Assuming you have a list of personal goals written down somewhere (if you haven’t then read this article from Mindtools), much of your energy and focus will be on achieving these goals. One of the most powerful ways I have come across to achieve personal goals is the practice of sharing them with other people you trust.
The reason sharing goals with others is so effective is because when you share your goals 2 things happen:
1. You Become Accountable
If you choose to share your goals with someone you trust, such as a close friend or family member, then this person can help you by regularly checking up on your progress. In effect, you become accountable to this person. This may be some kind of formal arrangement, where you specifically ask another person to check your progress (eg you may want them to ask you how much you weigh on a certain date). It can also be informal, in the sense that if you share certain goals (eg to spend more time with the kids or to start learning a language) these will naturally come up later in conversation.
Even more powerful, though, is the way in which sharing your goals with another person makes you truly accountable to yourself. I have found that although writing down my goals is effective, it does not necessarily make me truly commit to them. When I share a goal with someone else, though, I feel I am making a promise to myself that I will take action and make it happen.
2. You May Receive Help
I have often found that when I have shared a goal with someone else, they have found a way to help me. In particular, my family and friends love to give me books on subjects or hobbies I express an interest in. Or, they introduce me to a contact of theirs who may be able to assist (this has been happening a lot lately with career advice). I should note here that I never directly ask for such help. I think it is just that most people love to help other people. It makes us feel good about ourselves.
When writing such an article, it only makes sense that I share some of my goals. Anyone familiar with goal setting will recognize the importance of them being time-bound. I plan, therefore, to achieve the below goals by 30 September 2007. The first 3 goals are ones that I have wanted to achieve for sometime (I hope sharing them like this gives me the final push to take action):
- Volunteer my time for a good cause on a regular basis.
- Start golf lessons and learn to play to a reasonable level.
- Take action toward becoming a good public speaker (eg Toastmasters).
I also have 3 goals relating to this blog, which are:
- To write at least 3 original articles per week.
- For each article to generate discussion in the comments (approximately comments from 10 different people for each article).
- To increase RSS Subscribers to 300.
In regards to the above 3 goals, I am a big believer in the idea of receiving what you give out. So apart from obviously spending time writing my own articles each week, I plan to subscribe to more feeds and leave more comments on other blogs I enjoy.