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Successful Goal Mapping and Encouragement

Nov 26, 2011 • 0 comments • 2155 views

I came across this recent video clip from CNN: http://cnn.com/video/?/video/international/2011/11/21/african-voices-andile-ndlovu-off-stage-c.cnn

and it got me thinking (which can be dangerous, according to close family members):

"How can we assist others to achieve their goals, if we do not have the vaguest idea how to achieve our own?"

     As the end of another year rapidly approaches, will we hurriedly come up with some lame, unspecific, unobtainable, meaningless goals that we are not even passionate about, simply for the sake of saying we have made some New Year's Resolutions? Will we have underdeveoped plans and watch our unspirited and lifeless goals fall apart within weeks? "Hmmm," I say to myself as my wheels start rapidly spinning, almost in a state of frenzy, as I acknowledge that I, too, have set goals for myself that I have not yet achieved.

     Although I have surpassed the educational goals I developed as a youth, there are certainly other goals and dreams that I have; life definitely isn't over for me yet. In fact, in many ways, it is just beginning. I can either choose to forge ahead or come up with excuses to become lazy and complacent.    

     One of the things I have always wanted to do is to inspire my own children, friends and family members to reach their goals, one step at a time. As part of this encouragement, I must inspire them to explore and cultivate their own gifts and to set realistic and obtainable goals.

     As one can glean from this video clip, it is important to first have a vision about what is possible, and to ensure that you have enough passion about your goal to sustain your walk towards achieving it.

Spend time thinking about what you want for the rest of your life.

     What do YOU passionately want for yourself? Do not confuse this with what your partner or parents want for you. What do you want deep down inside for yourself? Others can give advice (and undoubtedly will if you give them the chance), but nobody can give you the passion that you need to motivate you to get there.

     This necessary self-reflection is the first important and critical step towards getting to where you want to be in life. If you do not spend time thinking about your future, well, you can pretty much expect it to stay exactly where it is!

After you determine what you REALLY want, it is time to make some realistic goals.

     You will need to make both long term and short term goals. Where do you want to see yourself 10 years from now. What are the larger and smaller goals that are needed to get you there? Are these goals realistic and attainable? Do you have the drive, determination and financial ability to get you there? If finances are an issue, then you will need to develop a plan to obtain the finances. Financial limitations should not destroy your goals if your goals are realistic. 

Create a 10 year goal, a 5 year goal, a 1 year plan, a 6 month plan, and finally a one month plan.

     You should have progressively smaller goals building up to your larger goal. Make a daily to-do list to keep you on track and keep your plan in motion. This is where being passionate about your goals comes in handy. Without the necessary passion, there will be little motivation to stay on track.

Use the SMART mnemonic to assist with realistic goal setting:


  • S - Specific or Significant (Exactly what do you want to achieve?)

  • M - Measurable or Meaningful (How will you determine progress?)

  • A - Attainable or Action Oriented (Is this a realistic goal for you or a far-fetched fantasy?)

  • R - Relevant or Rewarding (Will the goal make a difference in your life?)

  • T - Time-bound or Trackable (When do you wish to achieve this goal by?)


    Avoid falling into the negativity trap; people that truly love and care about you will want to see you accomplish goals you are passionate about and will encourage you rather than discourage you.

    Remember, this is your life, and it is up to you to ensure that you are happy in it!


    As we march towards the end of another year, get ready to race towards a new beginning, with new goals, new drive and new passion!

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