You need to do the same with your new plan – give it a place in your life?

For a journey you might need a car, refreshments and time.

Well for your goal you are also definitely going to need time, but what else? Will you need energy? Will you need support? Will you need specific environmental changes?

Without making a place for your new plan, how could it possibly happen?

For this you could try an app or something to keep you accountable. Check out this article about goal setting.

Step 5 – Evaluate

The last step is to periodically check you are going the right way.

Just like we might need to keep looking at a map, we also need to evaluate if we are going towards our destination and see if we need to adapt or make changes along the journey.

This possibly is the most simple step – do a check-in and see how you are doing. Celebrate wins and learn the lessons.

Types of Personal Goals

So now you have the how to guide but what are some types of personal goals you could set for yourself?

Here are 5 types of goals based on life’s different categories:

  1. Physical health goals
  2. Mental / Intellectual goals
  3. Emotional wellbeing goals
  4. Spiritual goals
  5. Social goals

Some personal goal examples

  • 1. Physical = Become vegan, Get fit.
  • 2. Mental / Intellectual = Become fluent in a language, Learn a musical instrument.
  • 3. Emotional = Become naturally mindful, Get empowed.
  • 4. Spiritual = Read the entire Bible, Develop spiritual qualities.
  • 5. Social = Be a good friend, Restore family ties.

Read: Create A Personal Growth Bullet Journal

Let me know – has this helped you to start your personal goal setting journey?

A graphic with leaves and ripped paper. the title says 5 steps of personal goal setting. The steps are listed: 1 - awareness, 2 choice, 3 plan, 4 contain, and 5 evaluate.

What journey will you embark on? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for being here today.

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